The Scariest Part of Halloween: The Grown-Ups!

110102_tricks_or_treatsHalloween is one of the greatest holidays. Like most holidays, it has its share of commercialism, but it doesn’t come with the obligations, guilt, and travel headaches of Christmas.

Dressing up. Getting candy. Having fun. What more could a kid ask for?

Unfortunately, a small segment of Adultitis-ridden do-gooders continue their assault on Halloween. It’s been said that misery loves company. That must be the reason why grown-ups suffering from full-blown cases of Adultitis are working so hard to ruin Halloween for kids.

This post might make a few people angry, but I’m willing to take the slings and arrows. I’m doing this for the kids. So without further ado, here are three groups of adults who are ruing everything:

The Holy Rollers.
I am a Christian. I went to Catholic School. My faith is very important to me. But I’ve never seen Halloween as a gateway to turn to the dark side.

Some folks associate Halloween with all things evil, treating it as an assault on all things holy. As much as I hate the over-commercialization of Christmas, I believe this is one instance where it has served us well. Sure, Halloween has some nefarious origins (and some pretty benign ones as well), but it really has become an amalgamation (what a fun word!) of many traditions. It is really more of a fantastical fairy tale, starring smiling pumpkins, dancing skeletons, and Frankenstien. A melting pot of a variety of sources and traditions, our modern Halloween has become its own unique and rich experience that offers a fun escape from the day-to-day.

Some of these people encourage kids to dress up like their favorite saint for Halloween. I’m sorry, but I’ve always thought this was lame. And I like saints! (St. Lucy is a particularly good one.)

Don’t get me wrong, if a kid really has a strong affinity for St. Maximilian Kolbe, let him go crazy with it. But let’s stop taking ourselves so seriously and start realizing that God isn’t going to send a kid to Hell for dressing up like a ballerina and ringing a few doorbells.

The Health Nuts.
Another group of people get cold sweats when they think of all the candy kids are consuming. Apparently, thanks to Halloween, kids instantly balloon into marshmallows and millions of teeth rot and fall out. Their solution is to hand out alternatives to candy. Things like sliced apples, toothbrushes, and even acorns — acorns!

Here’s a hint to keep your house from getting egged by all the little “devil worshippers”: If you plan on giving out toothbrushes or acorns this Halloween, do all the kids of the world a favor and just keep your house dark instead.

When I was a little shaver, my dad made us a snack every night. Usually it consisted of some combination of oranges, raisins, bananas, and yes, even sliced apples. But when Halloween rolled around, it was all about the sugar. We would binge on candy for a week and it was wonderful.

It was wonderful because it only happened once a year. Childhood obesity is a big problem these days, but it’s not because of Halloween. It’s because too many parents can’t say no to their kids, are too busy to prepare much else but fast food, and appease their children with chocolate and sugar.

If you can’t consume ten pounds of candy in one sitting with no ill effects when you’re a kid, when can you?

Politically Correct Wimps.
Then there are the folks who are scared of offending anyone and would rest easier if Halloween was cancelled. A couple of years ago, the Madison School District superintendent said that they don’t encourage schools to have costume parties. “Some cultures don’t look at dressing up in costumes the same way as others,” she said.

When my wife was teaching kindergarten, she ran into this every October. There was a very small contingency that wanted to do away with Halloween altogether, for fear that someone, somewhere, would be offended.

I don’t know about you, but every time I see a five-year-old dressed up like Spiderman with a bag full of Milk Duds and Milky Ways, my blood just boils.

Why have we lost our perspective? Why have we become so over-sensitive about everything? These days, political correctness might just be a fancy way for an Adultitis-stricken grown-up to say, “I’m angry, miserable, and afraid, and I hate seeing other people happy.”

My secret dream would be for Freddy Krueger to give them all wedgies in their sleep.

In the eyes of children, Halloween is a national holiday. Dressing up like Princess Leia or Darth Vader and eating some Hershey bars is not going to hurt anyone. Grown-ups, please, get some perspective, get some help for your Adultitis, and quit ruining everything.

Jason Kotecki is a dad who also moonlights as an artist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to create lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com and follow them on Twitter @kimandjason

Comments

  1. I decorate my house and give out the sweets every year to the parade of superheroes, fantasy characters, and ghouls and goblins that come to my door. Some years me and my wife will even dress up creepy with makeup and a costume to add to the effect.

    Halloween is honestly a holiday that is more for kids than most any other. There is nobody teaching you lessons about things that happened hundred or thousands of years ago (ThanksGiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.). There is no pushing of 9 different holidays for every faith falling at the same time so you have to watch out for which one you say Happy Whatever to. There is no stress about gifts and whether you will or wont get something you want. It’s just about fun.

    Anthony Russo
    anthony.russo10@gmail.com
    http://www.anthonyrussoblog.com/Anthony
    Skype: anth.russo
    Twitter: @AnthonyRusso

  2. Not going to lie…I agree with most of your thoughts. The one thing I might add is that my son’s preschool a few years ago didn’t want to do a costume party because the school serves a poor community and the school wasn’t sure if all the kids could afford costumes. Was it a valid concern? I don’t know. But of the excuses you’ve mentioned today, I think the one by my son’s school is at least the most plausible.

  3. I decorate my house and give out the sweets every year to the parade of superheroes, fantasy characters, and ghouls and goblins that come to my door. Some years me and my wife will even dress up creepy with makeup and a costume to add to the effect.

