Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Almost Upon Us (Caution: Rant)

I don't do Hallowe'en. Don't come around my place looking for treats -- and whatever you do, don't try any tricks! The house will be dark and uninviting, and I'll be laying low in a back room, stitching, and hoping no one rings the door bell. Or maybe, just maybe, this year I'll sit bravely in my living room, every light blazing, and dare trick-or-treaters to go away.

Why don't I "like" Hallowe'en? After all, it's just a cute kids' holiday, isn't it? Wrong! In recent years, it seems to me that the pagans are finally getting their own back against the Christians, who co-opted this ages-old Celtic celebration centuries ago in the hopes of making converts. Their weapon of choice (at least, in North America)? Commerce!


Hallowe'en used to be an evening when you could take your wee kiddoes out, dressed in cute costumes -- often home-made -- and expect to come back with some candy, and maybe (if there were a dentist on the route) some raisins, peanuts, popcorn or apples.

The fresh, unpackaged treats went out long ago, when someone reported that a sick soul in their neighbourhood had put razor blades in the apples, or laxatives in the chocolate. Those Who Are Laughing All the Way To The Bank immediately took matters in hand and created snack-sized wrapped candies etc., available in large bags -- but never with enough in one bag to distribute to one's estimated number of visitors, so one always had to buy more than one needed, and have too many left over. They never last till the next year, and one doesn't want one's kiddoes eating it all, so....more fuel for the Diet Industry, too.

Then TWALAWTTB came up with factory-made costumes for harried working parents, who wouldn't have time to sew/make costumes with their kids, from old clothes or thrift store finds. It followed that someone had to regulate how masks were made so the kids could breathe properly. Enter Hallowe'en make-up that was more than one's mom's lipstick or a face powdered with flour.

Last but not least, TWALAWTTB came up with Hallowe'en cards and decorations. Little plastic pumpkin-shaped lights with which to festoon your trees (to be replaced by Christmas -- er, Holiday -- lights a few weeks later. Or not.) Simulated cob-webs. Plastic tombstones etc. so one could turn one's front lawn into a graveyard. And there's more. And the cards! They haven't caught on completely yet -- judging by the numbers I've seen in recent days, that remain on the average card-store rack -- but eventually the producers thereof will have more to laugh about on their way to the bank.

Will I change my mind after I have grandkids? Not likely. I'm not prone to supporting participation in what has now become an Industry, complete with regulated, packaged costumes, cards, decorations and edibles. Let their parents do it. If you want me, I'll be in my studio.


Anonymous said...

Good thinking! The only thing I like about Halloween is that I can buy some nice chocolate on sale the day after. Our lights will be out too that evening. There are so few children in the neighbourhood, it's not worth it to open the door.

Anonymous said...

Amen, sister. I also don't like all the darkness and ugliness in the stores, movies, tv, etc. My favourite day of the year is Nov 1, when Halloween is over and we get to start thinking about Christmas. Now there's something to celebrate!