It’s a nice idea, don’t you think…that the spirits of the dead come back one night each year to revisit their homes and loved ones? That’s sorta, kinda how it all began in Ireland and parts of Britain. Then the Catholic church got involved and Christianity and paganism grafted when the church named November 1st ALL SAINTS DAY making October 31st ALL HALLOWS EVE. If you’ve seen Hocus Pocus, it’s all familiar.
Later Irish immigrants introduced the practice to the USA with a night when treats were shared and mischief was made. After that commercialization stepped in and now we can purchase 36 tiny, individually wrapped and specially printed Snickers bars for $9 at our corner Walgreens.
Wait. When you stop to think about it, Hallween is a confusing holiday. We teach our kids never to take candy from strangers. Except on Halloween, when as Rita Rudner pointed out, we dress them up and tell them to beg for it.
Still, I LOVE Halloween! Not the candy as much as I love the idea that we can put on new faces and become someone different than we are the rest of the year. So far this year I’ve been a zombie, an owl, a clown, a witch, and tomorrow I’ll be a brain surgeon.
Mostly, I love the wee ghosts and goblins in their adorableness. The creativity of people boggles my mind. The costume and decorations. The pumpkin carving and the autumn culinary treats. Mostly though, I love how Halloween unites people. Last night at a party it was easy to make friends with strangers. A bat. Glenda, the good witch of the north. The Joker. The Grim Reaper. Skeletons. Pirates. And because this is a political year there were lots of Donalds and Hillaries.
Not all were in good taste.
One Hillary was in chains and in prison orange. I actually approached the most convincing Donald. “That’s a terrific Trump wig,” I told the guy who was dressed as the devil, horns on top of a wind-swept blond mop.
He glowered. “It’s not a wig.”
Thankfully, I was able to flare my cape and blend back into a crowd of other ghouls.
FYI…the photo for this post always makes me smile. It was taken a couple of years back when some of my kids indulged me and dressed as zombies. They didn’t want to do it, but this mother doesn’t ask much…just, “Shred your clothes, drench yourselves in fake blood and follow me into the forest.”
I would love to hear your memorable Halloween stories.
Happy All Hallows Eve, friends! Be safe and spooky at the same time.