Tis the day that children look forward to all year long. The day where they aren’t just permitted but encouraged to run around the neighborhood and load up on free candy.
What a goofy tradition.
I’m not quite sure how bags of candy evolved from a pagan celebration that involved talking with ghosts on the night of the year where they supposedly walked the earth. So, as often happens when I’m curious, I looked it up. You know what happened? In the late 1800s a bunch of Americans thought all this nonsense about talking with the ghosts and using the night when “the lines were blurred between the living & the dead” as an excuse to make mischief was ridiculous. But instead of doing away with the holiday, they decided to keep the excuse to celebrate by making it more family-friendly. Instead of dressing up like dead people, they encouraged people just to dress in silly costumes. Instead of having poor people beg from door to door for cakes in return for prayers for the dead, they encouraged kids to go door to door and beg for treats.
So now I know a little more and I still think Halloween is a goofy tradition. And one that’s gotten ridiculously out of hand. Here are some numbers on Halloween from CNN:
- Consumers will spend $8 billion this Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation. (that’s a lot of cheddar!)
- 71.5: Percent of Americans who plan on celebrating Halloween this year. (How do the other 28.5% get away with skipping the holiday?)
- 41 million: Potential trick-or-treaters ages 5-14. (or in my town ages 2-18)
- $79.82: Amount Americans will spend on candy, costumes, and decorations.
Oh I’m no Halloween scrooge – my light will be on. I’ve got bags of good candy – not the cheap stuff – waiting to be poured into bags. I’ll see at least 200 trick or treaters before my night is over. I’ll enjoy seeing the little ones that are so excited to be dressed up. I’ll enjoy seeing my own gang of kids dressed up and wearing big smiles. I decorated and all that jazz.
But between you & I – I have a hard time getting excited about this holiday.