I believe in the power of Halloween, and its dominion over all other holidays. Halloween builds community. On all other holidays we may exchange presents, but only for our closest friends do we buy something and wrap it up in festive paper with ribbons and bows. On Halloween, however, we shower any stranger who knocks upon our door with presents. And the candies are always wrapped. As we go door to door we assume the houses to be stocked with candy and inhabited by souls willing to dish out Reeses’ cups or Snickers. What a disappointment it is if the old couple across the street has their lights out at 8:00 pm AGAIN on the one night of the year we need them most.
This spooky night can act as the best system to record the phases of our lives. I can remember each year who I was by what costume I had for Halloween. In pre school I was Jasmine and then Snow White. In kindergarten I was a cheerleader, in first grade Belle and second, Marge Simpson. Early Halloweens helped to reaffirm me as a girl. Then my Tom Boy phase was reflected by my costume choices of George Washington, Elvis, a 60’s surfer and a man with a painted beard. Thankfully, Miss America in middle school restored me to a proper lady.
Every Passover, Christmas or Ramadan is basically the same. We usually celebrate them all with the same family and friends. But each Halloween is unique. We have the opportunity to be whoever we want to be. With the sight of a friendly pumpkin or the offer of candy corn, Halloween has the muscle to haul up the creativity buried in even the most lackluster Halloween enthusiast.
I challenge you to find a better holiday than October 31st.
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