I love Halloween. I always have. It's the second biggest holiday of the year, and gaining rapidly on Christmas. But, the last couple of days, I've been trying to figure out what it is that I love so much about the 31st of October.
For kids, the answer seems obvious -- it's the trick-or-treating. And yet, when I really think about it, even when I was a kid, the candy was secondary. I never finished the candy that I got. Besides, we would, periodically, go through one of those hysterical periods, where everyone was afraid of razor blades ending up in the candy -- they would x-ray your bag at school -- so you would end up with a bag half full of tooth brushes, and coupons. I always thought the hysteria was a little over the top. Not only was the "razors in the candy" just an urban legend, but who was dumb enough to keep on eating, once you hit the blade? We were kids, but give us a little credit. So, anyway, it's not the candy.
Dressing up? We all love to dress up. It's fun to be someone else, for a while. But, I don't even do this much, these days. But, I do enjoy the challenge of putting together costumes for my kids, without making them look cheesy. The hardest costume we have had to create, was for my oldest, then 5 year old, daughter, who, after looking around the living room for a good ten seconds, announced that she would be a lamp for Halloween, that year. Yes, that says lamp.
As an aside here, I need to vent. We were ripped off, as kids, when it came to Halloween costumes. Take Superheroes, for example. When I was a kid, a Spiderman costume would have consisted of a stupid plastic mask, that you couldn't see out of, and that the elastic would break off of, before the end of the school Halloween parade, and some kind of cheesy, plastic shirt that said "Spiderman" on it, and may have even had a PICTURE of Spiderman on it. That's not a Spiderman costume, it's a Spiderman billboard! Today the kids look like Spidey, and even have web slingers, that shoot silly string. What a gyp!
Anyway, here's why I think we like Halloween: It's the culmination of Autumn. Fall, of course, lasts, technically, right up until Christmas. But when we think of Autumn, we think of the colors and the leaves, and the cool, but not yet cold weather. By Halloween, most years, it's a good bet that the weather will still be relatively mild, and there's still a lot of the aspects of what we consider a beautiful Autumn around. And mostly, I think we are drawn to Halloween, because it's a community holiday -- even more than Christmas. We gather for parties, and festivals throughout the weeks preceding the 31st, and then on Halloween we literally go out and visit the entire neighborhood. When else in the year are we more closely knit, as neighbors, and friends, than at Halloween? At least that's how it is here.
Well, there's my two cents worth, I'd be curious to hear why you like Halloween?
One more thing.
Have you ever taken a picture that seemed like a mistake at first, but, the more you looked at it...
I took this shot this afternoon. At first it was just a blurry picture of my girls, and I passed it by, but for some reason I didn't delete it, and I kept coming back. There's something about it that attracts me, and I'm not sure what it is. I'm dangerously close to framing it, and hanging it on the wall.
Am I nuts?