Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good ol' Halloween

Oh, for the days before everyone and everything had to be “politically correct” in every imaginable way.
Including Halloween.
Way back when I was in elementary school, we had great Halloween parades and parties in school each year.
You decorated your classrooms with mostly handmade ghosts and ghouls. You chattered on about how much candy you’d be snagging when you went trick-or-treating.
And you plotted out what you would be wearing that year.
Few of us actually had elaborate, store-bought costumes. Most of us would opt for something like a hobo, and wear any old clothes we could find; or perhaps a princess, and use a fancy Sunday dress with some costume jewelry.
Or maybe you chose to be a cowboy, because flannel shirts and dungarees — note, they weren’t called jeans — were readily available.
If you were more inventive and could fashion something out of cardboard boxes, you might become a robot; less ambitious, perhaps a ghost, using an old sheet.
But no one really cared. It was just fun to pull together a costume of some sort, bring in some wickedly sugary treat your mom had baked and then parade through the school so everyone could ooohh and aaahh and giggle at their friends.
After that, everyone could dive into the treats, eat way too much and be sent home on a sugar high to the delight of their parents.
But they didn’t care, either. You just were sent outside to play to burn off the extra sugar.
Problem solved.
Today it’s not that easy.
Some people think Halloween is much more dangerous and evil than just kids begging for candy in weird outfits.
Others don’t want their kids ingesting anything that isn’t a fruit or vegetable — and let’s face it, getting a small box of raisins as your “treat” isn’t exactly what most kids have in mind.
Some schools skip the whole thing entirely, figuring it’s the easiest way to avoid any parent’s ire.
Others find “creative” ways around it, dubbing it a “costume celebration” and allowing children to dress up in whatever the “in” costume may be this year, while serving only wholesome, nutritious snacks.
I feel sorry for those kids. They miss out on the simple joys of being totally silly and indulging their sweet tooth, just because we have to overthink everything, it seems.
Our costumes may have been a lot simpler and not at all stylish, but we sure had fun.
And that was the best treat of all.

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