Deciding Not to Celebrate Halloween

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Growing up, we didn’t celebrate Halloween. We were still allowed to dress up, but our costumes took on a more Biblical feel. One year I was the burning bush that spoke to Moses in the wilderness, Jezebel the evil queen, and Nehemiah a costume I cleverly concocted out of a cup and a stuffed bear. (Nehemiah was a cupbearer to a Biblical king, it’s a pretty obscure reference and only amusing if you went to church your whole life).

My family frequently hosted “fall festival” parties, but when it came to witches, ghosts or trick or treating, my parents did not let us participate. They hated the holiday. Hated the ghosts and goblins that freaked my sister out and gave her nightmares. They hated the incessant trick or treaters, who would always wake up the sleeping baby by ringing the doorbell. Also, Halloween is expensive.

Will you be celebrating Halloween this year?

Blogger Liz Murtaugh Gillespie talks about her own hatred of Halloween and how she struggles to “play along” with a holiday she hates. Gillespie explains, “Maybe it all started the year someone singled me out in a pack of trick-or-treaters and shouted, ‘Oh, who’s that cute little boy in the cat costume?!’ Maybe it’s the annual wasting of money better spent on anything but candy and overpriced costumes.”

An iVillage poll revealed that one in 10 parents hates Halloween. With the hassle of costumes, candy overload and the dangers of trick or treating, it seems more parents are choosing to opt-out of this spooky holiday.

But as a new parent, I’m excited for my first holiday with my daughter. And despite the fact that she is a mere seven months old, we’ll be dressing up and hitting up a few neighbor’s houses before bedtime.  But we’ll see what I say after I have a few Halloween’s under my belt as a parent.

No doubt the magic will fade, but I do hope I’ll always celebrate Halloween with my kids (those present and those to come), because behind all the candy and ghosts, it’s the one holiday that encourages creativity and allows you, just for one day, to be whatever you want.

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