‘Modern trick-or-treaters’…

I LOVE Halloween!

And, only a few hours ago, we turned our lights out as we had run out of treats….even though I thought I had ‘overbought’!

We saw a lot of really cute costumes.  Many kids had gone out of their way in the imagination department – putting together the best non-store-bought costumes (those, along with the very young ones, got the most candy).  Our dog – with his traditional Halloween makeup (and ‘they’ said I can’t ‘paint dogs’) – got many pats and pets, though he seemed somewhat dissapointed that all these people (especially kids – he loves little girls in particular) who came to see him left so quickly…

And, I do have to note – this year, the ‘trick-or-treaters’  have been more polite than ever before.  Even the ‘bigger ones’ – the ones I think are too old to trick-or-treat, so I only give them 2-3 ‘little’ treats (or 1 ‘bigger’ treat – and I often pretended I was going to give them a ‘package of soup’…incredulity easily gave way to laughter), they were almost all polite and thanked me!  There were only 3 that did not (I kept count).  This is WAY more polite crowd than ever before.

However, there was something new this Halloween – somethig I had never seen before!

Well, two ‘somethings’…

First, there was a group of 4 girls, 14-ish, in ‘French Maid’ and ‘Tavern Wench’ type outfits…and two of these were, well, particularly remarkable…  Their outfits had been ‘highly’ sexualized – their perky little boobies were mostly hanging right out (making me worry about pneumonia, with the snow on the ground and all) while their skirts were too short to fully cover their g-strings… and, obviously as ‘part of the costume’, they were both sporting smoking cigarettes!  Yes, yes, I have seen enought ‘sexy’ outfits for ‘too young’ girls – but these two were, well, nothing like I had ever seen before!

Yet, they were very polite, thanking me for the candy and oooh-ing appropriately over the dog’s Halloween make-up.

Mind you, it looked to me like they were not really used to smoking.  It was the way they held the cigarettes in the ‘look, I’m holding a cigarette’ way…or in the way they tried way too hard to look natural as they tried to take a drag from them….  Yet, I do have to admit, I found their ‘way-too-young and in-your-face sexuality’ a little disturbing.  I expect that just taking a picture of them in their costumes would have constituted ‘kiddie-porn’! 

The second instance was perhaps even more disturbing… 

They young lady in question (16-years-old tops, she actually looked a bit younger than that) had a pretty benign ‘she-devil’ costume (by comparison).  And, she was also very polite, as was the bunch of her girlfriends (some looked quite younger than she did, so 16 years might have been too high a guess).  What was so striking about her was the fact she was carrying her baby-daughter (no more than 8-9 months old – and extremely cute, dressed in pink ‘princess’ outfit) on her left hip, as both of them were ‘trick-or-treating’ together.

I have never before seen two generations (in the same line) young enough to go ‘trick-or-treating’ together!  Perhaps I’ve lead a sheltered life…

Yet, everyone I saw tonight – from the young mom who lovingly made her baby part of the fun in her life, the provocative-costume clad young sirens using costumes to test the limits of their sexuality, the many (my Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu neighbours’) costumed kids, the parents and older siblings who brought the hords of thrilled costumed kids to my door – everyone had fun!  It brought everyone in the neighbourhood out and talking, joking, sharing, enjoying themselves! 

How dare some busybody ‘bannies’ try to take that away from all of us!

Happy Halloween – not ‘black and orange day’!

Today is October 31st – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

It is a most fun day – kids (young and old) plan fun costumes for weeks and decorate their houses.  Yet, the ‘Politically Correcet Creeps’ have started casting their shadow over even this innocent fun.

Schools have started to ‘replace’ Halloween with ‘black and orange day’!

Children are discouraged (or actively forbidden) from wearing costumes, Halloween-related activities are not happening, the spark of joy is being choked out of yet another beautiful tradition.

Why?

Because, we are told, some ‘Wiccans may be offended because it is a religious holiday for them’….

Well, I know many active Wiccans – and every single one of them is offended that Halloweeen should be replaced by ‘black and orange day’!!!  It may be a cross-quarter day – but the fun festivities and celebrations that everyone partakes in according to their taste and likes enriches the holiday experience for everyone, not takes away from it – in the eyes of Wiccans. 

