I despise Halloween. Let the hate mail commence.
There are just so many things about this holiday that irritate me, so for those closet Halloween Scrooges, I’ll be the scapegoat and speak out. Bah Humbug.
Just for the record, there is much I love about this season. I love the warm days and crisp nights. I love the changing colors of the leaves (when hurricanes don’t wreck the whole thing). I love picking apples; harvesting, roasting and freezing my pumpkins for later use; switching our summer clothes over to the winter batch; and especially, I love that there’s no more humidity, so baking can commence in earnest. I prepared my sourdough starter last week, ready for the cinnamon rolls that are a highlight of every blizzard, and most likely responsible for my increasing waistline.
My pantry and freezers are stocked, and I’m ready for hibernating. There’s only one bump in the road: Halloween.
How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.
First, I abhor anything scary. I have never watched horror movies. I personally think they are the most inane part of our culture, apart from Jersey Shore. There is nothing – absolutely nothing – fun or pleasant about being scared. That’s why we call it being scared. When people tell me, “I love watching horror movies. I love being scared!” that’s all I need to diagnose a mental illness. Honestly, one horror movie will undo all that Wii yoga you’ve been practicing. Why do that to yourself?
Then there are the decorations. We’ve been forced to look at Freddy or Jason or some horror movie character for a month every time we look out one of our front windows. There’s also a temporary graveyard. (just ask Linda Davis), I don’t appreciate this. They probably don’t appreciate seeing my husband’s broken-down work van in our driveway, either, but that’s not conjuring up visions of Night of the Living Dead. Unless there’s a horror movie about a dingy gray Dodge v8 out there, but I wouldn’t know.
I might have homeschooled for this reason alone: elementary school Halloween parties. Oh, the horror! When I was a kid, we actually had to make our costumes, and they were usually pretty benign, but very creative. I made a robot out of a cardboard box, Noah’s ark out of a cardboard box. The cardboard box was standard costume fare. Now, it’s plastic, polystyrene, pre-made in China pop-culture icons taken out of a plastic bag. No longer is imagination front and center. We’ve taken what could be the most artistically ambitious time of year for children and turned it into another retail boon. Blech.
Then there’s the worst horror of all: the candy. The yearly dilemma: let them eat it all at once, not sleep for four days and be done with it, or stretch it out for an eternity, one little piece per day. I do the one piece per day method. I recently threw out a large bag of candy that had lasted since last October 31.
I don’t mind the chocolate bars too much, but they’re gone by the first week. It’s the icky, gooey, dye and fructose infused packages of damnation that mock me. Usually, I’ll let the kids have a few while screaming about their fillings being ripped out of their skulls, and then I’ll sneak them into the trash, too. Which makes me wonder, why do people spend the money on that junk when it’s going to end up in the incinerator anyway?
In a week all the madness will be over, and I can concentrate on my second favorite holiday (or is it my third?), Thanksgiving. Everything is natural, homemade, wholesome and there’s nothing scary at all, except for the European colonization and destruction of Native American society. Sigh. I think way too much.