I came up with the idea of a year-long series of holiday reviews. Since Halloween is the official start of the “Holiday Season” I thought I would start with it.
I remember as a child, Halloween was one of my favorite days of the year, so it’s with a sense of irony that I reflect on how much I loath Halloween as an adult / parent.
As a child I relished the idea of dressing up in costume and going to school for our costume parade. Then that evening, I would go out with my dad, knocking on doors and getting candy. Free candy!!! I remember there were always 2 or 3 houses that if they knew your family then they would give you a regular sized candy bar instead of the mini. This was the best thing ever for a 4-foot-10 200-pound kid. I was in hog heaven. Souie!
As a teenager it was all about haunted houses, and overnight horror-movie-festivals with my buddies which was cool. The problem is my group of friends was A-typical in that we did not get drunk or smoke pot or any of those things, in other wards we were a parent’s best dream. Most of these teen parties going on were drunken orgies of the John Hughes variety.
So what on earth about the above description could possibly be appealing to me as a parent? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Halloween brings out the worse primal instincts in children. Greed and gluttony. So best case they don’t beat up another kid for his loot and don’t develop type-2 diabetes. So sorry, but that hardly seems worth all of the time and expense that goes into the whole damn thing. Best case for teenagers is they don’t get Chlamydia. And that is not too appealing to a parent either.
But you can’t blame the children for this at all. It’s the parents that are 100% to blame because Halloween also brings out the most base instincts in a good number of them as well. This includes: The need to have the best Halloween decorations to “out-do the Joneseseses”. This leads to huge expenditures on lights, pumpkins and even the costumes they buy for their kids.
Then there’s the need to make sure their kids get “everything they deserve and have coming to them”. I can’t tell you how many parents have knocked on my door with their 6-month old baby in their arms and a couple of kids in tow and after giving the kids their treats, the mom says in a baby voice “Hey don’t forget about mine”, meaning the 6-month old. It’s pathetic. I heard a story a while back about a guy who owned a video store and on Halloween one year he decided to hand out brand new VHS copies of popular movies instead of candy. He did this for 2 years but by the time the 3rd year rolled around, the word was out. The line of cars to his house was miles long and the police had to come out to restore order. I’ve also heard of people driving their kids to “nicer” neighborhoods in order to get better loot.
There are a few things I still love about Halloween. The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror is still highly rated in my book. Also, I love getting my hair cut at Supercuts on Halloween because they’re all dressed like strippers, call-girls or whores, and I do enjoy taking my “cut” of my kids’ candy haul. So I guess in that sense, Halloween brings out the worse in me as well. My inner-child would give Halloween 5 stars but in my opinion it deserves a Big Fat Zero!!!!
Monday, October 31, 2011 JustJim