“I think if human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween. Wouldn’t life be more interesting that way? And now that I think about it, why the heck don’t they? Who made the rule that everybody has to dress like sheep 364 days of the year? Think of all the people you’d meet if they were in costume every day. People would be so much easier to talk to – like talking to dogs.”

Douglas Coupland


Halloween. Sometimes I sit back and ponder how adults have destroyed one of the simple joys in childhood – Halloween. I absolutely understand that sugar is bad, and there are some trappings of Halloween that can be misguided, but adults have put their fingerprints of silly fear and overthinking on one of the simplest things – children dressing up as a joy of expression, walking around neighborhoods receiving gifts from people they don’t know and wandering through a celebration of personal expression home-by-home. Seriously, you cannot be a human and not smile as Wonderwomen, fairies, Spiderman, Mulan, pirates, etc wander by your house.

Halloween reminds me that sometimes we adults, in the attempt to constantly teach our children lessons, forget that sometimes the best lessons are the ones when we leave the simple joy unfettered.

This means Halloween isn’t anti christian.

It isn’t about the worship or glorification of witchcraft.

It even isn’t about greed and how much “booty” you can get walking from house to house.

It is the joy of dressing your house up with pumpkins and fake spider webs and “boo” stickers in the house windows and multiple bats on stakes carefully arranged in the front lawn.

It is how a 13 year old girl stops being a moody tween and being with her mom side by side carefully crafting the perfectly designed front porch for everyone to see and experience when they trick or treat.

It is the little boy and his dad carefully building the skeleton’s grave in the front yard with its ball and chain and his own pirate hat he lends the skeleton just for the occasion.

It is the full house display, built 3 weeks before Halloween night, and constantly changing as the children add or subtract things as they think of it.

It is the motion activated creepy music dangling spider that the wind makes play in the morning as the girls run out to the school bus <and they laugh>.

Yup. Halloween is simply an event where, if we adults permit it, we get an unfettered view of the simple joy of childhood.

I know I am guilty of over thinking on occasion. And I do believe we adults are often over sensitive to lessons and political correctness and insuring our children “understand” things and, on a parallel destructive path, using Halloween to put fear into other adults’ minds (which we can assume they pass along to their children) for some political reason.

Sometimes it’s nice to let children be children and let them enjoy the simplicity of childhood.

Halloween continues to be filled with fun; walking in the chill of autumn wearing costumes which permits an uninhibited make-believe night be a ‘real dressed up’ night, and, of course, the semi-hedonistic joy of the full sack of candy. If we permit it, once a year, Halloween invites us to reenter the world of a simple childhood. Some may choose to view Halloween with some sinister connotations but to most of us it is simply a time of fun dressing up with friends and laughter.

Enjoy Halloween for exactly what it is … the pure and simple joy of childhood.


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

Written by Bruce