The celebration of Halloween offers a kaleidoscope of interpretations as some focus on the sinners and some on the saints. I guess I’m more of a “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” kind of person and so I like to focus on the opportunity it brings to stir the imagination and bring a spirit of fun and sharing. Maybe growing up in a small upstate New York town, where little kids could trick-or-treat with round-eyed innocence and adults who still had 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 wasn’t layered with “religious” connotations meant to make me feel badly about eating my 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 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. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”
Personally, I think imagination is a good thing and seeing little kids come by my door decked out in Little Mermaid costumes, or as Boot-legged Pirates brings a smile to my face. It’s one of those wonderful chances for everyone to get involved in the fantasy for a few minutes and laugh at reality.
We’re all inclined to wear a mask now and then, in fact, we go through life trying on different masks all the time. 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 a good idea 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 Tinkerbell’s and fireman, I say let’s remember that a little imagination is a good thing and a little chocolate is even better. We can celebrate being saints again tomorrow.