After all, it is not a religious holiday for others, so why should it bother Wiccans how they celebrate it?  They’re happy people are finding time to have a little fun, because Wicca teaches that joy and sharing and finding pleasure in the ‘big and little things’ is a very important part of life!

‘Sanitizing’ all forms of fun  – THAT is offensive!

Deciding FOR the Wiccans that they ‘ought to’ be offended – then censoring everyone else to spare them this offence –THAT is offensive!

Sorry, I just loose it when I see bullies, banning and censoring everyone around them, claiming to do it ‘on behalf of’ someone else….without actually caring what that ‘other one’ thinks, because it really is just a convenient vehicle to drive their own agenda and nothing else…  Ok, so I don’t like bullies in any shape or form…and people who bully others and are not even aware they are doing it (or try to dress the bullying up so that they hope you will not realize you are being bullied) – well, they drive me mad.

So, what about other reasons being used to sour this sweet holiday?

Bad nutrition….  Yeah, pull the other one! 

My kids LOVE ‘getting’ candy on Halloween!  It is fun, exciting and they spend hours with their friends trading this tid-bit for that one….  and, I usually throw 90% of it out during Christmass cleaning…  I honestly don’t know anyone who actually eats ALL the Halloween candy and chips they get! 

Though, I have seen many kids donate sealed ‘semi-nutritious’ snacks to their schools’ ‘forgotten lunch pantry’ – where kids who forget their lunch can get someting to tide them over.  And, since my older son is too old to trick-or-treat, but he does walk his brother through the neighbourhood for safety, my younger son automatically splits his loot between them when they get home!  So, in effect, getting rid of ‘trick-or-treating’ is going to reduce our kid’s ability to be charitable and sharing, from things that are their own.  ‘Wonderful’ lesson…

Oh, but costumes are too expensive for some families.

OK, here is what I paid for my son’s costume:  $1.99 for face paints (Enough for a few kids’ faces), $2.00 for 2m of fabric (bought on sale at a fabric store for $1.00/m).  $0.99 for an elastic waistband.  That’s it.  I already owned some thread, a needle, some scissors….   And, some years in the past, we used ‘outgrown clothes’ for materials to make the costumes out of.  One year, we made a fancy cape by ‘borrowing’ a tablecloth and 2 pillows….once through the wash, all were ‘good as new’! 

Plus, sewing costumes is ‘OK’ for boys, as well as girls!  So, now my boys have acquired a skill… not that they boast of it.  But, they HAVE it!

My first Halloween in Canada (I was too old to ‘trick-or-treat’, but a few of us dressed up to chaperone my friend’s younger brother as he went around.  I was MOST impressed that my friend’s step-mom had also dressed up – and unabashedly had fun!  That was most excellent – it was OK to be silly!

I had a ball!  But, my family was VERY short of cash then….so I had to borrow some makeup (my friend’s step-mom had fun ‘doing me up) and I used our curtains and drapes to make a ‘fancy ghostly gown’ for an evening, uning clips (no cutting, no sewing, no pin-holes allowed)!  Cost?  $0.00.  Fun?  100%!

Which brings me to the last major objection:  immigrants might be unfamiliar and alienated.

As an immigrant, who was completely unfamiliar with this Halloween custom prior to arriving in Canada, let me put these fears to rest.  THEY ARE NONSENCE!

Halloween was EXCELLENT for me!  By teaching me about it, and helping me get my costume together, I got WAY closer to the people who would eventually grow to be my friends!  It was ‘an opening’ to talk to me – an opportunity to talk about more than just math homework…  My classmates felt good telling me all about Halloween.  Doing this, they were including me – all the while they were proud to show off this most fun holiday – and now I was PART of ‘IT’! 

It was just what was needed for this awkward, shy immigrant kid was to no longer just keep her head burried in a textbook and watch everyone from the sidelines – people MADE me PART of the celebrations!  I had fun!

I truly felt included! 

If anything, NOT celebrating Halloween will REDUCE the oppotunities for newly arrived immigrants to socialize, to make friends, to successfully integrate!  And it will suck another bit of enjoyment out of living…

So, what do I have to say to those who would erode yet another cultural icon?

Quoth Xanthippa:  NEVERMORE!