Halloween is a fascinating howl-i-day and one that has grown like the great pumpkin in a field over the last several years. It offers a kaleidoscope of complex interpretations for the sinners and the saints. I’m more of a “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” kind of person so I like to focus on the opportunity it brings to stir the imagination in a spirit of fun and sharing.
Growing up in an upstate New York town, where little kids could trick-or-treat with round-eyed innocence and adults with imagination were able to create a little spooky fun, I still think of Halloween as a chance to step outside yourself for a few hours and meet the neighbors. Back then, Halloween was all about eating a generous stash of chocolate. My sisters and I would go home with our booty and separate the good candy bars from the gum and the lollipops, and share some with our parents and tell stories of who was dressed like what. It was simply a fun, family night.
Dr.Seuss said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.” I think more of us should try taking his advice seriously…after all, serious fun is a good thing!
Personally, I still like seeing little kids come to my door decked out in ‘ruby slippers or happy sprite costumes, or maybe as Boot-legged Pirates. After all, this door to door thing is both spooky and tiring so they’ve earned their chocolate bars fair and square.
We all go through life trying on different masks. The trick is to know the real you so well that when you take the mask off, it’s a treat to see you back again. So today, I just want to applaud playing “dress-up,” family and neighborhood fun and the idea that it can be good to step outside ourselves and try on a new face. This is the side of Halloween I appreciate. So, in honor of sweet little children who go bravely up to the door and pretend for a moment to be ghosts and pumpkins and firemen, I say, “Come on…Trick or Treat.” We can celebrate being saints again tomorrow.