The Magic of Halloween

my painted pumpkin

As it is October and near me the air has begun to sway the trees and chill your bones; I think it’s only appropriate to discuss the magic of Halloween.

As a child I looked forward to every holiday, it was a time of candies, when family was on their best behavior and that magic feeling reigned. Of all the holidays, the two I looked forward to the most were Halloween and Christmas. The reason for this wasn’t even that they were guaranteed times for sweets or presents. It wasn’t even the costumes or festive wear. (Although both were definitely a factor).  It wasn’t even social programming since these are the  two holidays that American companies advertise with reckless abandon, bombarding even those who do not celebrate. It was something so incredibly simple; it was as if every cool breeze carried the slightest hint of magic.

I feel since my childhood that it has been marketed as socially acceptable to  hold onto at least the tiniest hint of magic when it comes to Christmas, but Halloween has become something quite different. What I find somewhat disheartening  is the way that Halloween has changed as well as what is now considered a natural progression and a mark of adulthood as the holiday morphs from whimsy to a time of releasing inhibitions and embracing idiotic levels of tom foolery.

See the thing is everything has a natural evolution and those who celebrate something in one era will hardly do it exactly the same in the next. The thing that makes me sad is that other than costumes, other than candy… that Halloween has become more about terror and mischief  instead of magic and mystery.

Now a big part of Halloween is in fact fright and I do not deny this but there’s more. There’s a tickle in your stomach as it draws near. The wind chills you, yet somehow invigorates you. The crunch of leaves under foot. Homes bedewed in lights. Ancient secrets lurking around each corner. Shadows cast by flickering eerie pumpkin grins. Tastes and smells of apples, pumpkins, and cinnamon. Soundtracks of bubbling cauldrons, squawking crows, and maniacal laughter mingle with spooky silly songs.  A nervous laugh squeaks out your throat as you walk by a house with decorations that, is that just a regular stuffed scarecrow lying limply on that porch chair, or is it… real?

As a child, to me Halloween was a night of possibilities, where the world was full of mysteries and illusion. A more romantic view of Halloween; a time of gasps as well as a time of smiles, a time of games, and of course a time of tricks. If you only follow a set of simple rules and you were safe from any ghoulish monsters of the night (even if the most threatening was the potential for that creepy neighbor to poison your candy).

Now I am not begrudging anyone who wants to watch their gore filled slasher films or don barely there sexy Leg Avenue © costumes. I also understand parents wanting to protect their children with curfews, and reflective wear. I can validate the person who is just not into any of it and would only carve a pumpkin to make a pie. It’s just that as adults we are told if we love Halloween, it’s because we like sadistic torturous demonic horror films and it’s accoutrements or that we like to parade around scantily clad. Parents are told this is a night they should fear for their children more than any other night. And children are told to grow up and face your monsters. The thing is, is that there are more options; wonderment is still hidden in there. We just need to reclaim it and those of you who are parents/aunts or any adult who has some involvement with children you can continue to instill the love of mystery and magic instead of instilling a fear of the world.  So, if you like Halloween the way you are already enjoying it, then I am happy for you. But if you are an adult that feels like the magic is still obtainable and agree that there’s a middle ground between the ‘happy fall’ erasure of Halloween and a blood dripping dismembered horror-filled Halloween… know I feel the same way.

So even as an adult (and yes even adults without children), you are still allowed to love Halloween and it is also okay to not love what people assume you do because you love Halloween.  So if you are one of those adults, I am going to try to help you reclaim some of that magic for yourself and as a way to help others enjoy the more romantic magical Halloween. I will be posting more about this shortly including but not limited to:  Fall/Halloween treats, Spooky & not so spooky movies, Fall/Halloween Activities and simple ways to get into the festivities. Let’s reclaim that magic!

You Got This!

-Heather

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