Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

I was decorating my desk for Halloween at work the other day and found myself humming this traditionally Christmas tune. I think it's fairly obvious it's my favorite holidy, but I got to wondering why. I used to feel that Halloween was the thinking man's Christmas. Well, maybe the cynical man's. Nothing against Jesus Christ, who incidentally was not born on December 25th but much earlier in the year, but Christmas has become such a commercial juggernaut that it's now a parody of itself. As a society, we're told how we should feel and how we should act. "Hey! Christmas is only 142 days away! You need to max out the credit cards and take a third mortgage so the kids can have the latest gadget you could never hope to understand, and you need to act happy about it! Sure you're miserable, of course your're's the Holidays! You need to wear sweaters you hate, eat food you loathe, and gather with relatives you despise! What better way to celebrate the birth of our Lord?"

Halloween, on the other hand, is the perfect holiday. The kiddies still get to have their fun by playing dress up and scoring buckets of candy. Whereas adults generally enter a fugue state after Thanksgiving and generally stay there until New Year's Eve, Halloween allows them to be children again. Well, children with liquor. Try this: put on a pair of gray coveralls, find a huge butcher knife, don a certain rubber mask you can buy almost anywhere this time of year, and then walk the streets...but do it on Christmas Eve. Unthinkable, right? You'd be arrested and maybe even killed by a nervous shopkeeper who keeps a pistol under the counter "just in case." But do the same thing on Halloween and not one single person will look at you twice. Halloween allows you to be whomever you want, if just for a day. No other holiday can boast that.

Then there's the horror. Ghosts and vampires and zombies and ghouls of every flavor come out on All Hallows Eve. Severed limbs, gouts of blood, rotting flesh, psycho's considered normal and we get to revel in it. We get to let our dark sides peek out from behind the curtain and have a little fun. The man decked out like Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger might be the head of the PTA or a deacon in your church. But for those of you who think Halloween is evil or a holiday for the devil, think about this: the suicide rate in this country is the highest around Christmas, not Halloween. That should be a clue.

So turn your front lawn into a graveyard, hang dcapitated heads from your porch, dress up like a hideous monster and scare the hell out of those trick-or-treaters. You get one day to be someone you're not, so don't waste it. Don't waste the most wonderful time of the year.

1 comment:

  1. Your read on this holiday is accurate. It is one of Americas healthiest goof off days and probably one the most honest. It can be enjoyed vicariously or as a player and leads to mental health faster than therapy. More power to us on this gloriously creative enterprise/event. Up with mental health! Go Zombies! or whatever.
    Anon. Joe