Radical idea: Let people enjoy Halloween
Halloween is commercial?
I just saw an article where the author warned people not to trick or treat at their door, because commercialism.
Is Halloween commercial? Of course it is. But is that the real reason for Halloween humbugs? I don’t think so. You can always make your own costumes if that worries you.
It’s a vicious cycle, anyway.
Retailers aren’t going to miss an opportunity to sell stuff and we would be outraged if we wanted to buy stuff but were forced to order it from overseas.
Yes, the plethora of plastic crap isn’t ideal. Neither is the sugar consumption and I get that kids approaching strangers is the antithesis of what we often teach.
BUT! Hear me out here.
It’s also really nice and fun.
If you have a party or actually take your kids trick or treating, there’s a lovely sense of community and belonging. People are NICE to each other. They chat and laugh and dress up. The scare factor is doused in good humour and kindness.
But, the sugar! Sugar is the devil!
If you have real concerns about kids having lollies, you can join in with healthier treats or give out something else. One house I went to last year was giving out little toys or games. You could give out stickers or fake tattoos, bubble mix, reduced sugar lollies, small packs of crayons, fun erasers- get creative!
America- we love to hate you!
A lot of the anti-Halloween sentiment comes not from anti-consumerism, concerns over dental health or child safety. All that is often a smokescreen for anti-American sentiment. But many don’t even bother with the smokescreen.
Our kids are exposed to American films, tv shows, books, comics, foods, music and more. And when they express an interest in being part of a celebration like this, why are we so shocked and outraged?
Besides, it looks like some people are embracing the traditions but also making them our own as well!
It’s not even American!
Halloween isn’t even an American tradition. It’s origins are pan-Celtic and technically, we are in the wrong hemisphere to celebrate it at this time of year. Yet, we celebrate Christmas (the pagan celebration appropriated by the Christians etc) as a secular nation, with many arguably American traditions embraced, and no one bats an eye. Funny, that.
In all seriousness, though, of all the American things we could adopt, their Halloween celebrations are one of the most awesome.
Opt out, without being a jerk.
If the scary sugarfest isn’t for you, that’s fine. You can totally opt out. But you can do it without being angry that other people are having fun.
Lots of streets that celebrate have an opt-in deal, with participating homes agreeing to decorate or put up a balloon. If you’re not sure, put up a little note saying “no trick or treating please”. I’ve seen that done and explained to the kids that some people aren’t into it. They understood that and happily move on to the next house. No big deal.
It’s not hard to let people harmlessly enjoy themselves. The world has so much negativity; we could all use a break from that.