Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Recap – Part 3 Assessing the Holiday: Things I Applaud and Things I Boo.

Okay. This will be my last Halloween post. I promise...I think.

Because I can be, well, somewhat opinionated I thought I would make a little list of things about Halloween that I truly enjoy and things that get under my skin, and because I am a blogger, well, that makes my opinions worth reading. Right? Are you still there, reader?

Things I Adore About Halloween

Children in Costumes
Tell me. Are there many things sweeter than children dressed up as ballerinas and ladybugs, pirates and cowboys? I think not. And, by the way, my favorites are always the handmade and/or crafty ones. $4, a trip to the local Goodwill, and some hair paint and you’ve got yourself a Beetlejuice! Seriously, a friend’s son dressed as this and it was amazing! It was like I was looking at pictures of Michael Keaton.

Schools that Allow Children to Dress in Costume
Thankfully, my son’s school is tolerant of children being children and allows them to wear their costumes to school on Halloween.

Mums, shocks of corn, pumpkins, and fall leaves. Is it a coincidence that these wonderful creations in nature are each at their best at the same time of the year? Again, I think not. There is no better designer/decorator than God.

Old and new ones, Trick-or-Treating, Trunk-or-Treating, a plastic orange pumpkin ready to be filled with candy, porch lights that are on, real carved pumpkins, making treat bags for the school party, visiting with friends, supper with family, and, yes, even toilet paper hanging from my trees and my kids on a sugar high for a day or two.

Things About Halloween That Are Like Nails Down a Chalk Board to Me

No Costume, No Candy
There is no welfare system in Halloween. If you want some candy, you need to work for it. Dress the part. Put forth some effort. Teens and young adults of the world (and even old adults), I will gladly honor Halloween and give you candy when you knock on my door, but only if you honor it by dressing up as something other than a “teenager”. Pretending you're Bella Swan won’t cut it either unless you have a pale, sparkly Edward on your arm.

Tacky Costumes
Yes, I am speaking to you, unwed teen mother who showed up at the CHURCH-SPONSORED trunk-or-treat a few years ago with a midriff shirt on and had your large, about-to-pop belly painted as a pumpkin! Same goes for people attending this same event dressed as THE DEVIL! Enough said.

Schools that Won’t Allow Costumes on Halloween
Come on now, really? As a teacher, I'm all for learning. However, must we be so test-crazy that we refuse to let kids be kids just a few times during the year or so scared of a lawsuit from the parents of the one kid in school who finds it offensive? Relax a little. Take a break from the rigidity of paced lessons or, better yet, study about the holiday. What a novel idea! And for those of you with perpetually jerking knees, buck up and grow a backbone! The other 99.9% of children have rights, too, you know.

For the love of all that is good and decent, pleeeeaaaasssseeee take down your Halloween -themed yard decorations in a timely manner. If you are going Christmas shopping for early bird specials the day after Thanksgiving and you walk by the twenty-foot high inflatable ghost in your yard on the way to your car, there are some priorities MIA. This is true of all holidays, though. Christmas lights hanging above Easter eggs are also just as wrong. On the other hand, pumpkins, unless they have facial features, corn and mums are permissible throughout November, so says me.

What? Wasn’t this on the good list? Yes. Yes, it was. Here’s the thing, though. I have no problem with Trunk-or-Treat. In fact, I love it, think it serves a great purpose as a community event, and have taken my children to the one in our town for a few years now. It provides a good alternative for people who are new to town, live outside of town or in unsafe neighborhoods, etc. It can also be a type of ministry when done by churches. My problem with it is this...I do not like it when it is in lieu of real trick-or-treating. I miss neighborhoods with porch lights aglow and the sound of crunching leaves and acorn tops under the feet of children walking through yards. Now, especially when your town declares that the night of the community Trunk-or-Treat will be the night of official celebration, most lights are off because most people are lined up in town. I just think it’s kinda sad. And since I am a nostalgic person I say, “Town of Tyla, make the Saturday before Halloween the Official Trunk-or-Treat Event and celebrate Halloween on Oct. 31!” Remember, I’m a blogger so what I say counts for something. Doesn’t it? Are you still there? Hello?

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