Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Love Halloween

I love Halloween.

I mean, I really, REALLY love Halloween

I've been thinking about it a lot this year; I’m not sure why I love it so much.

I mean, some years I dress up, others I don’t.  Some years we decorate a lot at our house, some years we do less.  It’s not really about how I celebrate Halloween. 

Big Pimpin'
It’s the feeling.

When I was a kid, I loved it, but I think it was about the traditional stuff.  I liked getting dressed up and I was excited to get candy.

The dressing up aspect is still fun.  But I haven’t done anything personally the last couple of years and I still love Halloween as much.  And it’s not about any residual nostalgia over the candy.  I mean, you can tell by lookin’ at this big daddy, I loves me some candy.  But Halloween used to be a once-a-year opportunity to get a bunch of it.  Now, I have enough money I can usually indulge the sweet tooth anytime I want.

The first time as an adult that I really remember loving Halloween was maybe ten years ago.  I was working at a local country music radio station and we had a handful of hokey Halloween party music CDs that they told us we could play from a few times each hour, just for fun.

I remember playing Jumpin’ Gene Simmons’ “Haunted House” that afternoon - the first time I'd heard that track.  And while I’ve grown pretty tired of the “traditional” Halloween music fare (Purple People Eater, Monster Mash, etc.), this one remains a favorite.

For whatever reason, on that particular Halloween day on that particular year, I caught the spirit.  There was a feeling in the air.  You could sense the excitement.  It had been a long time since I’d caught it.  I caught it as a kid – again, costumes and candy.  I caught it as an older kid – vandalism and tricks.  And then I didn’t for a long time.  Quite in fact, I saw the whole thing as a driving nuisance more than anything.

But ever since that one year, I’ve caught whatever spirit of Halloween that exists. 

I went all out on the Dirty Roots Radio show last week to celebrate Halloween.  I had a blast digging up old Halloween-appropriate garage rock and rockabilly nuggets, and will probably do it up every year from now on.

I absolutely love classic/vintage Halloween imagery.

Dressing up is fun.  Little kids dressing up is cute. 

No, I am NOT Flava Flav!  I'm Miff Doggy-Dogg.
Your neighbors decorating their house for trick-or-treating kids is a cool thing.  Nowadays, it’s one of the only times we really open our homes and welcome people to our doorstep.  There’s a community spirit about it.  Community Halloween projects are fun.  Our community does a “Truck or Treat” a few nights before Halloween and, while I’ve never been, it always looks like it’s been a blast. 

So anyway…all of this is to say that I love Halloween and I don’t really necessarily know why.

Maybe it's just that feeling in the air.  That feeling where everyone's excited.  It's so rare that people get genuinely excited about the same, mostly positive thing.

Kids get parties at school and at daycare.  Grownups have parties at work - or at least excuses to bring in snacks.  Kids are excited to dress up and trick-or-treat.  Everyone's excited to help their kids dress up and to see the kids that come to their door.  People decorate.  People have parties.

All for the same non-religiously-affiliated reason.  Simply the name of fun.  No heavy meaning behind the holiday.  No significance or symbolism.  And outside of those few folks who ban Halloween in their home on the grounds of its devilish Satanic cult connections, there's not much about the occasion that divides us or causes anyone to exclude anybody else.

It's just fun.


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