Sunday, October 24, 2010

Shocking But True: The Story of How One Family Lived WITHOUT Halloween

Olive Oyl and Swee'Pea
Here's the awful truth--I've never attended a Halloween party, gone trick-or-treating, or even purchased a cheesy costume at Walmart. An entire facet of the American experience is missing from my childhood.

Admittedly, I have attended numerous "harvest parties" where we dressed up and played games with family and church friends. If you've never attended one of these events, it's pretty much the Halloween party experience, minus the blood and ghouls. 

Here's the breakdown on some memorable costumes:

  • My first was definitely creative: I was Swee'Pea from the Popeye comic strip and Mom was Olive Oyl. I wonder if my mother knew that my character was a boy.... Despite my early beginning, cross-dressing has not become a tradition for us. 
  • Then there was the inevitable cheerleader. What little girl wouldn't like to dress in a colorful outfit and wave fluffy pompoms around?
  •  But my favorite costume would probably be Tiger Lily. I loved the dramatic, heart-pounding scene in Peter Pan when the poor, helpless girl is tied to a rock to die at high tide. It must have been a challenge for poor Mom when her daughter told her she wanted to be an Indian Princess, but she came through beautifully with a get-up of Dad's old bathrobe, black rickrack and a small pair of moccasins. 

Why don't we celebrate Halloween? Really, my question is, "Why does everyone else?" Sure, the dressing up and eating candy is all well and good, but at its core the holiday is just an over-commercialized glorification of death, gore, terror, and arachnids. Four things I'm not particularly fond of.

We plan on having a harvest party at our house soon. No costumes, just a little old-fashioned fun--bobbing for apples, a pumpkin hunt, maybe a sack race and hayride. The night will culminate in a grand weenie roast around our new stone fire ring. A little toast to the season--a fire, crisp autumn breezes, changing leaves, a tight-knit circle of friends...

Why not celebrate this way?


  1. Anonymous10/24/2010

    I totally agree. We have never celebrated Halloween either. God is pro-life, Halloween is pro-death. Why would I bother.

  2. Hmm...I don't know why we've celebrated Halloween. I did when I was little - but I was never any scary costume.
    But, I never really liked Halloween, so this year, we aren't even bothering. But, I am going to an All Souls' Day/Halloween party at my church. :)

    ~Liz B


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