Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why Halloween Sucks (But I love it anyway)

For this week's Listicles, I couldn't decide if I wanted to talk about the best or the worst of Halloween. So I did both. Five things I hate about the holiday & five things I love about it. Truth be told though, the 'love' side wins for me--I really love Halloween.

Things I hate about Halloween:

Seriously?!? Who designs these costumes?
  1. Sexy girls' costumes. Why, oh why, do four-year-olds need shiny, short-skirted, totally unrealistic dress versions of firefighter or police costumes? If you're 19 & you want to dress like that to go to a nightclub, well, fine. Your choice. But why in the world should we sexualize small children this way? (At least Value Village responded by removing these crappy costumes)
  2. Narrow gender roles. Everywhere I've looked at costumes, there's a girls' rack & a boys' rack. The girls get weirdly sexed up skimpy dress versions of the boys costumes, plus several variations on princess. The boys get superhero & first responder. What happened to ghosts, zombies, pumpkins, black cats, witches & all that scary stuff?
  3. Crappy quality halloween treats. When I was a kid, we still got the occasional candy apple, popcorn ball or other homemade treat from neighbours. Now everyone is so afraid of anything not hermetically sealed, so anything like that would just get thrown away before any child touched it. It's all high fructose corn syrup & numbered food dyes nowadays.
  4. Unfair trade candy. Sadly, much of what North Americans spend millions of dollars buying to hand out (or eat surreptitiously in the weeks  before Halloween) is made using unethical labour practices in developing countries.
  5. Plastic waste. Plastic bags from individually wrapped candy. Plastic packaging from cheap, essentially disposable Halloween costumes. 
L's 1st Halloween. I made him a hooded skeleton sleeper.
Things I love about Halloween:
  1. Dress up. I love planning out, & designing costumes, then pretending to be a character. I love seeing my kids in cute costumes.
  2. Sugarsugarsugar! I have a sweet tooth, & even though a lot of the candy we get is crap, & I know it's terrible for our teeth & health, I still kinda love it. Though this year I think we might try some art projects with the particularly colourful stuff. 
  3. A good scare. I don't believe in ghosts or all that supernatural stuff, but there's something about the feeling of the unknown, the adrenaline rush from hearing exploding fireworks & someone in a scary mask jumping out at you, the connection with the past & the dead that I think is healthy. 
  4. A creative opportunity. Most years I have dressed up in outfits that I made or at least customized myself. I like decorating for Halloween when I have the time to do it & I always carve a pumpkin or three. As the kids get older, that gets to be even more fun to involve them in the jack-o-lantern creation too.
  5. Ritual & tradition. Not everyone gives out candy & not everyone goes trick-or-treating, but most people participate in this tradition, I think. It's one of those things we all have in common in Canada. In a society where there are so many different cultures & traditions, where we speak many different languages in our homes, eat many different comfort foods, but we all went trick-or-treating as kids, right?
How about you? What do you love or hate most about Halloween?

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1 comment:

  1. Some great points. I never even considered all the waste! In Slovenia we give kids homemade donuts, no wrapping ;)


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