31 days filled with holiday spirit.
When people talk about spreading “the holiday spirit”, they typically refer to Christmas spirit. I get it, the whole good will and cheer bit. Why on Earth people only say that for a holiday instead of everyday is beyond me, but I understand what they’re getting at. My thought about holiday spirit has always been, “Why is there only one holiday that has spirit?”. I’m festive as hell, so all holidays have spirit in my book. This year, I was able to spread tons of holiday spirit and it felt incredible.
To me, Halloween has an extra special spirit. As a kid, especially one that was slightly OCD and a worrier, Halloween was a time to let loose. I could be what I wanted to be for a night. The holiday has always been a time of creativity as well, always thinking about what I could be and how I could make it. These days, it seems that Halloween has become way more commercialized than I when I was a kid. Children don’t have many options as far as costumes. They aren’t really given an opportunity to be creative. Boys are muscley super heroes and girls are some pretty Disney character…throw a bumble bee in the mix for good measure and you have Halloween these days. Oh, and the random Scream costume that still exists for some reason. When I am around kids at Halloween, I try to share the spirit with them. Why? Because if they don’t learn it when they’re young, Halloween is going to suck royally as an adult.
When I look at the “adult” side of Halloween, it’s a little depressing. Unless a grown-up has the true Halloween spirit within them, there will be one of two paths taken for the holiday. The first, is the “it’s for kids” attitude. This attitude is usually developed as a teenager, then progressively gets worse with age. Around the age of about 13-14, depending on size, trick-or-treating becomes weird. Although I am festive and live the spirit, I will say that trick-or-treating after a certain age is just obnoxious and strange. I have had grown-ups knock on my door for candy, it’s just not right. That’s one part of our youth that we will just have to let got of. If we want candy, we can go buy it. Now, once the no-trick-or-treating reality sets in, that’s when the non-spirited person really makes a choice. One can either settle in and get comfortable handing all the festive fun to the youth, or do the complete opposite go all-out “adult”.
The all-out adult approach to Halloween is simple to understand. It consists of things considered to be adult. If you take a look inside any costume store, you’ll see that’s where the market is. Thinking I wasn’t going to have time to finish my costume, I went to try to find a store-bought one. Well, that didn’t work out well. It is difficult to find a female costume without a plunging neckline, short skirt and heels. And if I wanted to wear a men’s costume, I would be a muscley super hero (I guess they never grow out of that) or something with faux no-no parts dangling out there. So, unless I want to be skeezy, macho or a pervert, my choices are limited to food items. Yes, I did go there in a pinch this year. I wore a hotdog for one evening, which was funny, but not very pleasing to look at. Still, if I hadn’t learned the true meaning of the holiday long ago, I would have been left sad and empty handed or with a super short Dorothy costume. Then there are the adult Halloween events, which consist of things most adults do for “fun” any other night of the week, just doing them in costume for the night. Really nothing too different from the norm.
Then there are the true Halloween spiriters. They get a kick out of the kid-like stuff, like getting into character and running around in a silly costume. These are the people who still love handing out candy even though they can’t receive any. These are the people that get excited on October 1st because it’s “that time of year”. These are the people that decorate because it brings back memories, not because the neighbors are doing it too. I want to see more genuine festiveness, and that’s why I share my love for the holiday. It can be infectious. Whether I’m sharing it with children or adults who have given up on it, I can usually turn them into true Halloween spiriters. I saw a good deal of it happen this year, and it was wonderful.