Year eight at this apartment and I am still astounded at the lack of interest that this neighborhood has in Halloween. I had exactly one trick-or-treater, which is 100% more than usual.
If it’s true that Americans will spend over 7.4 billion dollars on Halloween this year (does that include the day-after clearance purchases?) then those statisticians were never in this area. Maybe they were studying the remarkable Halloween Parade in lower Manhattan?
Or were they driving through suburbia? Back when I was Mrs. Suburban Wife And Mother, I enjoyed my holiday decorating skills, using no outdoor electricity or intentionally offensive images. It was so much fun to dress the inflatable skeleton and seat it on the porch, to set up the ceramic spooky light-up houses on the sill of the big living room window, make masses of cute candy bags for the neighborhood kids.
Those kids are grown now and I hope I contributed to their childhood Halloween memories. It’s a fun holiday with no family obligations, no furtive phone calls in the weeks preceding asking “Where are we celebrating this year?” and “What obscure gift do I have to buy for your kid?” Yes, it has a long history dating back to the ancient Druids, but in its modern American incarnation, it’s a day to try on a new persona, to pretend to be that princess or superhero. It’s the day when neighbors welcome your knock on the door and reward it with candy.
What’s wrong with these people? Are they too busy to let their kids do the things that they’ll remember as they get older? Don’t the children want to recite, “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat?” Aw come on, loosen up, be glad we have these fun traditions.
As for me, I only own a few of the Halloween decorations that I used to. I wasn’t even going to use them this year but decided two days ago to just do it. I like candles and they fit right in. It makes me happy.