Saturday, October 15, 2011

Confessions of a Halloween Agnostic

Halloween is by far the stupidest holiday of the year (unless you count Administrative Professionals' Day) and no convoluted rationale about its "religious" origins can convince me to buy into it. If I'm a Halloween "Scrooge" for refusing to cooperate with a custom in which I must give a treat to strangers in exchange for them not practicing some sort of vandalism on my property, and if that attitude is uncharitable, earning for me only a lowly rung in Purgatory, then so be it.

From October to February we have five holidays on the calendar for which candy or some other form of empty calories is recognized as a central theme. My blood sugar goes up just thinking about it. I've heard of dentists who keep their office open late on Halloween so kids can bring their haul of sweets and exchange it for some non-food thing that won't rot their teeth.

Something about being required to willingly suspend my disbelief in order to play this elaborate little social game brings out the rebellion in my soul. Every year we plan to be otherwise occupied somewhere else so we can avoid the shameless little blackmailing beggars. Sometimes we go to a movie or plan evening activities for dinner, shopping and running errands. If all else fails—like it's Sunday and we don't shop or go to movies—we turn off the lights and don't answer the door.

There you have it. I am a Halloween agnostic and likely to remain so. What about you?


Shakespeare said...

Sorry, but I would have to say the stupidest holiday is Columbus Day. Hate it.

Fortunately, I don't have to hand out candy to a bunch of kids dressed as Columbus on that day. That would really stink.

Stephanie Black said...

I absolutely love Halloween, and I don't see any veiled threats or blackmail in kids coming to the door in their Power Ranger and princess costumes seeking candy--I'm pretty sure they aren't planning to vandalize the place if I'm out of Kit-Kats :) I think the "trick" aspect of Halloween is from a bygone era, carried on, perhaps, by only a few teenagers who'd smash pumpkins regardless of the candy being offered; the phrase "trick or treat" is not a threat anymore.

I love having trick or treaters come to the door, and I love going trick or treating with my own kids. The crisp fall night, the glowing jack-o-lanterns, the excitement, that unique "Halloween candy" smell of all the candy mixed together in a bag--some of my most fun childhood memories are of Halloween.

And, of course, if someone doesn't want to participate in Halloween, there's no reason they should feel pressured to do so. Nothing wrong with turning off the porch lights or leaving home if you don't enjoy it!

jww said...

I don't mind the trick-or-treaters but I hate it when they're not polite. I don't actually OWE them anything, and "Thank you" isn't that hard to say. I just hate the gore and creepiness. Fear is the antithesis of faith.

Jordan Williams said...

Careful. You'll be visited by three... real people which will represent Halloween past, present, and future. Fortunately, they are all marketing representatives for candy companies.

Janet Kay Jensen said...

I wasn't home, but while hubby was, the treat was halloween pencils. I'm sure our little tricksters just adored them, but I didn't want temptation hanging around our house the morning after.

However, the tricksters who visited my sister's house, where I was, were as cute as can be. Made me smile.