No tricks or treats

It’s Halloween. I am opting out this year.

I was thinking one day that I have “done” Halloween, in one way or another, for most of my life. I’ve been a trick-or-treater, I’ve been a door-answerer-and-hander-out-of-treats, I’ve been a costumed teacher organizing the class Halloween party, I’ve been the accompanying parent of a young treat-or-treater, I’ve been a Halloween party-goer … in fact, the only times I haven’t been somehow involved with Halloween were the couple of years that I lived in secure buildings where kids couldn’t come to call.

And now I’m tired. I’m tired of spending my hard-earned money on treats for the neighbourhood kids, most of whom I don’t even know by sight any more. I’m tired of having a couple of hours of my evening being unable to do much of anything except wait for the damn doorbell to ring. I’m tired of racking my brains trying to come up with a good costume that I’m comfortable wearing – which, by the way, really doesn’t exist. I’m basically tired of feeling hostage to a so-called holiday!

Does that make me a snarky old grouch? Some would say yes, it does. But you know what? I figure I’ve done my time with Halloween, so I’m entitled to . I loved running around the streets at night as a little girl, I enjoyed going to parties as I got older, I had a lot of fun (even with my usually lame attempts at a costume) with the six- and seven-year-olds that I taught at our class Halloween parties, I delighted in taking DD trick-or-treating when she was little, and I got a real charge out of opening the door to who-knows-what, oohing and aahing over the costumes, and tossing a chocolate bar into each bag.

But I don’t want to do it any more. At school today, I didn’t dress up. I didn’t check out any of the various Halloween activities in various classrooms, nor did I sample any of the Halloween goodies that were kicking around. And my porch light will not be on this evening. Instead, I will likely be holed up in my TV room, watching something uplifting like “Location, Location” on my lovely new flat screen HD TV.

So don’t bother ringing my doorbell tonight, because I won’t answer it. I wouldn’t dream of deliberately and maliciously upsetting any youngsters who love Halloween just as I did when I was their age, but they’ll just have to get their sugar fix elsewhere this year. I’m simply not doing it any more.

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14 responses to “No tricks or treats

  1. I find it a little sad that other countries feel a need to copy this silly “holiday”.
    I actually feel left out of the Halloween fun, since I’ve not had to deal with trick or treaters for almost 20 years. I am not complaining about that, though.

    • VioletSky – And today, the day after opting out of Halloween, I honestly don’t feel like I’ve missed a thing at all! Mind you, I did get some of the Halloween spirit at school yesterday, so maybe I’m not exactly the poster child for non-participation in Halloween. 😉

  2. The retailers are trying to adopt Halloween as a real holiday into the Netherlands, but it’s not really catching on and why should it? It’s not our holiday. I hate this commercialization of everything. It’s bad enough at Christmas. Call me a grouch too. I’m boycotting the effort.

    • Nora – Exactly. Halloween is a rather peculiar North American custom. I think the Dutch – as well as most Europeans – are far too intelligent and sensible to adopt something so … well, silly. Halloween is silly, really.

  3. I think I love you. You expressed virtually everything I think about Halloween. You captured it all, baby sister!

    • mrwriteon – But there’s more! I didn’t write about how awful I think it is that Halloween has become such an adult “holiday”, how it now seems to be the one day of the year where perfectly respectable women delight in dressing up as skankily as possible. (And why don’t the men do that too, I’d like to know?) Or about this whole “trick-or-treating-at-the-mall” thing as a better alternative to going door to door. (It may be safer, but it’s sure as hell boring.) I guess I’ll get to that next year!

  4. Obviously, I am in England like Mrs Jones and as she says, it is not really a big deal here. When some of the neighbours’ kids were small they used to come round trick or treating, but no one came this year (or last). I would not let mine do it – you can’t spend all year telling them not to take sweets from strangers then take them out and encourage them to do just that.

    • Alienne – That’s a very good point about taking candy from strangers – and many parents here are thinking more and more about the hypocritical nature of Halloween. Legalized begging, some have called it. But the most exciting part about Halloween for me when I was very young was just being able to run around the neighbourhood at night, when normally I would be safely ensconced in the house, probably already bathed and in my jammies, being read to before one of my parents tucked me into bed. I liked the goodies of course, but for me, that was quite secondary to staying out late.

  5. Good for you. I’ve been done with Hallow’een for several years now.

    Join me in grouchitude.

  6. We don’t have Hallowe’en on the same scale here in the UK at all. I’ve never been trick or treating, and I’ve never ever had anyone knock on my door. What’s more, I can’t think of anyone else who has, either. The big supermarkets have, over the years, been making an attempt to get the British to take it up (can’t miss a commercial opportunity, you know!) and there are now huge mounds of pumpkins just inside the doors and some ready made costumes for small people in the sections where you would normally get school uniforms and socks and underwear, etc., but it’s still not really taking off.

    The most I do is wear a long sleeved black t-shirt that I got from JC Penney’s in Las Vegas one year that has a silver web embroidered on it, scattered with coloured acrylic spiders sewn on with glow-in-the-dark thread, and light a few candles for the souls of my departed loved ones, so they can find their way home.

    • Mrs Jones – Halloween is definitely a very North American phenomenon. Even in this global world we now live in, I don’t think something like that can really be successfully transported to another continent. And that’s okay. Let’s just leave Halloween where it is, I say – even if I don’t want to “celebrate” it any more.

  7. Good. For. You. 🙂

    • Nicky – Oh yes, I’m quite the rebel, aren’t I? I do think a lot of people had the same feeling about Halloween this year, though: I didn’t notice very many trick-or-treaters on the streets at all, and mine wasn’t the only house with the porch light off. Maybe I’m just part of a trend?