Saturday, October 26, 2019

Halloween? Not my favorite

Everybody has a favorite holiday (Christmas, anyone?), and most of us have at least one that we'd rather do without. I feel that way about Halloween.

I didn't when I was a kid. I can remember some of the fun costumes I wore. (Yes, kids, we wore costumes even in the dawn of time.) In those days, moms still handed out homemade popcorn balls, cupcakes and candy. The idea that we'd give out only store-bought candy with each piece individually wrapped, goodies parents could feel secure about letting their kids eat, hadn't occurred to any of us.

Maybe that's part of what's soured me on the occasion. As the years pass, it seems Halloween becomes increasingly focused on the dark side. Parents have to walk the streets with their children even in their own neighborhoods, just to be certain they'll be safe. My husband, a photo-journalist, shot pictures of some of the cute kids at our door one year and ended up explaining that to the police. Suspicions are high--for good reason. No one dares bite into an apple taken from a stranger any longer. We've learned we can't trust each other.

I still enjoy seeing the kids dress up, especially when there's cleverness to their choices like the twins who came as Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss, or the time my daughter's whole family dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz or last year when she dressed her baby girl as a Cabbage Patch Kid  Adorable! One favorite was when our son and his family did a redux of an old, much-loved video game. Clever, isn't it?

Still, among the princesses and pirates who grace our doorway, I see too many zombies, blood-covered walking corpses, or hockey-masked serial killers. The emphasis on the violent and gruesome wrings out the joy and the innocent childhood delight. And it isn't always about childhood: the sulky teen who wears his everyday hoodie, walks up to my door, and sticks a pillow case in my face doesn't exactly make me want to answer the doorbell.

Okay, I'm a stick-in-the-mud, but I find that from one year to the next, I dread the coming of October 31. My husband has suggested that this year, we take the advice of one candy commercial: stock up on plenty of goodies, then turn off the lights, sit in the dark, and eat it all ourselves. There's an appeal to that, but I do see potential down sides, especially the next time the doctor asks me to weigh in.

I've been thinking that, instead of bingeing, I might look for somewhere else to be. Does anyone know of a great place for a stick-in-the-mud to hide out this Thursday? I'll bring candy.

Susan loves to hear from readers. Write her at, or visit or her Facebook page, Watch for Amber in Autumn, Book 3 in the "Seasons of Destiny" series, coming early next year. Books 1 and 2, Paris in the Springtime and  Sunny's Summer are available in e-book and paperback formats. Winter Skye will follow soon. Who knows? There may even be an historical romance novella to add to the mix. Stay in touch for updates. 


  1. Great post, Susan. Fortunately, we don't see many trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. Which means, my husband (and I!) usually end up eating all the candy.

  2. Enjoyed the post. My favorite holiday is Christmas.

  3. Susan, I have some of the same feelings as you about Halloween, but we are visiting our granddaughters, and they will be trick-or-treating.

  4. I can totally relate to how you feel. We decided for the first time this year to keep the lights out. We do have a small bag of candy just in case little ones, as in pre-schoolers come to the door early in the day, which has happened many times in past years. But beyond those little ones, the door will stay closed.