Hold on, man. We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted," or "forbidden" in the title.
According to the National Retail Federation, 170 million people will spend 8 billion dollars on Halloween costumes, props and candy this year. Those numbers are not shocking to me. I live in a funky historic haven for the well travelled and well read. My neighbors have seen and done it all. But I don’t think I could find one, no matter how versed, who has experienced a Halloween to rival what happens tomorrow night in our little burg.
Every year, we start talking theme in June. One year, we were infested with spiders. There was the ghost year. The “It” Penny Wise clown year where we gave out balloons. The Carn-Evil theme gave us reason to dress up as side show freaks. People say their kids are still afraid to walk on our side of the street because of that. Still, there is no keeping up with the Jones. People build stages, hire dance troupes and fire eaters and even Cirque du Soleil acrobats. There will be more than man on stilts and more than one cotton candy machine. I could buy candy for one thousand kids and still run out. No exaggeration.
I loved the spooky holiday long before we moved here. It started 13 years ago when my son was born on October 29th, just in time for a costume in the hospital. The title of Mother gave me an excuse to relive childhood. That is the attraction of the holiday, right? You get to pretend you are someone else. You get to play dress up. You get to give and get treats. Sometimes, you get away with tricks. It isn’t the kids spending 8 billion dollars on stuff. It is the grown ups who wouldn’t dream of turning a sheet into a ghost or a box into a prop.
For this Time Travel Tuesday, I am playing Old School Halloween. Try it, it’s a fun game. We built a movie screen with sheets and two by fours. We built robots out of boxes. We repurposed landscaped lights to light up windows that make our house look like a giant robot. I would like to say this was my idea. It was my son’s. I would like to say we didn’t spend any money. I just had to buy a DJ quality laser machine. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t I have a consumer responsibility to the holiday? To the economy? But we created most of it ourselves. I will spend the remainder of the day painting the LMFAO Party Rock logo on a stage sign and downloading LMFAO Party Rock Music Video for our projector. Tonight, we will have a dress rehearsal and than drive around to look at everyone else’s masterpieces.
Halloween has an unquestionable attraction of allowing us to pretend that we are someone else playing somewhere else. But there is more to it. Halloween is the one holiday that really allows us to embrace the four stages of happiness (anticipate, Savor, express, reflect) without all the pressure imposed by other holidays. Think about it. How many divorced parents do we have to visit on Thanksgiving? Christmas has the whole gift giving stress. New Years and Valentine’s Day can be expectation nightmares. Halloween is just plain fun.
Four stages of Happiness
Anticipate: What will I be for Halloween?
Savor: Decorating, party planning, trick or treating
Express: I love Halloween!
Reflect: Let’s trade candy. Let’s post pictures.
What will you be for Halloween?