Monday, October 31, 2011
Why Halloween Makes Me Sad
I've seen lots of reactions to Halloween around the web this week, from dismay over its glorification of things best not glorified to those who see it as just a harmless day of dress-up and fun for the kids. I have my own ambivalence over Halloween because I see people using it as a day of fun and trying to reclaim it from any pagan roots it may have once had. Amber at The Deeper Story very eloquently describes a personal ambivalence very similar to my own and her piece got me thinking. I would like to believe that even something with a history like Halloween can be redeemed, but there is a darkness beneath the surface that makes me very uneasy. For that reason, I do not celebrate Halloween. I do not want to give to the darkness.
So, why does it make me sad? I see families going all out for Halloween, decorating their homes and costuming their children. In my town, there is now a city festival for Halloween complete with games and treats for all who come. That's right. As a community, they are celebrating the witches, ghosts and goblins of Halloween and making it all seem very cute.
Can you imagine what would happen if we tried to make a big town festival of Christmas or Easter? Not the Santa Clausy, commercialized vision of Christmas, but the real deal. People would be clutching their pearls and telling the world how deeply offended they were that someone would dare celebrate the birth of Christ. We've come to a place where we treat the sacred events worth celebrating as though they were shameful secrets to be hidden behind closed doors while we take to the streets to dance with joy for costumed witches and ghosts. Call me a killjoy, but I have to admit that this makes me sad.