Let me preface this by saying I completely understand there are people that don’t care about Halloween.
I don’t expect it to be something everyone is into. You absolutely have every right not to enjoy taking part in Halloween – dress ups, lollies, and parties included.
But, what I absolutely cannot stand is those that go out of their way to make people who enjoy Halloween feel bad about the fact they do so.
Every year when October rolls around I see the same rude comments on social media from those who slam the spooky tradition in Australia. And the saddest thing… it’s not restricted to the internet either.
I’ve gone trick-or-treating many times over the years and too often I’ve seen vile notes stuck on front doors and gates telling people to ‘F*** off, I don’t do Halloween’, or ‘if you knock on my door I will call the police’, or one of my personal favourites ‘get lost, we’re not Americans’.
Add to that, the occasional loud mouth who thinks it’s his job to clear the street of the ‘vermin’ asking for sweets, and I just don’t understand why people are so upset by it.
I mean, what’s so bad about having ONE day a year, where we get to dress up and have some fun, eat lollies, get to go outdoors for some physical activity, all while being social, and meeting the neighbours?
None of those things sound like bad things to me. How many of us can say we actually know all the people that live on our street. And shouldn’t we be encouraging kids to get outside and hang out with their friends, instead of sitting on the couch in front of the TV, messaging them on Instagram?
And yes, I understand the notion of ‘stranger danger’ is ever present and we teach kids these days not to accept things from strangers. But if you know your neighbours then they shouldn’t be strangers. You don’t have to send your child trick-or-treating three neighbourhoods away if you don’t want to.
I’ve always been a fan of dressing up, and all things supernatural (basically every TV show I watch or book I read features some kind of demon, vampire, fairy, witch or angel), so Halloween is a natural fit for me.
Even as the daughter of a dentist, growing up I was allowed to go out and enjoy some sweet treats (often in excess) and it’s something I want my kids to be able to enjoy one day as well. Without the risk of being yelled at by an angry man chasing them down the driveway!
And to those adamant that ‘we are not Americans’ let me help clarify that Halloween is in fact NOT American.
It actually goes back thousands of years to a Celtic festival (yes, the Europeans came up with the idea first) Samhain, where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
It wasn’t until the second half of the nineteenth century, when America was flooded with new immigrants, millions of Irish among them, that Halloween became a thing in the states.
While Americans were the ones who came up with trick-or-treating, they did it out of a desire to mould Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighbourly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. And because Americans just do everything bigger, Halloween became what it is today.
If Halloween is not something you are into, then don’t put out any decorations and ignore any knocks to the door tonight. No one is expecting you to don a ghost costume and rock up at your nearest Halloween party either.
It’s pretty simple really. Hate Halloween if you want to. But don’t stop others from being able to enjoy the spookiest day of the year!
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