“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, The Gum Thief (2008)
Back in the day, people really knew how to celebrate Halloween. I mean, an eyeball holding a cocktail??? That’s my kind of fun.
Today, people are quick to criticize this pagan tradition. There are legitimate concerns about over-commercialization and over-sugared children. But we don’t have to play by those rules. We can make our own.
At the heart of it, Halloween is that one day a year when children, and adults, are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild. You can quite literally be anyone or anything you want to be. Kids get that. And adults need more of it.
As I write, my daughter is in the kitchen carving out the pumpkin and putting the final touches on her costume. Our house is festooned with spider webs and orange fairy lights. Our neighbours are getting ready to open their doors and celebrate right along with us. And candy is only a small part of our celebration. Mystery, creativity and community rule the day.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think these are magical memories that last a lifetime.
And really, couldn’t the world use a bit more Halloween spirit every day of the year?