The time of year when the Halloween/All Hallows Eve posts starting getting dredged up, passed around or published anew. Since imitation is the best form of flattery, let me just say in reference to that last link, "I'm soooo done apologizing for not liking Halloween!" There I said it. I just don't like it. And it's not because I think it's a secret Satanic celebration. It's not because I'm a helicopter mom who doesn't allow her children to move 2 feet away from her without a bike helmet and knee pads on lest someone skin their pwecious wittle knee. It's not because I think I'm a better/holier/truer Catholic for not celebrating it. I promise it's not. Please believe me, friend. We are on the same team, right?
Honestly, I don't like to be scared. I never have and my childhood "friends" can testify to that. (I'm looking at you Stephanie Durocher who used to delight in hiding around corners or behind doors and jumping out at me!) Roller coasters never interested me, spooky houses never even crossed my mind as a fun thing to do and it only took one Freddy Krueger movie to turn me off the whole scary movie genre. And my kids don't like to be scared. They like to be warned when a jump scene is coming up in a movie. They love watching battles but they don't like gore. They like to know where the Halloween section is at the local store so that they can avoid it because it creeps them out and will come back to haunt them at bedtime making their night (and my night) miserable. And frankly, some people, just don't get that or allow for that. They think we are wimps, coddling our girls or raising unmanly/wussie boys. We prefer to call them "gentlemanly" and they can describe for you in detail the differences between the various Gladiators who fought in Ancient Rome. They just don't want to watch Gladiator. Then again, I didn't either... my dad made me and I kept my hands in front of my face the whole time.
I made the Zebra costume and the pumpkin was a hand-me-down.
We tried trick or treating for the first three or four years of having kids and it just never clicked for us. Now, there are other reasons we don't trick or treat that include reasons like a neighborhood with rolling hills and fast driving teenagers, no side walks and very few street lights. But frankly, I know those are just our preferences and not really arguments. But I'm not here to argue about it. I'm perfectly happy to let you go pound on doors, scoop up all the free candy you want and eat it to your heart's content! In fact, I make sure we set out a bowl of candy no matter what we are doing so that we aren't perceived as spoilsports. If the first kid who comes along grabs all of the candy and runs, he's ruined it for everyone else, not me.
|My candy for the neighborhood kids ready to go.|
And it's the GOOD stuff!
Aside... Hallowmas is a real word (it refers to the Mass of All Hallows just like Michaelmas is the Mass of St. Michael and Christmas is the Mass of Christ's Nativity) but there is not and never has been a Hallowmas Triduum! The word "Hallowmas" doesn't even include All Souls Day (which was added later) so how can it be coupled with the secular celebration of Halloween to create a "Triduum"? We are smarter than that, people! Just because someone wrote it on the internet doesn't make it true. /end rant
But it's really no surprise that there is so much bad history behind this holiday since most experts can't even agree on how the traditional American Halloween got started. Yes, Scottish immigrants probably brought over the idea of "guising", dressing up and going house to house performing for treats but that wasn't just an All Hallow's Eve custom.
In our country there are carried on at Christmas time a sport call’d Mummery by the English Borderers and Guisardery by the Scotch. ~Sir Walter Scott, 1826
But it doesn't matter how it got started, it is what it is now. Kids get dressed up in fairy tale or scary tale garb and get to step out into the night (usually with the hand of Mom or Dad nearby) and knock on doors saying "trick or treat" when what they really mean is "Just treats, please!" and it's all innocent good fun and it's relatively easy and one less thing that makes you "weird" because it's something that can be shared and enjoyed with neighbors and friends no matter their political or religious beliefs. Nobody likes feeling like the weirdo all the time.
You'll notice that I am intentionally ignoring all arguments about slutty costumes and freaky weirdos who answer the door with live snakes around their necks because I recognize that those are probably not the majority of the people participating in the kiddie fun.
All I ask is that you all who celebrate Halloween in the traditional American way (because they didn't do it in Europe until we imported it a few decades ago) please ignore the mostly Protestant condemnations of being Satan's spawn. Because, from what I can tell, it's not us, your fellow Catholics who are laying that charge on you. And if it is a fellow Catholic, it's most likely someone from a small group of radical traditionalists. You don't pay attention to them any other time of the year, so why start now? (UPDATE: I have been informed that some fellow Catholics who are not of the the Rad Trad variety are the ones saying that it's a Satanic celebration. Bad history, my friends! It's done so much damage. Don't let it do anymore.)
Oh YES I made that Thomas costume and then gave birth exactly 13 days later!
And that was before I started blogging. I did it just for him.
Just like fireworks on the 4th of July, Halloween is optional. If you want to celebrate it with princess zombies and pirate witches, go for it. Have a blast! But don't bully us for opting out. We promise not to call you Satanists, m'kay? And let's both agree to celebrate the feast day (you choose when you want to start) with just as much gusto and vivacity because that's what's really important, right?