A school cancels Halloween because too much precious classroom time is lost. A pastor condemns it as pagan in some outrageous, media grabbing manner (which typically works to grab the media). Concerned parents stoke the rumors via social media that somehow, somewhere there are Satanists just waiting to sacrifice a cat, a human, or a Starbucks latte.
While the Halloween hating is definitely blown out of proportion because it’s newsworthy, there are large numbers of people who really do hate the holiday for a variety of reasons. They are the scrooges of Halloween, people who badmouth the day and, even worse, refuse to let others, especially children, enjoy it.
But, it’s really misplaced and a little ridiculous. Here’s why the Halloween haters need to just lighten up.
It’s Not Pagan (And Barely Was)
The roots of Halloween are interesting. It incorporates elements from Christian tradition (Its the eve of All Saints or All Hallows Day) as well as Celtic pagan practice. A lot of the objection to Halloween comes from the religious roots. Some Christians consider it too pagan and many secularists think it’s religious.
The days of the week also have pagan origins. Yet, I don’t see people trying to boycott Tuesday (Nordic god Tiw) or canceling parties on Wednesday (Odin). Halloween has become a secular day where people of all ages dress up and have fun. The toddlers in Elsa costumes aren’t worshiping pagan deities, even subconsciously. It’s because, with the exception of a few modern day pagans, no one practices religion on Halloween these days, except maybe the Catholics attending an All Saints mass in the evening.
It’s a Fun Tradition
Although it’s no longer a religious holiday, Halloween still includes a lot of fun and meaningful traditions, especially for kids. I have great memories of dressing up, trick or treating, carving pumpkins, decorating the house, going to haunted houses, and much more.
These were great experiences that I continue to cherish. Even as an adult, I look forward every year to Halloween. I enjoy dressing up in a funny costume, taking my kid trick or treating, and going to local haunted houses. My friends and I have a blast with these fun traditions.
We’re not harming anyone and we’re certainly not Satanists. It’s just a good time for my kids and me. Halloween has turned into a day when kids and adults can have a good time. I feel disappointed for the kids whose schools and families cancel Halloween for rigid ideologies.
It’s A Rare Social Event
Rarely these days are children (or adults) social. Kids at school are focused completely on learning and at home they’re often involved in sports or more likely watching the TV or playing video games. Halloween is a rare time of year where kids are expected to get off their butts and start socializing.
It’s also a great time for adults to do the same. It seems in 2014, no one is allowed to have a good time. For adults it’s all work and for kids it’s all learning. Of course, the fact that kids are actually less intelligent and adults more stressed than ever doesn’t seem to deter the Halloween haters.
Just relax and have fun this Halloween. Be social. Dress up. Decorate your house and yard. Join in the fun and laughter of the kids who trick or treat at your house. Life is too short to be a Halloween scrooge simply because someone of a different religion might have celebrated it a few hundred years ago or you feel it has negative overtones (when the only negative one is you).