Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Putting the HAPPY in Happy Hallowe'en! A Public Service Announcement

I've always liked Hallowe'en. I mean, who doesn't like Hallowe'en?

Oh, right - this guy:

You know what I say to him? Lame. I mean, seriously. There is ALWAYS that person who needs to fight the power, who needs to get all political, or dramatic, or controversial, or contrary…all synonyms, by the way, for LAME. Sure, Hallowe'en is commercialized. Sure, it probably has little to no resemblance to its origins. But here's a question: WHO CARES? Do kids love it? Is it a fun and relatively harmless way to squeeze a little joy out of a dreary fall evening? Does not celebrating Halloween really cure childhood obesity or put Hershey's out of business? And as for having children "mooch" off of their neighbours, give me a break. Aren't we really just trading candy? You bought some, I bought some, we pass it around and now we have lots of different kinds! Diversity! Yay!

I personally feel that one of the best parts of Hallowe'en is the sense of community we get from it. No joke. This year, for the first time ever, we were "ghosted". I first heard of this tradition last year, and got to experience it a few nights ago. Made my whole week. I opened the door to find a bag of candy along with a ghost-shaped note saying that I'd been ghosted by a neighbour and it was now up to me to put together 5 ghost bags and deliver them to other neighbours. Once you've been ghosted, you put your ghost-note on your front door to let people know that you've already been hit.  E and I had so much fun knocking on doors and running away, giggling. If you look around our neighbourhood, they're everywhere. It's awesome.

Also, the parents on our block decided that we would take our kids out to a few houses, and then get together on our porches to drink grown-up punch and give out candy. Sounds to me like a lovely evening. Last year, our first in Ottawa, we met some of our neighbours for the first time while trick-or-treating. And for the love of god, it's FUN!

So as I said, I like Hallowe'en. But I've never gone all out hog wild with it. The last time I dressed up was in my early twenties, and aside from a jack-o-lantern or two, I don't do much in the way decorations. I sure eat the heck out of some candy though. Now, however, having a munchkin with whom to celebrate changes things. I have seen a steady increase in my Hallowe'en involvement in the last 4 years.

This year is definitely my best work. She's a devil, and we had a dry run with the costume at a party on the weekend, complete with face paint by mama. Not bad, right?

Also on the weekend we put up decorations and each carved our own jack-o-lantern, although mine was kiboshed as a result of rottage, and squirrels took care of the other two within a couple of hours. Today, I sent E to school with this for lunch:

And tonight we'll be feasting on this before heading out for candy:

It's fun fun fun, and while I totally get not having the time/energy/inclination to spend hours crafting in the kitchen, I think deciding not to celebrate Hallowe'en in order to support some lofty principle or other is a missed opportunity to relive some of the excitement of childhood and, stop me if I've said this, just plain lame. So, if you haven't already, suck it up, get out there and buy a box of candy and put a smile on some kids' faces tonight. Because I'll tell you what - if there's one thing you can never have too much of, it's smiles. And if you're biggest problem is having an extra box of miniature kit-kats lying around, then count your blessings and quit your bitching.

Happy Hallowe'en!!!!


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