Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Boy, October flew by, didn't it? And now it's almost Halloween. When I was growing up we didn't observe Halloween. One year though, my mother dressed up my oldest brother and I and allowed us to trick or treat on the next block over.

I was dressed as a little Dutch girl. Since I already had blond butt-length braids and a pair of wooden shoes (a gift from some furloughed missionaries), it was a fairly simple matter to come up with most of the rest of the costume. My mother--a fantastic crocheter--crocheted me a lacy winged cap.

My brother was dressed as my little sister. Even at seven he was NOT impressed when more than one homeowner remarked on his fantastic eyelashes (the real deal!) He couldn't wait to get home. Not even the prospect of candy made him happy.

That was my sole foray into trick or treating.

I'll admit after all these years I really don't see the attraction in Halloween. For those who are Wiccan, I certainly respect the celebration of Samhain. But trick or treating and the other ways of celebrating have very little to do with the observation of Samhain.

Of course, when you get right down to it, as a culture we secularized all our holidays. Christmas and Easter are a weird mix of pagan and christian. Other holidays are odd observations of what we think might be right.

And ninety percent of it is commercially driven. What if everyone sat back and just decided "NO!" What if we refused to buy into the faux holidays? What if we observed only what we truly believed in--sacred or secular?

Am I the only one sick of seeing Halloween stuff in August and Christmas stuff in October? Surely I'm not the only one who is baffled by all the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. At our home we have a twenty dollar limit on gifts. And some years that's a real burden. Why on earth would anyone spend money they don't have?

Heh. A couple years ago my father and his siblings set a two dollar limit on what they could spend on each other. The two dollars had to cover everything--including the wrapping. And the two dollars had to cover six people. They had to be creative and really think about what the others would treasure. And in the sharing on Christmas day they created new memories--something far more valuable than any gift they could buy.



  1. I definitely can't stand seeing the Halloween stuff in August or the Christmas in October. It drives me crazy.

  2. It is sooooo wrong to jump from Back to School right into Hallo-Christmas! Advertise Halloween first, then Thanksgiving, and finally Christmas the day AFTER Thanksgiving.

    Pretty soon, every single holiday promotion will be up year-round it seems. And that's just wrong.

  3. I'm not super big on Halloween, except the history of the holiday is interesting. As a kid, I just liked the Nestle's Crunch Bars. Still like the Nestle's Crunch Bars!

  4. Well...I suppose chocolate is one reason to continue the holiday!

  5. The only holiday I really love is Thanksgiving. And then only when it is small and intimate. I tried for years to make holidays all inclusive affairs, inviting swathes of my family and even larger swathes of his. It just didn't work. So many people do this weird turfing thing where they only extend themselves towards people they already know. Now, I don't try. I have four kids. Six people in one room can create all sorts of drama. No need to invite other participants.

  6. I just spent out on Halloween candy today. Gritted my teeth too. Expensive. I didn't buy the stuff to decorate the house this year, though. I just had a pffrrt moment about it all and walked away from the Halloween aisle thinking: D'you know what? Sod off!


  7. Elizabeth, Thanksgiving is another one of those holidays that isn't much about...thanksgiving, is it? I'm with you. An intimate dinner sounds lovely.

    And Natalie? No Halloween candy this year. What's interesting in the States is most parents let the kids collect it, but then they throw is all away in case someone has tampered with it. No. Just No.

  8. I love Halloween - not sure why exactly but probably because I have such happy memories of the holiday from my own childhood.

    That said, I don't go crazy with it now. I have some ceramic jack-o-lanterns I use from year to year and I make sure my own children get some opportunity to "celebrate" either at a party or a short go of trick-or-treating, but that's it. I have a real double standard when it comes to candy. I used to collect a pillowcase full which I had full access to, but they get a small bag which I then dole out piece by piece over the next month :)

  9. Oooerr @ people tampering with it. That's just mean.