Friday, 1 November 2013

This is Halloween!

I absolutely love Halloween.

I love the costumes, the stories, the movies and the atmosphere.

I didn't really go trick or treating as a child, not until my friends and I were old enough to take ourselves, but that was only once or twice.

I love the scary movies that come on TV, and the classics like Hocus Pocus and Casper.

It's all good fun.

My most favourite memory of Halloween, is spending it in San Francisco when I was 8. The Americans go all-out for Halloween, the same way they do Christmas and it is amazing. Everyone joins in. I remember visiting the house of Robin Williams (yes, THE Robin Williams) and even his house was decorated with cobwebs and skulls. My sister and I carved pumpkins, dressed like witches with green facepaint and broomsticks and got to experience Halloween in a way most of us can't even dream about. 

I'm probably on my own here, but I don't really see why people have an issue with it?

This year was the first year that Princess was old enough to understand. When the costumes came out in stores, I explained to her about Halloween. I told her that people dress up in scary and funny costumes and go to parties. Then I told her about trick or treating. I explained that trick or treat was a game where children dressed up in spooky costumes, knocked on peoples doors and said "Trick or Treat" in the hopes they would get some sweeties.

I'm pretty sure she didn't fully understand and didn't really hear anything I said apart from the word 'sweets', but either way, we planned on taking her anyway. It's Ross's nephews 4th Birthday today and the tradition is to have a small get together of family and then take the kids trick or treating. It's a lot of fun! I was so looking forward to this year because it would be Princess's first time in joining in, she could experience it for herself.

And she was so excited! My manager had given her a witches costume to wear. We bought her a witches hat and wand to go with it. She'd dressed up every day this week and asked if it was Halloween yet! She was so excited and she didn't even understand it properly.


We headed out around 6.30pm and knocked on a few peoples doors. We only knock on the doors of those who have decorations in the window or a pumpkin outside.

And do you know what? The kids loved it. Neither of them could stop giggling every time they found a new house with spooky decorations, they would shout "trick or treat!" when someone opened the door and would laugh when the people inside pretended to be scared.
Princess shoved all of her treats straight in to her bag without looking. For her, it wasn't even about what she was receiving from these houses, but just the fun of it had her excited.

I don't see it as her "begging" for sweets. She's not knocking on someones door in the middle of the day asking for a biscuit. She is a little girl who has dressed up as a 'scary' witch in the hopes of getting a treat in return. In fact, I'm not even sure it's that, she just liked knocking on the doors and talking to people. It was new to her and it was exciting.

Why is that a problem?

I can see many issues with Halloween and I won't deny them. Anyone who is in secondary school (so over the age of 11 really) probably shouldn't be joining in, unless they are joined by younger family. Then you really are just begging. There were quite a few groups of older kids out tonight, obviously in their teens, dressed up and knocking on doors. I don't agree with that. I'm not saying older kids shouldn't have fun on Halloween, but they're really not doing it for sweets now are they?

Quite a few people on my Facebook have been arguing over Halloween and how they don't agree with it and how it frightens them. The answer is simple. Many newspapers, police stations and Post Office's will give you a sign to pop on your door or window that says trick or treaters are not welcome. I can promise you, no one will be knocking on your door if they know you're not going to be answering it. The problem is then solved.

Most parents will only let their children knock on the doors of houses that are decorated. If your house doesn't have a pumpkin outside or a lantern in the window, then it's probably just teenagers trying their luck and you're right not to answer your door. Adults are smarter than that.

I also don't want to hear the argument that the elderly are vulnerable. Out of all the houses we visited tonight, I'd say 85% of them were old couples who were sweet, charming and utterly smitten with the children. They don't see an issue with it, so why should anyone else? They are smart enough to check the windows before they answer.

There are so many arguments against Halloween and trick or treating, but there are so many ways that I can argue against it.

My little girl, who has just turned 3, is not begging you for sweets. She wanted to dress up as a witch, the same way she does as a Princess, and yell "trick or treat" to strangers. The sweets were an added bonus (so was the satsuma which was her most favourite of all!). I think you could give most kids a stick and they'd be quite happy with that. It's the experience that matters the most to them.

So next year when you want to post statuses and messages ago how you don't agree with Halloween, just remember that it is all in good fun. And you don't have to join in if you don't want to. At the end of the day, it's all about the children, and that's what really matters


1 comment:

Jess McGlynn said...

Here, here!! I also agree, we didn't knock on any doors that didn't have some kind of halloween decoration outside and several people on our street had signs up asking for no trick or treaters, which we respected. We only had one group of boys who were on their own, everyone else was with a parent and you know that parents aren't going to send their kids knocking on every door they can. It's a shame people have to find things to complain about, my kids loved it!