    Halloween is honestly a holiday that is more for kids than most any other. There is nobody teaching you lessons about things that happened hundred or thousands of years ago (ThanksGiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.). There is no pushing of 9 different holidays for every faith falling at the same time so you have to watch out for which one you say Happy Whatever to. There is no stress about gifts and whether you will or wont get something you want. It's just about fun.

    Anthony Russo
    anthony.russo10@gmail.com
    http://www.anthonyrussoblog.com/Anthony
    Skype: anth.russo
    Twitter: @AnthonyRusso

  4. I decorate my house and give out the sweets every year to the parade of superheroes, fantasy characters, and ghouls and goblins that come to my door. Some years me and my wife will even dress up creepy with makeup and a costume to add to the effect.

    Halloween is honestly a holiday that is more for kids than most any other. There is nobody teaching you lessons about things that happened hundred or thousands of years ago (ThanksGiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.). There is no pushing of 9 different holidays for every faith falling at the same time so you have to watch out for which one you say Happy Whatever to. There is no stress about gifts and whether you will or wont get something you want. It's just about fun.

    Anthony Russo
    anthony.russo10@gmail.com
    http://www.anthonyrussoblog.com/Anthony
    Skype: anth.russo
    Twitter: @AnthonyRusso

  5. Not going to lie…I agree with most of your thoughts. The one thing I might add is that my son's preschool a few years ago didn't want to do a costume party because the school serves a poor community and the school wasn't sure if all the kids could afford costumes. Was it a valid concern? I don't know. But of the excuses you've mentioned today, I think the one by my son's school is at least the most plausible.

  6. Not going to lie…I agree with most of your thoughts. The one thing I might add is that my son's preschool a few years ago didn't want to do a costume party because the school serves a poor community and the school wasn't sure if all the kids could afford costumes. Was it a valid concern? I don't know. But of the excuses you've mentioned today, I think the one by my son's school is at least the most plausible.

  7. I agree that is a valid concern at least. A bit of planning by the staff can provide a way around such an issue though. My wife used to do Home Daycare and “dress-up” was a favorite game of the kids. She would be able to find tons of stuff (“funny” hats, coats, “princess” dresses and such) at garage sales and the like to make sure there was planty to go around. A good washing first was all that was needed.

    Depending on the size of the school, it would allow for some fun for all with the ones that don’t have their own costumes ‘borrowing’ from the schools supply.

    Anthony

  8. I agree that is a valid concern at least. A bit of planning by the staff can provide a way around such an issue though. My wife used to do Home Daycare and “dress-up” was a favorite game of the kids. She would be able to find tons of stuff (“funny” hats, coats, “princess” dresses and such) at garage sales and the like to make sure there was planty to go around. A good washing first was all that was needed.

    Depending on the size of the school, it would allow for some fun for all with the ones that don't have their own costumes 'borrowing' from the schools supply.

    Anthony

  9. I agree that is a valid concern at least. A bit of planning by the staff can provide a way around such an issue though. My wife used to do Home Daycare and “dress-up” was a favorite game of the kids. She would be able to find tons of stuff (“funny” hats, coats, “princess” dresses and such) at garage sales and the like to make sure there was planty to go around. A good washing first was all that was needed.

    Depending on the size of the school, it would allow for some fun for all with the ones that don't have their own costumes 'borrowing' from the schools supply.

    Anthony

  10. What a great post! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I volunteer at my daughter’s daycare on Halloween and the joy in the kids’ faces as they get to celebrate their creativity is unreal. Thanks for sharing!

  11. JustObserving says:

    What a great post! I couldn't have said it myself. I volunteer at my daughter's daycare on Halloween and the joy in the kids' faces as they get to celebrate their creativity is unreal. Thanks for sharing!

  12. JustObserving says:

    What a great post! I couldn't have said it myself. I volunteer at my daughter's daycare on Halloween and the joy in the kids' faces as they get to celebrate their creativity is unreal. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Great tip, Anthony. My wife — the former kindergarten teacher — had a similar approach, as there was always one or two kids who couldn’t afford a costume, or more often, had parents who forgot. And not in a “Oh man, it totally slipped my mind” sort of way, but rather a “I’m too busy for this parenting thing, what grade did you say you were in this year?” sort of way.

  14. Thanks Brian! Good for you doing the volunteer thing, too, especially around Halloween. Being in the middle of a mess of kids hopped up on sugar is a dangerous place to be :)

  15. Great tip, Anthony. My wife — the former kindergarten teacher — had a similar approach, as there was always one or two kids who couldn't afford a costume, or more often, had parents who forgot. And not in a “Oh man, it totally slipped my mind” sort of way, but rather a “I'm too busy for this parenting thing, what grade did you say you were in this year?” sort of way.

  16. Great tip, Anthony. My wife — the former kindergarten teacher — had a similar approach, as there was always one or two kids who couldn't afford a costume, or more often, had parents who forgot. And not in a “Oh man, it totally slipped my mind” sort of way, but rather a “I'm too busy for this parenting thing, what grade did you say you were in this year?” sort of way.

  17. Thanks Brian! Good for you doing the volunteer thing, too, especially around Halloween. Being in the middle of a mess of kids hopped up on sugar is a dangerous place to be :)

  18. Thanks Brian! Good for you doing the volunteer thing, too, especially around Halloween. Being in the middle of a mess of kids hopped up on sugar is a dangerous place to be :)

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