You think we’re losing the spirit of Christmas? Trust me, the spirit of Halloween is completely getting its ass kicked. I know Halloween doesn’t have the same “feel” since we don’t get off work. But can’t we just TRY to be festive? A little bit? The following people I can do without:
The Anti-Costume Crowd
This includes “non-costumes” such as “Oh, I’m an office worker” or “Oh! I’m a student”, but it also includes half-assed costumes that are preoccupied with not looking like costumes. I understand a desire for comfort (though I tend to sacrifice that in my own life) but the preoccupation with not looking like a dork? With being “too cool” to let yourself go just a little bit? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. A good fictitious example of this is Jim Halpert from The Office. His costumes have been a “three hole punch” version of himself, him wearing a nametag that says “Dave”, or writing the word “book” on his face, and claiming he’s Facebook. If there were a Halloween version of “A Christmas Carol”, Jim would be Scrooge.
Annoyance Level: 7.5 / 10
The Weekend Partiers
For the “weekend partiers” the holiday is more about getting drunk than having fun, so they just have one of their standard Saturday Night Shindigs, and add a half-assed costume. Even if Halloween doesn’t happen to fall on a Saturday. Every Halloween, I ask people what they’re going to be, and they say “I already dressed up on Saturday night”.
This is less annoying, though, because I’ve been in the same position before. But if it is at all possible, I prefer to observe Halloween on Halloween night. And you should too, because I say so.
Annoyance Level: 2 / 10
The Poison Patrol
Despite there bring no recorded incidents of poisoned candy being handed out to trick-or-treaters , overprotective parents insist that it’s happening everywhere in the nation, especially in their neighborhoods! The same family next door who holds Fourth of July cookouts for everyone on the block, who walks through the neighborhood Christmas caroling every year – that same family are secretly Satanic Halloween terrorists, lacing candy with cyanide to pass out to your unsuspecting children. Nooo!
Annoyance Level: 4/10 if they believe the tales just out of ignorance. 10/10 if they insist on repeating the tales long after being corrected and pointed to the truth.
This one is probably more common in the Bible Belt than elsewhere, but there are a lot of people of the more “religious” persuasion here who are pretty anti-Halloween.
Sometimes it’s about the spooky nature, sometimes it’s about the witches, and some people like to selectively remember Halloween’s pagan roots, while conveniently forgetting the pagan roots of Christmas and Easter. The way families deal with refraining from celebrating “the devil’s birthday” vary by family. There’s a small minority who make no observance at all. Luckily for the kids, most parents are not that dickish… they will come up with alternative celebrations. The most common is the “Fall Festival” held at church gymnasiums across the country. These are essentially Halloween in everything but name. Kids dress up in costumes, play games, and win candy, they just avoid the H-word. The slightly more devout might name their not-Halloween party a “Noah’s Ark” party and ask that kids dress as animals. (The snarky hipster kids will dress as Noah or his wife or kids, just to be rebels. Because they’re badass like that.)
But the kings and queens of Halloween denial are the ones who declare it to be “Reformation Day”.
For the unaware, Martin Luther nailed his 95 these on the door of the church at Wittenburg on October 31, 15-something-I’m-too-lazy-to-look-up. This is pretty much considered to be the beginning of Protestant Christianity. And that’s all well and good if you want to commemorate a day in your religion’s history, but Reformation Day celebrants are frequently, um… not Lutheran. Evangelicals of all stripes would need to celebrate something concerning John Wesley if they really wanted to celebrate the birth of their theology. But that’s beside the point… they aren’t celebrating Reformation Day because it’s something they want to commemorate – they’re celebrating it because it’s something that’s not Halloween.
Annoyance Level: Wow, this one ended up being the longest portion, so it’s no surprise that it’s 10/10
Now that you’ve read all of my bitchings about the bastardization of my favorite holiday, I will leave you with this: All of my Halloween costumes from 2005 to last year.