Q: Do you like Halloween? I like some aspects of it, but there’s something creepy about it.
A: Okay, you got me—I hate Halloween. Except 6th grade when I wore my pink woolen long underwear and went as the Pink Panther—good times—or all the candy I used to get.
But other than that? Count me out. I hate anything gruesome (I know, I usually talk all “love and light” but I really have strong opinions on this subject so I’m just letting it fly), I really hate to get scared, and I abhor anything giving energy to that lower energy that is monsters, fear, scariness, and on. I think there’s enough scary stuff in the world—why add to it?
That’s also my viewpoint on most all scary movies, as well, but I’m probably not going to win that fight anytime soon.
I think what really bothers me is that we have a chance to celebrate all sorts of fabulous holidays, and yet look at our major ones: New Year’s (let’s drink and get really stupid), Easter (let’s hunt for eggs and look for big bunnies), Thanksgiving (okay, that’s got a good basis, but it’s really mostly about eating until you puke and watching football till you fall asleep), and Christmas (what did you buy for me? How much sugar can I consume and how much eggnog makes you gain ten pounds? Oh, and Santa Claus, for sure).
You see my point? I recently watched “God Grew Tired of Us,” and while one of the Lost Boys was talking about Christmas, I think his attitude applies to most all of our holidays. He asked some simple questions: why do you put up Christmas trees, and what does Santa have to do with Christmas? In Sudan they dance around and celebrate Christ’s birth. Period. No presents, no trees, no Santa, no candy or reindeer or eggnog.
So we attach symbolism and meaning in a way that’s important to us. If that’s true, then Halloween is all about acquiring and eating a truckload of sugary goodness.
For men it’s acceptable to dress up like a woman (hey, correct me if you haven’t noticed this), and/or promote all sorts of scary and grotesque images including bones, brains, blood, monsters, bats, parodies of witches (they don’t wear pointy hats and fly around on broomsticks, folks—in fact, they look just like you and me), eyeballs, wolves, you add to the list—there are plenty of more things there.
But what about All Saint’s Day on November 1? Why not celebrate that? Or how about Day of the Dead? I’m totally all about that, having a parade that ends with a picnic at the cemetery, eating skull cookies.
Sure, it’s kind of gruesome, but in a cool kind of way. We’re celebrating our ancestors’ lives, and acknowledging the whole circle of life thing by embracing death and walking hand in hand with it, not by making it larger than life and by making fun of it. I personally don’t think there’s a darn thing funny about death, and I certainly don’t want to glamorize it.
You say you like some aspects of Halloween, but didn’t mention which things, so I’m assuming you’re more of a moderate like I am. I imagine we may be in the majority.
I’ve only met a handful of die-hards who just love Halloween and go all out. The rest of us may dress up, buy candy to give out, and ooh and ahh over the little kids’ cute costumes (okay, I admit it - the babies in the pumpkin jammies are adorable). But the rest of it? Spare me!
Think about what you’re doing the next time you support something by buying the costume or prop or whatever. I personally have never let my kids dress up as anything scary (yeah, they loved me for it, years of pumpkins and Bart Simpson and Whoopie Cushions—whoopee), so while I don’t boycott it totally, I do keep my morals and integrity throughout (hopefully).
It’s fun to have fun, so if Halloween is fun for you, then go for it.
But also maybe leave room for other celebrations to include in your yearly repertoire. It can broaden your cultural and spiritual horizons and add to your fun.
Create your own rituals. This is the time of year of the autumnal equinox, when the days are the same length as the nights. This is the time of death and of hibernation, the time when we slow down our outer lives and start to go within. There are a whole slew of options right there.
Don’t be afraid (hah) to walk to the beat of your own drummer. You could serve to inspire others and help to make yourself a better person.
Trick or treat? I’ll take the treat every day, but make mine low-sugar, please.
Personal Note From Susie
Dear Readers: I have loved answering your questions for this column for over three years now. I have always given your questions careful consideration, doing my best to be fair, objective, kind and supportive.
However, sometimes I’ve received questions that are too complicated, complex and difficult for me to answer. I am not a licensed therapist or counselor. I am just a writer, trying to help you any way that I can, hopefully also entertaining you a little along the way as well.
You may not always agree with my answers and that’s just fine. You’re all entitled to your opinions. However, if I feel I am not qualified to answer your question, I won’t, but there are several other options if you need help.
If you’re in dire trouble, please call 911 or contact any number of hotlines.
If you need to talk to someone, please call a licensed counselor or a pastor or trusted friend or family member. There’s no need for you to suffer in silence or to feel alone.
I care about you all, and although I try my best each week to present the best help that I can, sometimes your questions go beyond my abilities, so if I am talking to you, please get the help you need.
I will answer all questions that are signed with your full name, and containing all of your contact information, including address, phone and e-mail address (if you have one). I will continue to do my best for all of you, and I thank you for your continued support of my work, just as I continue to support all of you. Thank you.
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