Why I Like Halloween So Much
Posted by Luther D. Powell on October 4, 2012
I’d like to start with a thought or two on last night’s presidential debate…
HAHA!!! Just kidding. I’m gonna talk about Halloween.
I couldn’t tell you why everybody celebrates this holiday, because I haven’t done a ton of research on it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but what I remember is that “All Hallow’s Eve” originally had to do with honoring deceased ancestors and celebrating the harvast. I can’t lay out a solid reason why people celebrate it in this generation, but I can throw in my two cents on why people like it so much.
So, it’s definitely not like Christmas, where you’re celebrating the birth of Christ/winter solstice, depending on what you believe, and where families gather around a big tree opening and giving gifts, and eating Christmas dinners. No Nativity scenes, Santas or reindeer decorations.
It isn’t like Easter either. If you celebrate Easter, it’s common to dress your best for an Easter Sunday church service, which I guess could be compared to dressing in costumes, but also not. Halloween has no Easter Bunny or peeps or egg hunts or Easter baskets. There IS a lot of candy, though.
It’s not like Thanksgiving, where most families get together and eat until they can’t walk anymore.
Halloween has no mascot like Santa or the Easter Bunny. It doesn’t usually have huge feasts like Christmas or Thanksgiving. Doesn’t usually involve giving or getting presents. Why do people like Halloween, anyway?
When I was very young, I didn’t care too much about Halloween, to be honest. My parents didn’t let me go Trick-R-Treating until I was in seventh grade. Their reasoning was a combination of keeping me safe from neighborhood crazies and, at the time, not letting me do what most other parents in my church were keeping their kids from doing because Halloween got flak for being “evil” and whatnot. Maybe it still does, but when I was little, Christians didn’t even talk about Halloween. I even have a faint memory of a buddy from church once telling me, “My mom doesn’t let me celebrate Halloween because she said it’s Satan’s birthday.”
I’m pretty sure Halloween wouldn’t be very popular in the USA if it were commonly agreed to be the birthdate of the devil, but maybe I’m wrong. People unknowingly celebrate the devil all the time. To me, a holiday is what you make of it. When I finally got my taste of Halloween and the joy of having my candy bag filled to the brim, it was beautiful. The simplicity of dressing in costume, getting lots of candy and watching scary movies with friends almost made it not feel like a holiday, but knowing that it returned every year made me hopeful every October.
My reasons for enjoying Halloween may have changed over the years, but now it’s come to this. It’s not all about the candy, though candy is great –especially when it all goes on sale! I could say a lot of it has to do with the costumes and creepy stuff, but that’s not the root of it either. See, I like creepy stuff one way or another, and Halloween is just a way of expressing that without shame. I have an extremely morbid sense of humor and I love monsters, ghosts and ghoulies, so I let those interests run wild on Halloween. Costume parties are also fun, even if all I ever do at my own is dress up and sit around watching scary movies (a lot of people tend to dress up and do… other things). To me, the best part of Halloween is fellowship with friends. Kind of a cliche reason, but think about it.
At Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and all other holidays except Halloween, who do you spend the most time with? For me, it’s my family. Which is nice. I like my family. I think my family’s pretty cool. Sometimes, my friends throw Christmas parties and get together also, but in the seasons where everyone is traveling to see family, it’s hard to set up fun times with friends only. Halloween, all friend time. I can have friend time whenever I want to, but Halloween is an excuse to bring people together to do stuff that I pretty much only ever do alone on a regular basis: watch scary movies and dress in costumes –er, eat candy. Not everybody likes creepy stuff, but when I can get a crowd of friends together to enjoy such things, it makes me feel great. My friends might not invest their time in the same things I do, but they’ll invest in each other and they’ll invest in me and I in them. I have so much fun at Halloween because when everybody else dresses up as some character they like or whatever, I get to be my regular, weird self and not feel judged or ashamed of it. When everyone else wears a mask, my mask comes off.
That might sound sad, but as a horror author, I’m constantly taking into consideration how many people don’t spend time delving into the macabre, so I don’t go out of my way to talk about it. At Halloween, that’s all you see: monsters and ghosts and jack-o-lanterns (which are also fun to carve). People talk about the ‘dark stuff’ because it’s impossible to ignore it, but I like to use the season as an opportunity to bring up the afterlife and salvation in Jesus. Sometimes, to see the light, people need to see the dark first, and that’s exactly how I plan to write horror that could bring people to Christ. Halloween works the same way, AND you get candy.
Here’s a picture of me and my best friend dressed as a two-headed monster for Halloween. Thanks for reading, cheers and God bless!
Luther D. Powell
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