I am a displaced New Englander with a Halloween confession to make: I don’t get it. That’s right, when it comes to Halloween I don’t understand how it has become such a big deal. Of course my confusion may be abetted by the fact that, despite two moves of house, lots of willingness, and full preparation, I’ve not hosted a trick or treater in more than twenty years.
I love fall and, despite the less dramatic change of season in northeast Florida, there is a definite change here, too. The humidity decreases (hallelujah!) and the temperature drops a bit. Moving into the 70 degree temperature range (even a little bit) means that some of my southern neighbors will break out their boots and sweaters.
Did You Know… Pumpkin is a Fruit
How did I manage not to notice that Halloween preparations now seem to start right after the new school year and continue until the Christmas “stuff” shows up a week or two before Thanksgiving. As with so may things I don’t understand, I turn to the internet and the hoards of humanity who know more than I do. There I learned that it’s considered good luck to see a spider on Halloween. No offense Halloween-lovers, but I think I’ll dig out my horse shoes and other non-arachnid good luck charms.
I was surprised to discover that Halloween is the second biggest consumer holiday in the US, second only to Christmas. How on earth do people manage to spend So much on pumpkins? I’m no longer a big consumer of sugar but I know candy isn’t cheap: I learned that more than 35 million pounds of candy corn is produced here each year. I didn’t look for total October candy sales. When the chocolate and caramel are added in, that’s got to be a staggering number.
Trick or Trivia: Houdini Died on Halloween
Unless you’re in farm country, corn stalks, hay bales, and pumpkins carry a decent price tag — and my guess is that “pumpkin spice everything” is not included in the total holiday cost calculation. However Halloween aficionados know the real money goes for costumes. With Halloween having grown from an evening to a season that makes some sense.
Neighborhood parties. School parties. Rec center events. Fairs. Trunk or treats. Do the littles now wear a different outfit for each event? Or, are they still like my son and his friends were: madly in love with a costume that was worn on every opportunity they could create. Sometimes they even tried to sleep in them.
Hollywood Has a 24-Hour Ban on Silly String
Something about those costumes make sense to me. Creating dress-up boxes for the little kids in my life and putting together homemade costumes can be a lot of fun. ( I say “put together” as my sewing skills are, at best, minimal.) The one I remember most fondly is the fully-wrapped mummy. Superman was kind of fun, too.
Pretending to be someone else has value. It’s an interesting paradox, don’t you think? On the surface, a mask helps a person hide yet it seems to reveal as much as it hides. Pretending opens doors. Introverts find social energy. Writers develop new points of view. Little kids learn empathy. The ability to see things through another’s eyes is a very real super-power, is it not?
Here are some other thoughts on the subject.
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. ~ Oscar Wilde
It’s the monsters that don’t wear costumes that scare me the most at Halloween. ~
No one can long hide behind a mask; the pretense soon lapses into the true character. ~ Seneca The Younger
What are your thoughts on Halloween? Do you celebrate or not? Do kids come to your house for candy or are you in a trunk-or-treat zone? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!