I love Halloween. Like, probably as much as I love, say, Christmas, but with less of the pressure of finding good gifts and having enough money to be evenly generous to everyone, AND with less of the stress of all the crap that comes with working retail during the holiday.*
Here's my Top Three Reasons Why Halloween is the BEST:
1. It's practically made for the weirdos.
As a lifelong weirdo, I approve of a holiday where you can be as strange, as creepy, as out-there as possible--are even encouraged to be that way--without any of the usual side-eyeing that people in the world give you when you're weird the rest of the year. I mean, as a chronically ill, extremely nerdy, goth-at-heart, introverted creative with no "real job" who would rather stay in school forever than join the "real world", I get a lot of side-eyes, and it gets tiresome. It's nice that there's a whole day when people are allowed to be spooky, to wear whatever they want, to experiment with making things and being things, to dress up in ways you'd NEVER get away with the rest of the year...it's like weirdo heaven.
Also, there's lots and lots of random things with ravens on them all the time, and Poe gets a boost in popularity, and movies where the weirdos get to win the day without giving up their weirdness are all over the TV.**
I'm not even going to pretend it isn't the candy that I look forward to each year as much as anything else. Because when else can you just walk up to strangers' doors and they complement you on whatever you're wearing and drop a handful of candy in your bag? I mean, that's epic.
Plus, there's the day after, when all the stuff that didn't sell goes on steep discount to make space for Christmas stuff as if Thanksgiving doesn't even exist***, and I LOVE me some discount spooky versions of normal candy. Things like Reeces Cups and Snickers, their holiday-candy versions taste better. Go ahead and compare! It's true.
3. The undercurrents are still there.
Halloween started out in end-of-harvest festivals and the start of winter. In a recognition that after the bounty comes the darkest and coldest days of the year. And it sort of merged with ideas about how you should remember your ancestors and the spookier sides of the spiritual life we all lead.
I like the idea that there's a time of year when families can sort of be back together again. I like the idea that we should celebrate our harvests without denying the darkness. I like that there's a kind of break from the relentlessness of whatever we've all agreed on as "reality" for a day or three.
My family, being poor and scattered and pretty nomadic, doesn't have a graveyard we can all go to--most of the don't have graves at all, and I don't know where the jars of ashes even are****--but I like that this idea sticks around, of remembering your loved ones and including them in your festivities. We, as a family, don't do this much, but it's a thing I think I'm going to work on in my personal way of living, because it's a good idea.
And my gramma always did love candy.
What's your fav parts of Halloween?
**My fav weirdo movies: The Craft, Practical Magic, Coraline, Casper, The Adams Family, Hocus Pocus...
***Christmas really needs to learn to stay in it's own lane, even if I love it and all the fat bird ornaments that come with it. Let Halloween and Thanksgiving breathe, Christmas!
****One of my life goals is to build a family archive where all the people in my family can go with some of their stuff and a lot of their pictures, and all the living people can come visit them in a known and defined space.
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