Playing: A whole bunch of everything during Extra Life
Watching: Sonic Highways
Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. Ever since I was a kid I enjoyed the build up to the 31st. I can remember decorating the house, watching my favorite cartoon specials (Great Pumpkin, whaddup?!), carving the pumpkins, and best of all, picking out my costume. There’s something about the lead-in to a holiday that almost trumps the actual day itself. The same can be said for how I feel about Christmas (the best part is trimming the tree or driving around and looking at the lights). That feeling of knowing something awesome is coming this time of year is something that continues even now in my adult years.
Every year I try and do Halloween big. I can’t remember the last year that I didn’t dress up. It’s something I always look forward to. Some years I even have two costumes. I guess it’s just another excuse for me to act like a big kid. Much like playing video games, Halloween is a window back into the fun times of my youth. And it’s very socially accepted these days for adults to engage in Halloween just as much as the kids. So why not join in the fun?
Unfortunately something strange is happening to Halloween lately around here that seems to be watering down the holiday. Over the last few years the amount of kids that come knocking at our door has diminished increasingly. I see fewer parents bringing their kids around and more and more houses are turning their lights off instead of passing out tricks and treats.
It could be because we live in Minnesota, and the forecast for this year’s Halloween is temperatures in the mid 40’s. Or maybe it’s that neighborhoods aren’t as safe as they used to be. Parents have to worry more and more about dangerous situations. Because of this we see kids trick-or-treating at shopping malls or community centers in the weeks leading up to October 31st. While it’s great that families have a safe environment to trick-or-treat in, I can’t help but feel like we’re not giving Halloween everything we’ve got anymore. It just seems like people are giving up on a traditional Halloween and it makes me sad. I don’t want to see this holiday lose it’s shine.
This year will be my son Elliott’s first Halloween, and I’m going to do my part to preserve the fun of traditional Halloween for my family. Part of the responsibility of being a parent is making sure that your kid gets to experience the best of everything. We all want to show our kids the best parts of growing up. And while Elliott is only 4 months old, I’m starting him off right. We’re going to have spiderwebs, ghosts, bats, costumes and treats. And we’re going to celebrate Halloween by making the night of the 31st a great party. Every year.
I can’t wait until he’s of age to take him trick-or-treating. I’m excited to watch Charlie Brown get a bag full of rocks with my son. And of course the fun of letting him be anything he wants to be for one night of the year is something that I will really enjoy.
I think that as we, the new era of parents, start making choices as to what the traditions we carry forward are, we should look back into that magic of what being a kid was. For me, I think about the year I cut two holes into a white bed sheet, grabbed a flashlight in one hand and a pumpkin shaped bucket in the other and headed out with my mom and brother to get as much loot as I could. I’m going to make sure that Elliott gets to experience that feeling. Even if the streets are empty and we’re the only ones looking to score some Snickers bars. Mom, Dad and Elliott will all be out together in costume, having a scary good time.
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