Friday, October 31, 2014

This is Halloween

Tonight--Halloween night--is one of the most beautiful nights of the year.

I'm not talking about the weather which, even here in California, is a gamble. I'm not talking about the decorations, although some would certainly argue for a type of beauty in a good spooky haunt.


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I'm talking about the social contract that says, on this one night of the year, children may knock on strangers' doors and expect to be given a warm welcome and a piece of candy. This will happen in countless streets in countless neighborhoods in all fifty states, and in many other countries beyond. It's a true miracle of human spirit and community togetherness otherwise unmatched throughout the year.


We adults stock up on candy, not knowing who will come, or even how many will come. Some even spend time and money to decorate our houses with fun lights or spooky scenes, to help give children we've never met a special evening filled with fun and harmless scares. It's not just parents who do this, it's all sorts of us: single, married, with children, without. Young and old. Wealthy and poor.


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And when that doorbell rings, it doesn't matter who's on the other side. They don't  have to practice the same religion we do. They don't have to be the same race. They don't have to belong to the same political party, or think the way we think. We will open our door and give a piece of candy to any child who asks for it.


Next Halloween, take a moment to look down your street. Watch the lights as the children dash back and forth across the street, run from house to house, squeal at scary decorations and yell 'trick or treat!'. Walk down to the corner and look down the next street; notice the same thing happening there. And on the next. And on the one past that, too.


Tonight, the streets, the neighborhoods, they belong to the children. Not the drug dealers, and not the criminals. Watchful parents and neighbors come together to create a playground for the children to experience and enjoy. Filled with magic and fun and candy.


I can't decide if it's ironic or fitting that the night we set aside to pay tribute to the things that scare us the most--death, phobias, insects, vampires, ghosts, the dark, things that go bump in the night--is also the night we come together to celebrate and support innocence.  Maybe this makes sense, to prioritize the young when remembering that our time on this earth is finite, and that the cycle of life is inevitable. I don't know.

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But what I do know is this. Millions of children will fall asleep tonight with their heads filled with fun memories and dreams of their candy loot. And millions of adults got their hearts tickled by adorable costumes, and had a reason to smile the night away.


And that, my friend, is a beautiful, beautiful thing. May we carry a bit of that Halloween spirit with us throughout the rest of the year.

46 comments:

  1. Aww *heart melts* We have a couple of trick or treaters at my door yesterday, they where adorable. :) A little ghost, a Frankenstein, and a witch. :)

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    1. Aww, so cute! My favorite costume yesterday was a guy dressed as Austin Powers. He wasn't even alive when those movies came out! :)

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  2. This was beautiful. I never thought of Halloween in that way, but it really does bring everyone together!

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    1. Thank you so much! It really does, more than anything else I can think of. :)

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  3. I love Halloween. I love seeing people all dressed up.

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    1. I love thinking about and planning a costume and I love seeing what everyone else comes up with!

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  4. I love your take on this! It's so true. And Halloween is just so fun!

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    1. Thank you so much! And I agree, it's just plain good-time fun. :)

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  5. This is beautiful post, I agree on the human spirit side. Here in the UK not many (me included) celebrate halloween but its fun watching on telly how the USA especially does it

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    1. Thank you so much. :) It's funny, isn't it that it's big here but not so much there. If I remember correctly, some of the roots of it come from Celtic rituals from centuries ago, so you'd think it would be the other way around! :)

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  6. Aw I love how you interpreted this! We didn't get any trick or treaters, nor did my kids go out due to a stormy spooky night. However, we have a ton of candy and had a lot of fun!

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    1. Thank you so much. :) Sorry to hear about the storm, although it's cool that you turned it into a fun at-home time. I remember the couple of years when it rained hard on Halloween and I didn't get to go out...it was such a bummer!

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  7. That is a beautiful description of Halloween. I am not a huge Halloween fan but I love trick-or-treating and I love it even more after thinking about it like this.

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I think maybe that's why it is as successful it is, because you can take and leave what you like...if you don't like the scary part or dressing up, you can just throw out a couple of pumpkins and give out some candy. Something for everyone, in a way. :)

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  8. This article is refreshing. You're good with words. Yes to Halloween spirit!

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    1. Thank you so much, I really appreciate that!!! :) You made my week. :)

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  9. The thought truly is beautiful! I absolutely LOVE handing out candy, and this year, I even left my "cauldron" of candy at the front step when we stepped out for dinner, so that children could help themselves. We were thrilled to see the candy was not completely empty when we returned, knowing that they did not take advantage! Such a beautiful holiday indeed! <3

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    1. That is so great, both that you left something when you went out, and that there was still candy left when you got back. I truly believe that most people (and children) are pretty darned awesome if you give them a chance to be. :)

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  10. Yes! I could totally celebrate Halloween once a month ;)

    Anna x
    Cinnamon Girl

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  11. That is what I love about Halloween too! You worded it perfectly!

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it! I was sitting thinking about it all while I was handing out candy (in between trick-or-treat rushes, lol) and decided I needed to write it down finally. :)

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  12. I don't really participate in Halloween, but I love watching everyone else!

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    1. That's one of the coolest parts, looking at the costumes and decorations people come up with. :)

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  13. Halloween will forever be my favorite holiday. It truly is the best.

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    1. I have a really, really hard time choosing between Halloween and Christmas, so I've settled on calling it a tie, lol. But I think the reason I love them both so much comes down the the same principles, as strange as that may seem!

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  14. While I don't dress up for Halloween I let my kids dress up and have fun. It's all about having fun.

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    1. Yes, yes yes. Whether that fun comes from dressing up yourself, or watching others dress up, it's truly just a fun holiday!

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  15. Agreed! Halloween was my littlest ones 1st birthday! :)

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    1. What a fun day to have a birthday! I said this on your blog so forgive my repetition, but it must seem like the whole world is coming together and having the best party ever every year just for you! :)

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  16. Amen to all the above! Such a great perspective!

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  17. Love it. My daughter loves Halloween but doesn't like any of the scary parts of it.

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    1. I bet she'll change her mind about that eventually...but even if not, plenty of gorgeous princess costumes out there...I was at Disneyland recently and OMG they had an entire store full of amazing princess dresses and accessories!

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  18. I love your take on Halloween. I never thought of it like that, you open my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. i never really thought of halloween like that but i love the way you said it's a night that belongs to the kids, not the criminals. :) i love halloween bc i just love any good occasion to dress up.

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    1. Yes! It's amazing to me, it touches my heart every year to watch them take over the neighborhoods, to own the night. It's the way it should be every night, I think. :)

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  20. what a nice post. I like your thought on this!

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  21. I am not a fan of Halloween but your post brought a new perspective! I never thought of Halloween as being a holiday where everyone gives warm welcomes to each other when they show up at their doors.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It would be a wonderful world if we always did that, wouldn't it? But at least we have one night where we open up to each other that way. :)

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  22. I love Halloween and enjoyed reading this post and bring it all together!

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :)

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