Halloween Screams Festivity
My fondest memories of Halloween are not about the candy. Okay, not all about the candy. Rather, I recall those cool, crisp fall nights, roaming the neighborhood with my friends and delighting in the joy of friendship, the total abandon of pretend play, and the soundtrack of crunching leaves beneath my feet. When you’re a kid it doesn’t get any better than that.
Plus, unlike other holidays, Halloween was guilt free. Some holidays came with strict rules: you had to go to church or synagogue, you had to visit the cousins you never see and never want to see, you had to dress up and wear uncomfortable shoes, you had to show up with a creative gift, and so on.
But, Halloween had only one rule. Have fun. There were parties and no gift was required. There was the ability to play out your fantasy and no one would think you were crazy. You could be Peter Pan or Spiderman, Cruella DeVille or Buffalo Bill. So when my children were born, we continued the Halloween traditions in much the same way I remembered.
My legacy included the Great Candy Swap. I had done it with my sister and described it to my daughters so they could do the same.
After returning home from Trick-or-Treating, you spread out all of your candy on the floor. The sight of that pile of sweet, sugary goodness is simply a thrill. Then, with a careful eye, you take stock of your booty and that of your siblings. Then, the great swap negotiations begin.
“I’ll give you one Kit Kat for your Milky way.”
“I’ll give you two Snickers for two Reese’s Pieces”
The goal is to figure out which ones your siblings don’t love and make them an offer that suits your sweet tooth. This goes on until everyone has managed to give away much of what they don’t like, except for lollipops because nobody wants those and you can’t give them away!
It’s a great way for kids to learn the art and science of deal making!
And, Halloween isn’t just fun, it’s also a therapeutic strategy to overcome a fear. Afraid of ghosts? Not on Halloween when you can walk right up to them and say, “I ain’t scared of no ghosts!:. Scary monsters freak you out? On Halloween you realize there’s no substance in that fear, it’s just your neighbor Norman in face paint, fur, and feathers.
So, in summary, I’ll just say “BOO” to anyone who doesn’t think Halloween isn’t a day deserving of respect!
Author Bio: Deborah Carroll,
Executive Editor, GRAND Magazine is a former educator, author, and educational publisher/syndication marketing director. Her most recent personal works include the narrative nonfiction, Tales from the Family Crypt: When Aging Parents Die, Sibling Rivalry Lives, and a children’s picture book about grandparents, Real Grands: From A to Z, Everything A Grandparent Can Be. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and to the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.
Debby is the proud Grammy to 3-year old, Avery.