I hope we don’t lose the fun of Halloween…

An article was posted on Global News about Halloween. Encouraging people to find alternatives, avoiding parties, wear masks and use tongs to give out candy. I get it. I do. I appreciate the need to be safe. However, let’s not lose the essence of Halloween.

As a kid, I remember the excitement of picking out the costume and then going door to door to collect candy. I didn’t grow up in a home with a lot of money. “Treats” were rare and I knew better than to ask for them. There were four times a year when “Treats” were almost guaranteed. Easter, My birthday, Christmas and Halloween. We lived in Toronto, in an apartment building. Our night would start with a visit to the lobby to pick up the goodies the building chipped in to make. Then we would drive out to a good neighbourhood and go door to door. I had my favourites… chocolate and chips.

As a young adult, Halloween was a great excuse to have a party, be silly and have fun. I remember the year my now-husband dressed up as an aspirin. His costume was so big, we shimmied him into the college party and kept entertaining people on one side of the room. We just kept bringing him drinks the whole night. He even built a ledge in his costume for his drink. Please still remember his costume.

Later as an adult, it was a fun team bonding experience to decorate our department. I especially loved it when the local daycare would bring the kids to walk through all our displays and collect candy. The fun we had trying to out decorate the other departments. IT always had the best. One year they did a whole Lord of the Rings theme.

When we were ballroom dancing, Halloween was a ton of fun. Dressing up and dancing. The challenge was finding a costume that looked good and allowed you to stretch those legs. One year my husband and I paired up with another couple and went as The Flinstones. I was Betty Rubble. I aged myself at work when the little daycare kids had no idea who I was. Do you know who Betty Rubble is?

I remember our first house and how much fun we had decorating the law with a graveyard, changing the light bulbs to create a creepy atmosphere. We would play scary music and dress up. Today I live in a house in the “country” and we have no trick or treaters. So I settle for Halloween lego complete with a haunted castle.

I have great memories of past Halloween’s. But what will Halloween look like this year? This year has been full of finding different ways of doing things. I’m the first to admit I like some of the changes. However, I’ve also learned that I forgot to play this year. I have had to cancel my Jenn/Shawn days with my friend’s kids. No trip to Legoland, or fun movie days… I didn’t realize how much “play” I got from the kids and how much I lost until recently. We all need to play. We all need the opportunity to get silly. We all need to allow our creativity to come out through decorations, treats, costumes etc.

I think there is something wonderful about a kid dressing for the day and being free to be whoever they want. Maybe it sparks a little imagination in them? I think it’s therapeutic that for at least a day or a party adults get to take off their “suits” and have fun pretending to be someone else for the day.

This year, regardless of what you choose to do for this Halloween… let’s ensure you include some play and some creativity. Don’t let it just be another day. Who knows, maybe you and your family might enjoy this year so much it becomes a new Halloween tradition! Let’s be safe this year (however, that looks for you) yet let’s continue to use Halloween as a reason to have silly fun. Let’s use it to treat ourselves. Don’t let the stress of the year take that away.

Have fun, my friends. Stay safe but play!

“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween”

Paula Curan