Halloween Hatred

OK - so I have to admit - I totally hate Halloween. I hate finding costumes, I hate the sugar buzz that goes on forever, I hate the celebration of all things witchy, ghost-like, and generally spooky. I am not at all convinced that it's totally harmless. And don't even get me started on trick-or-treating, and the trauma it causes my dog to have the doorbell ring over and over all night long. Plus, the safety issues involved have a lot of people (including me) cutting down on the trick-or-treating. We only go to houses of people we know, and then we end up driving around to go to houses of various relatives and ward members, and something is just fundamentally wrong with driving around to trick-or-treat. Truly, I wish we could just cancel the whole thing. That being said, my children love Halloween. They like being princesses, they love the sugar, and pretty much look forward to it for months. I haven't passed on my hatred of the "holiday" to them, at least not yet. Maybe when they get older and my rule of no scary/immodest costumes starts to really sink in, maybe then they'll resent me a little. One can only hope. But last night, everyone in my neighborhood (we live on a circle) got together to carve pumpkins in my friend's garage. They served pumpkin bars and cider, had various Halloween songs playing (including "Flying Purple People Eater" of all things)and they had a bunch of patterns for Jack-O-Lantern carving. I am glad they do this every year, because otherwise it would be a hard thing to get me to carve a pumpkin. I always drag my feet, because, well, I hate doing it, because it's all a part of Halloween strangeness. I didn't even carve. I watched my toddler, chatted with my neighbors, and occasionally helped my daughters as they worked their little hearts out trying to get the mouth just right. And I had to admit, it was pretty sweet to watch them work, and just a fun time in general. If only that was all Halloween was, just hanging out with neighbors and mutilating pumpkins. If only we didn't have to start avoiding spooky shows that appear on television all of a sudden. If only we didn't have little boys dressed as grim reapers show up at our house. If only there weren't slutty costumes for adult women in all the windows, because apparently, to really be a good sport at Halloween, women have to wear very little clothing. If only there wasn't a built-in excuse to vandalize people's houses with eggs and to smash those pumpkins so lovingly carved by little hands. If only.....


Anonymous Beanie said...

Ahh, yes...another holiday the stores suck money out of us.:) All of our holidays around here are regular times of the year for us. (blah) Even Christmas, we are always out of town, so nothing gets decorated, baking doesn't get done, and christmas songs don't get played. Until now (we just got a home)we had no extra space for many decorations or holiday things. Holidays around here "just another day". kinda sad actually. Hopefully that will change a little when we have kids.

10/25/2005 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are worried about trick or treating, some wards have a "trunk-or-treat" activity for the kids. Each family decorates their trunk and meets in the church parking lot. The kids go from car to car instead of door to door, which is much safer since everyone knows each other. I've never done it (no kids yet), but it seems like a great idea to me!

10/25/2005 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You shouldn't feel like you have to have kids to participate in a trunk or treat. It would be fun to decorate your trunk, and provide trunks for the kids in your ward to visit.

10/25/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Hey, I love Halloween! This is the first year, however, that I have a kid who cares. Maybe after doing this for a few years, I'll feel differently.

10/25/2005 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

Yeah, our ward does a trunk or treat, too. It's really fun, except that it's not on Halloween, and my kids know that, so they essentially get to go trick-or-treating twice. And they always get a ton more candy at the ward.

I like the whole trunk or treat thing, but here, it becomes in addition to, not instead of, Halloween trick or treating.

10/25/2005 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M said...

We do the trunk-or-treat thing instead of Halloween. I have decided, as this is the first time my almost-3yo will be getting lots of candy, to let him save 5 of his very best candies and the rest he can (will?) trade to Mom & Dad for a special treat, like a ride on the train at the park or a carousel ride or some other undetermined thing. I will send the candy with DH to school or maybe even THROW IT AWAY, if my willpower kicks in. As a kid, I always ate it all within 2 days, and I fear doing that again as an adult. We live in an apartment and won't be leaving the lights on or giving out candy to avoid that whole weird costume thing.

