I’m somewhat of an anti festive dissident grinch, hence I’ll be glad to see the backend of Halloween.
I’m not sure whether it was the severed foot dangling from a piece of rope outside the neighbours house or the dog dressed as an ‘s’ walking across a lawn looking like something from The Exorcist, but I’m over it. I refer to spiders as ‘Ss’ because I simply can’t bare these eight legged hairy creatures that are ubiquitous during this time of year.
You can’t even have a pint in a pub without having to fraternise with a plastic ‘s’ dangling out of a fake web in front of you. Why not leave them out of festivities altogether? People are putting them on cupcakes and everything. I nearly died when I saw a big furry one in the chemist the other day. And what’s with the vomiting pumpkins?
So much has changed since my youth.
Not wanting to sound like I made my way across The Sudetenland in the 1940s unchaperoned and barefoot, but when we were kids we wore an industrial sized bin liner or a pillowcase with some holes for eyes. We got hard nuts and mandarins and stood around a bonfire fire outside our house. The craic was mighty.
Now parents throw money at Halloween with vigour. It’s all cheap flammable crap, which gets disposed off tomorrow. Despite our faux interest in the environment, the consumerism around this time of year is extremely distasteful. Dispensable costumes, cheaply manufactured plastic decorations- all to be thrown out without thought.
But who cares when there’s competitive costumes to parade around the neighbourhood. None of this pillowcase homemade stuff, now it’s all gratuitous violence, killer clowns, zombies, kids with hatchets and blood dripping down their faces.
A mini Freddie Krueger with an axe sticking through him and some a fake fingers hanging around his neck asking for sweets outside your house. ‘Please sir have you got some more?’
The irony. The chocolate and candy hunt that occurs is the total anthesis the characters the kids are dressed up as.
My three year old was telling me how ghosts, vampires and spiders were going to come into the room at night and hurt her while she was sleeping. How upsetting.
Young children’s brains aren’t fully developed. They can’t decipher between what’s real and what isn’t. I was scared she’ll have nightmares because she was traumatised by the visuals outside people’s houses and on telly.
These hyperrealistic costumes are making kids more desensitised, which is worrying. Can they not dress up as fairies, pirates, or superman?
Needless to say, I don’t get dressed up on Halloween- it’s not deliberate subterfuge, I’m just not into it. My daughter and I went to Burning Man, a huge fancy dress event amongst other things in the middle of the desert in Nevada this past summer and neither of us wore any of the stuff I had purchased in the fancy dress shop. A total waste.
So in response, I won’t be buying anything new this time round and my daughter will just have to wear something I bought already. She’ll survive.
Like all other parents, I’ll just have to ensure she doesn’t go into a sugar induced apoplectic fit with all the trick-or-treating we’ll be doing. Luckily I’ll be on hand to help by either eating or hiding her loot.
The tradition of underage masked miscreants demanding sweet gratification dressed as Stephen King’s IT progressed from the Celtic festival of Samhain, which marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year.
Back in the 15th century, Christians shared soul cakes, either as representatives of the dead, or in return for praying for their soul during Allhallowtide, which takes place between October 31st and to November 2nd. They typically asked for “mercy on all Christian souls for a soul-cake,” a far cry from the greedy charade it’s become- mostly mine.
I know sweets pander to the underdeveloped palates of kids, but I’ll take em. I’m not discerning about any, even those hard candies that rip your teeth out. After all, you can’t have the kid eating them.
As a conscientious objector I don’t have a choice but to opt out of annual proceedings to so I’ll take my daughter for a leisurely walk around the neighbourhood this evening, siphon some candy and go home, hoping there won’t be too much racket outside.
I always feel sorry for dogs around Halloween- the poor frightened things. Jumping up at the launch of a cheap fireworks or general loud antisocial behaviour. There’s always young kids setting fire to stuff, throwing furniture and tyres into bonfires, making a nuisance of themselves and wasting police and emergency services around this time. Another reason to be a grinch about Halloween.
Anyway, despite my objections, I’ll take it on the chin. I’ll carve out a pumpkin, stick it in the garden, buy chocolate and hope for the best. If you build it they will come. Or not. Either is fine.
Then once its over with, we can throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the next annual custom with relish and gluttony- Christmas, which starts tomorrow.
Brace yourselves. Its about to get worse.