the time when Halloween forgot to be fun

scooby doo halloween


‘Hold on, man.

We don’t go anywhere with “scary,” “spooky,” “haunted,” or “forbidden” in the title.’

From Scooby Doo


I never thought I would live to see the day that adults could ruin Halloween all under the guise of ‘making sure children learn the proper lesson’. I tend to believe this issue is a combination of political correctness gone awry intertwined with, well, too many people having a point of view with regard to what other people do.

halloween batsPolitical correctness and Halloween has hit an absurd height of absurdness.

People sticking their proverbial nose into other people’s behavior and attitudes <and parenting> has hit an absurd height of … well … absurdness.

<note: these two things combined is what is taking the fun out of children’s version of Halloween … not just one or the other>

Do parents make good decisions all the time?

Shit no.

Do most parents make a good decision on Halloween with regard to their children <if left alone by society>?

Absolutely yes.


For god’s sake … for one day … please … just one day … can adults absolve themselves of at least some political correctness responsibility and let children be children.

For god’s sake … for one day … please … just one day … can adults stop using a children’s day to criticize or judge parenting and ‘what is right’ thru some shifting kaleidoscope societal filter and let children be children.

Look. I fully understand that in childhood every moment, every event, there lies an halloween candy cornopportunity for a ‘learning lesson.’ But how about today’s lesson be “have fun, be a kid.’

It would be silly of me to suggest that insensitive behavior, to real issues, should be embraced and celebrated, however, political correctness seems to have lost sight of the importance of having a serious discussion and maybe having some harmless fun.

To be clear. I do believe political correctness has a very important role in society … just not on Halloween. There is a significant difference between scoring costumes as ‘sexy’ versus deciding a child cannot wear a sombrero <to be a Mexican bandit> because it is insulting.

One is good common sense.

The other is imposing adult sensitivity into childhood.

I vaguely remember when I thought the adults were supposed to be the smarter ones. Perhaps it’s not our intelligence as much as some warped moral code, which honestly can be quite flexible on occasion, which has opportunistically hijacked a children’s occasion. And while adult self-righteousness does not belong anywhere near Halloween I would also argue that good intentions, if not assessed well, can be misplaced on Halloween.

With good, no, absolutely great intentions many of us adults seek to shape our young … sculpting them into the ‘angels within’ like Michelangelo chipping away at the block of marble creating his next beautiful sculpture. And, yet, we seem to find more and more ways to chip away the vestiges of childhood seeking to halloween kidhave the young find their future adult sooner and sooner.

Maybe that is what we are doing with the young today in chipping away the true aspects of childhood under the guise of good things … safety, awareness and growth. And yet each of those things and the attempts that go along with them seem to ‘push in’ and close up their worlds rather than open them up and give them freedom and learn life is not always safe, life is not always aware of what is in your best interest nor is Life interested in your growth <i.e., that you have to assume responsibility and decide to be actively involved to gain any benefit from life>.

Maybe … just maybe … for one day we can loosen the reins of what we believe is ‘best for the future adult’ and let … for one day … let them be a child unburdened by what we adults think. Permit the day to have nothing to do with self and have more to do with fun, freedom and the friendship of kids gathered together in sometimes silly always creative costumes laughing and doing what we adults always are ranting about what they NOT doing – not being on a smartphone all the time and interacting with real people talking about whatever costumes surround them <and candy of course>.

Look. I am fairly sure all costumes could be construed as offensive in some way.

And maybe because of that the discussion of what is appropriate and politically correct, in general, has become so venomous that it can poison friendships and neighborhood relationships. Adult battle lines have become deal breakers and we cannot even seem to agree to disagree as opposing viewpoints clash. halloween popcorn
Conversations can be like walking in a minefield where you have to gingerly and carefully avoid the words and issues that can trigger explosion destroying all involved <and, more importantly, blow your ass off>.

While I could easily suggest that parenting & being a parent is what gets trapped in this wretched battle I believe I will suggest that children have become the pawns in this battle. And while, in chess, the pawns are often sacrificed for the greater good in this case our little pawns are asked to sacrifice their childhood in the name of the ‘greater good.’


I just had to take a moment and sit back after banging out this post in about 15 minutes and wondered why I was so damn angry and frustrated about this.

Maybe it is because this is the anniversary of when I attended a service for a young man of 29, a son of a good friend, who passed away. I didn’t know the young man, but his mother & father are friends and I wanted to pay my respects.

I think when young people pass away and you are faced with parents burying their children you take a moment, reflect, and not really rue the fact they died so young, but, rather, were they able to live the life they did have to its fullest. I fully understand that conflating Halloween issues and the death of a 29 year old can sound silly, but, the point is none of us know when life will end an we only can take advantage of what we have – quantity of days matters less than the quality of days when everything is truly evaluated.

And maybe because of that I get a little angry with what we adults have done with Halloween.

I don’t want to take anything away from our young children because:

<a> you don’t know if they will ever have the opportunity again, or

<b> you will have cheated them of something today with the belief it will benefit them tomorrow … and they never get that tomorrow.

We plan and shape and try and craft a young person to be the best they can be in the future all the while we run the risk of stealing moments from them in the present.

halloween bottle of boosI am not suggesting this is easy but I am suggesting that while balance is always the key … there are moments when it is easy.

Halloween seems like a very easy choice.

Let them be kids if but for one day.

Let them be kids without the trappings and traps of adulthood.

Let them just be damn kids.


Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.


Judith Olney


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Written by Bruce