I did it last year. The year before. And I’ll do it again on Thursday night.
The children who come to my door will meet a hideous old woman, wretched and hidden inside her black, hooded cape; her features smashed by an opaque stocking, her hands vanished in black socks.
She doesn’t speak. Instead, she gurgles a terrifying, muddled murmur. To the tiny ones who dare step into the eerie, green-lit porch where bats and dismembered bones abound, she offers large, wonderful chocolate bars.
Sometimes it draws the children closer. More often, it makes them cry from fear.
Many turn down her candy rather than step into her lair.
When I was in my fifties (yes, when I was fifty-something-years old!) the neighbors began their annual complaint about my Halloween antics.
Some said I take it too far.
I don’t need to be so frightening — especially to the little ones who come to my door, seeking only sweets and a soft congratulations for the mother-made costume.
Some said I have fun at the expense of children — an immature act that robs little children of the innocence and merriment of Halloween — and replaces all the good stuff with fear.
I’ve heard this for over ten years, and I don’t give a rat’s ass.
I didn’t care then and I don’t care now.
There are only so many Halloweens in our short, sweet lives.
Think of it — one day, when we least expect, we will wake up — dead.
When that happens, the opportunity to “haunt” will be authentic and meaningful.
Until then, all we have is one night of the year — Halloween.
I intend to squeeze every possible scream out of every single child who dares knock on my door.
For those of you who choose (for bogus religious reasons) to ignore this magnificent celebration of the dead, I offer these five, simple, clear reasons why you are wrong.
The top five reasons to Trick or Treat — irrespective of age
Reason #5 — Halloween is the only holiday when we are encouraged (and allowed!) to cultivate and exploit an alter ego. If we cannot let loose and enjoy the dark side of our personality (or, the light, miraculous, cheery side) — we are poorer for the lack.
Reason #4 — It’s true — Halloween is for children. And we’re children as long as we grab Halloween by the gonads and wrestle it to the floor. Celebrate and stay young!
Reason #3 — Locking the door, turning off the lights and pretending to not be home on Halloween night will provoke the neighborhood children. Granted, they might not commit outward acts of vandalism. Even so — who wants to be known as the “mean old man” in the corner house, who can’t open his heart or door on October 31st?
Reason #2 — Halloween is the first of a string of wonderful, fabulous, festive and outlandish holidays.
Shutting it down is a bit like turning your back on fun.
Making it a grand event will deepen your gratitude for autumn and winter — here, in the land of sludge, crabby neighbors and people who wear too many clothes — even in the summer.
And reason #1 — Childhood is short. Without your good example, those little children at your door will “trick or treat” five, maybe six times in their lives. Don’t let that happen. Show the world the best way to have fun. Be a witch. Be a vampire. Be Peewee Herman, if you choose.
Be the best Halloween grownup you can be.
Be a child again.
This post was written by Kristine Holmgren and originally published on Kristine Holmgren — Drama Queen.
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