I find it hard to care about Halloween
I’m Just Sayin
by SHEILA SMITH
I’ve always been fascinated by Halloween and all its creepy crawly fun. Plus, if someone’s handing out free candy, I’m there.
Of course, growing up, my sister and I were never allowed to participate in Halloween activities due to a strict religious background. In fact, the first time I actually went trick-or-treating, I was 24 and helping a friend escort her nephews from house to house.
I was taught Halloween was the devil’s holiday though even as a kid, I disagreed with that overall theory. But some felt dressing as a princess or astronaut was evil and meant you were worshipping the devil.
“Can I dress up as a Bible character?” I would ask.
“No, that’s idolatry.”
Instead, we had festivals where we basically celebrated Halloween without calling it Halloween, minus the costumes.
“Isn’t this still Halloween?” I would ask.
“No, it’s a festival. Go bob for apples and be quiet.”
I always thought once I was an adult, I would be able to join Halloween activities and dress as an overgrown pumpkin if I felt like it, without fearing eternal damnation. Of course, I have yet to do so.
My cousin and I, both from the same religious background, were discussing this over coffee recently.
“I always say, ‘Next year, I’ll dress up,’ then I never do,” she said.
“I think it’s deep-rooted fear of damnation,” I said. “The good thing, though, is that we can pick out whatever Halloween candy we want. We have to buy it now but, still, we’re in charge of the candy.”
I think my upbringing also influenced how little I care about Halloween activities, private or public. I don’t feel Halloween is a necessity (except for the candy). After all, I never participated in Halloween events growing up and I turned into a functioning citizen. I don’t feel the need to seek therapy because I was never able to dress as a Disney character.
So, I have to say this on behalf of every aspect of my life, public or private: It is hard for me to care about Halloween. Last week, I went a little berserk when I realized I had written incorrect hours for local municipalities’ trick-or-treat schedules in the newspaper. My email, Facebook, office phone and cell phone started exploding during lunch.
Honestly, I’ve seen less panic during hurricanes.
That particular day, I was in the midst of transcribing an hour and a half worth of recordings from the previous night’s candidates’ forum in Welsh. This meant I would listen to five seconds of speech; pause; type; rewind; then replay to ensure I typed the right words. But I had to put all of that aside because of my Halloween typo.
Finally, at my desk, with the graphics designer and staff writer shielding their selves in the hallway, I had a meltdown.
My rant cannot be published.
So, I finally got my act (and correct information) together and posted the correct trick-or-treat hours on the Jennings Daily News Facebook page and prepared to run the correct hours in the following edition.
Then, a new wave of insanity started pouring into my email, office phone, cell phone and personal Facebook.
“Why aren’t the Halloween activities held on Halloween?”
“Really?” I asked one friend who text me. “They aren’t trying to change the date of Christmas, friend.”
The main reason some municipalities and churches are not having Halloween hours or events on Oct. 31 this year is this: Churches have Wednesday evening services and many local kids attend Catechism classes. I mean, when you weigh Jesus against free candy, yeah, many would find Jesus more important.
I don’t think any person is worshipping the devil if they dress in costume and ask for free candy.
Still, I do respect those who choose to have free-candy fun the day before Halloween out of reverence to the time they spend in church.
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