I’ve written about this day: “Halloween, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” It’s difficult to ignore.
There’s so much about the holiday that’s fun, kids-oriented, playful, and interesting even in terms of Christian history. But a lot has changed in the past thirty or so years, such that Halloween has also become a time for celebrating the grotesque, blood, gore, and the occult. Not much in the ugly parts of Halloween that commends it to anyone, much less children.
Frankly, though I love the fall season and both one of son’s and my birthday fall near Halloween, I’m generally glad when Halloween is over. This is the case primarily because television changes so dramatically in the three-week run-up to October 31. Every gross and gory film ever made is trotted out for reruns. Other than for sports, I try to stay away from television even more than usual during this time.
Halloween for kids? If that means candy, costumes, and a fun night in the dark for a couple of hours, I’m all in. Celebrate the innocence of children. It’s harmless.
I go a different direction when the twisted, demonic, and insane killer costumes emerge. I guess I never liked so-called scary movies, horror—I’ve never read a Stephen King novel—and certainly didn’t get into slasher films. Classic film noir, Yes. Bloodfests, No.
It's an interesting though meaningless coincidence that the world's population hit 7 billion today, on Halloween.
But I’m not against Halloween.
Last Friday, we hosted our maybe 15th or so annual pumpkin carving party. Kids, grandkids, friends, food. Great fun and some rather creative and artsy Jack-o-lanterns.
I flew to Phoenix today. Several airline staff members were dressed in Halloween costumes. It lightened the day.
Tonight, I intend to walk a Mesa neighborhood with Lebanese American parents and their two little guys. Looking forward to it. I've walked many a street in earlier years with kids and grandkids and hope to walk many more. Much fun.
In the end, Halloween is like most other things we can experience. We can choose to lift it up by our values and behavior or we can tear it down by the same. It’s a human thing, which is perhaps the scariest thing of all.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011
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