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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Hullabaloo of Halloween

When I was a kid, we celebrated Halloween. The gist, of course, was to get candy, and little else. Yes, we carved pumpkins. Yes, we did some decorating. Yes, we dressed up in costumes that ranged in complexity, from makeshift items thrown together to pass as our favorite superheroes, to chintzy store bought apparel that fell apart within hours, to creative things our mothers sewed together over that last week. But, mostly, it was about candy.

Seems like these days everyone is getting into the Halloween spirit. Costumes aren’t limited to people anymore, even your pet can be a part of the act.

Bags of candy? Bah! Food stuffs of all kinds can be bought or made this time of year. From cookies, to cupcakes, from potato chips to pears (by the way, tons of pears... go figure!). One only has to google your favorite food and add the word Halloween so see the vast amounts of ideas out there.

Toothbrushes! Or should that be tooooooooothbrushes. (imagine a scary voice moaning that, makes it better.)

Pumpkin carving has moved out of the children’s circle of getting your fingers gooey and into sophisticated arts.

And the tools to carve them (yes, that's a pumpkin carving Dremel): 

Coffee mugs, cookware, you name it, or even just think it, it’s been done!

I’m not sure I can explain the phenomenon. One thought is that costuming in general has become much more than a once-a-year thing. Ask any ComicCon-ner (I'm sure that's a word). As a result, costumes have grown immensely in both popularity and complexity.

Another is money, as most things are. People want it, people buy it, so, if you want to make money, all you need to do is provide it.

But my personal explanation is, “Why not?” We spend three hundred and sixty four days a year being ourselves. We go to work. We raise our families. We pay bills. We cook, we clean. This is that one chance we all have to be something else, be someone else, and do something else. That might be gruesome, that might be funny, that might be pushing the boundaries of your own creativity, but that is the point.

Oh. And there’s candy.

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