A Fearless Halloween Tradition
I began to wonder why it is that I enjoy October 31st so much?
I have a birthday very close, so maybe that is why I enjoy it.
No, that isn't it. Although it made for fun birthday parties when I was younger.
Could it be all the candy?
Well, the candy is yummy, but that is not it either.
Dressing up is fun too...but, no, not why I love Halloween.
After some reflection, I think I may have figured it out.
Let me start by telling you that I grew up in the Midwest. I grew up in a neighborhood dominated by Henry Ford history. My neighborhood knew how to celebrate Halloween. Blocks and blocks of houses would don their porch lights just as the sun was beginning to go down. My friends and I would strategically plan our route with pillow cases in hand. Off we would go, chanting "Trick or Treat!" One of our favorite houses was a house that gave out fresh homemade popcorn in a brown paper sack. You could smell the popcorn several houses away. Another house gave away delicious Michigan grown apples (yes, you read that right, apples sans razor blades). House after house, the streets filled with young people laughing, chanting, smiling.
How often today do we let our children be children?
How often do we let them dress up silly, send them outdoors, and then eat candy as a family?
Sadly, the answer is not very often.
Today, there are very few children on the streets and even fewer houses that participate in the ritual of passing out the candy.
Because fear has taken over. Fear that our candy will be tainted with razor blades, fear that our children will be kidnapped, fear that Halloween is just too dangerous for our children. Growing up, there was no fear. Halloween was one day a year where children could be children.
I have such fond memories, and in my soul searching, realized that this was a gift, a gift that I have tried to "regift" to my own children. It hasn't been easy in a culture filled with fear.
But, come every October 31st, I try.
I try hard to make it similar to those days of my childhood.
So this October 31st, I challenge you to embrace Halloween. Turn on your front porch lights, open that door with a big smile, and remember you are creating a memory in the life of a child. And while you're enjoying yourself, don't forget to enjoy some of your children's candy too.
Talk Back to the Trio
Do you pass along any traditions to your children on this day? Which ones?