Well, maybe not so much a rant as just thinking about things.
When I was a kid. . . . .
I know, eye-roll statement, right? Still, when I was a kid, nobody decorated their yards or houses for Halloween. That was reserved for Christmas. I don’t know when Halloween became a high-cost event here in the States, but I’m sure it happened when I wasn’t looking 🙂
I lived in a middle class neighborhood in north Minneapolis when I was in elementary school, up through the 4th grade. Halloween, for us, was just fun. Nobody was getting all wrapped around the axle yet, and nobody was afraid. We dressed up in old sheets or hobo-looking clothes, or made gypsy costumes or clown costumes out of whatever we had around the house. Nobody spent money on pre-made costumes.
We went around the neighborhood with our friends, ringing doorbells and being greeted by people we at least had seen on the sidewalk at some point. Apartment buildings were great places for trick-or-treating, lots of doors all in one building. We were welcomed by everyone, and we had a blast. We were given homemade treats, and no one worried about pins or razors or poison. We got apples, popcorn balls, a wide assortment of candies, cookies, and even some cheap little toys. Boxes of Cracker Jacks were always fun because you got the popcorn AND the toy inside.
No parents were with us, unless someone was taking their toddlers out for the fun. It was safe, and harmless, and no one even thought about satanic influences or sacrificing animals. There were probably some pranks that were harmful. I’m not naive enough to believe that everyone in 1953 was innocent as a baby. But it was a different era, and our favorite TV programs were Father Knows Best and Walt Disney Presents. Miley Cyrus was not even a distant nightmare, and children were not smarter than their parents. Andy Griffith was a role model, and Opie got paddled when he was disobedient. It was a good time to grow up.
I’m appalled at what Halloween has become today. I want no part of it. We never, in 20 years, have had trick-or-treaters here because they’d have to walk 25 feet between houses. Their parents take them to high-density neighborhoods so they can get more loot. I don’t understand the average $80 that I heard yesterday is “normal” for Americans to spend on Halloween. I don’t understand the fascination with things of darkness, with what is truly wicked. I know there are some for whom it is still just innocent fun, but that’s not the norm.