Happy Halloween!

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Dear Readers,

Happy Halloween! Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. Our house is adorned with all sorts of decorations that we’ve collected over the years. But, I’ll tell you up front, I don’t put up the decorations in my house. I don’t dress up every year and I don’t really care much for parties.

It sounds odd because when people talk about loving Christmas, you know when they really love Christmas and have the ugly sweaters, decorations everywhere, and party plans. They won’t miss a beat to tell you how much they love the season and, frankly, they can be annoying about it. Still, Halloween is my Christmas.

During the month of October, our decorations go up (and the indoor decorations often stay up through November). We have Halloween lights, the standard trinkets, and even a Halloween Tree (it’s a black tree that gets adorned with skulls, skeletons, voodoo dolls, ghosts, and similar). We’ve started watching horror movies throughout the month. For the younger crowd, we rewatch Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride. Halloween music is often on, and SomaFM’s Doomed station will be on full blast for at least a few days out of the month.

This is very similar to how people treat their Christmas season except, for us, this is fun. See, when Christmas comes around, I do some of these things – but it’s more of a joke. There will be a week when the South Park Christmas Album is put on repeat. There’s also a SomaFM channel filled with similar inappropriate music that will get played repeatedly. (Side note: for Christmas, we have no outdoor decorations. It’s not like Halloween where every year, we wish we had a more prominent yard with which to display more ghouls and ghosts!)

People commonly point to Christmas as the time of giving but isn’t it more like the “time to show everyone how much money I can spend on you without going broke” season. It’s the time when children put together their wish list of items and send it to “Santa” in the hopes that they get it and where parents get to feel terrible that they couldn’t afford to buy all the things on those lists. It’s the reason why I assume we have Black Friday, the Hunger Games of consumer goods shopping.

You know what Halloween has? A lot of people dressing up and having a good time. Kids getting cheap candy, admittedly, from strangers in their neighborhood. (Except those neighbors that think they are somehow doing everyone a favor by passing out a toothbrush or some sugar alternative. Listen, I’m with you, we need to solve the obesity problem but we don’t need to do it on Halloween.)

Halloween is a time when you typically expect people to knock on your front door and it’s okay. No one is coming to sell you on their religion or the next great pyramid scheme – it’s just some kid in a fun costume wanting candy. No pressure. Some consumerism but far less than Christmas. No pressure to put on a feast for an awkward family reunion, just some light puking from your kids that ate too much candy.

It’s just people having a good time and being together. I don’t have to listen to anyone talk about putting the “Hallow” back into “Halloween”. As far as I know (and please don’t ruin this for me), Halloween doesn’t revolve around screwing over the Natives or any particular peoples. There aren’t any obvious religious ties that we have to navigate. And despite my love of Halloween, probably one of the most important parts is that no one cares if you don’t celebrate the holiday.

When Christmas comes around people get all weird when you don’t celebrate their holiday. But if you told someone that you didn’t celebrate Halloween? They don’t care.

That makes it better! Because, in the end, it’s just about people having a good time. Whatever your beliefs, wherever you are – I hope you get the opportunity to celebrate this fantastic, imaginative holiday!

Happy Halloween!

Achira

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