10/25/2005 04:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

This will be my first year having more than just 3 trick or treaters and I'm stoked! I can't wait to see the variety of costumes and cleverness that I know is out there - plus my hubby and I have a bet on how many little Darth Vaders come to our doorstep (we're expecting over 100 in our neighborhood). I have no kids of my own yet so I'm excited to participate with the kids coming to my home this year. Plus I love to dress up so I really like the holiday.

10/25/2005 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

Wiz, I'm glad I'm not the only one. The commercialization is even worse with Halloween because there's not even a "real meaning" to find, like there is at Easter or Christmas. It's like a scary version of Mardi Gras, a party for the sake of partying, a celebration of decadence and pranks and blah blah blah. And this ... is just not my favorite thing. I mean, why all the effort with no meaning?

I did not decorate this year, except setting some uncarved pumpkins on the front porch.

This is not to say that we will not celebrate Halloween. We will. I will just secretly hate it and put in the minimum possible effort. My kids have store-bought costumes because I just can't deal with making them. I am hoping to send them out with Dad to door-knock and sit in a hot bath in the dark and ignore all the neighborhood kiddoes. Think it'll work??

Erin: I bet you can do that with a 3yo, but good luck when he is 6!

10/25/2005 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

I love Halloween!

I enjoy giving out the candy. It was a fun time when I was a kid, when it was safe to go all night and get tons of candy, which we didn't get otherwise.

I took my kids out one time, with some neighbor kids and we went all night (well, until bedtime) and all over town and to the rich peoples' homes and they all said it was the most fun Halloween they ever had.

My former DIL would spend a fortune on costumes and take the kids' pictures and that was it. So my stepson took his kids out once and they had a great time.

I think the world is a different place and that has made it less fun for kids.

10/25/2005 07:54:00 PM  
Anonymous claire said...

So which side of the candy debate are you on: eat some that night and one or two pieces after a well balanced dinner until it runs out or they forget about it(HA!) OR the binge on Halloween and get rid of the rest? The latter is endorsed by our pediatric dentist, I thought it was an interesting concept.

I have a newborn so I'll be answering the door and DH is taking the kids out. They are 6 and 9 this year so they are ready for a marathon T or T session and plan and doing the whole neighborhood!

10/26/2005 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous JKS said...

I grew up driving around to trick or treat at other American's houses. It was still fun!
I loved dressing up in a costume. I think it is a great holiday. I hardly notice the spooky/scary stuff.
I'm not worried about trick-or-treating. This year our trunk or treat is ON Halloween, but we'll still go around the neighborhood.

10/26/2005 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger fMhLisa said...

I heart halloween. We have about ten boxes of halloween decorations. Only one of Christmas. Mostly skeletons.

And around these parts, there's no scary costume ban. In fact I'm still trying to convince my daughter that she wants to be a Princess Ghost, rather than just a plain old boring Princess.

10/26/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

I've heard that the binging is the best,too, because you just get it over with, and one night of sugar isn't as damaging as several weeks of little pieces. Plus, they get used to the candy over a long period of time, so that makes it almost harder to live without it when it runs out. One or two nights of total debauchery, and then it's all out of their system! Well, supposedly...

10/27/2005 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a 100% supporter of trunk or treats. My toddlers get tired walking around the block, but they can handle the trunk or treat. Our neighborhood trunk or treat is the best. We not only have the trunk or treat, but they show movies on the side of one of the neighbor's houses, they serve apple cider and candy apples, popcorn balls, there are games, - good times...

Of course, having a trunk or treat means that no-one is home to answer the door.

10/27/2005 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

"I will just secretly hate it and put in the minimum possible effort."

That's totally me! I really do not appreciate the celebrate of witchraft, ghostly visitations, and death in a really creepy way. My understanding is that in some parts of Europe, it's actually a celbration of those who dies (kind of like Memorial Day here) and all the graves get candles on them, and it's really beautiful. Here, it's just warped weirdness.

So if we don't do that, which a lot of people don't, then it does just become a party for party's sake. It's just wrong on so many levels.

10/27/2005 01:09:00 PM  

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