Le Chocolat NonPareil
In a world where every October 31st children swarm the streets in search of candy; in a world where, starting in August, sinister pumpkins and Peeps that look like Casper the Friendly Ghost invade shopping centers everywhere; in a world where Satan seduces young minds with candy, an elite group of adults have vowed to protect their children from the fires of hell brought on by…
Imagine, if you will, an innocent 4 year old child. She’s walking through the grocery store with her mommy. She notices that there are several aisles devoted to candy and princess costumes. Her childlike heart is consumed with joy. Candy and princesses? What more could she possibly want?! She pulls away from her mommy and runs towards the magical fairyland. She grasps an orange trick-or-treat pail in her chubby little fists. She dares to ask, “Can I have it?”
Mommy looks at her daughter. She looks at the pail. She looks back at her daughter.
And like that, a child’s life is shattered.
Fast forward a few years. The little girl is 8 now. She and her younger sister are visiting their grandparent’s house. It’s Halloween. The innocuous suburban neighborhood is teeming with children and their parents walking from house to house demanding candy. The girl and her sister, though not allowed to go trick-or-treating themselves, are reluctantly coerced into handing out bite-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to the other children.
With each sing song declaration of “trick or treat,” with each exchange of candy, with each pitying glance of the child staring at her from the other side of the door, the little girl’s heart fills with embarrassment and anger.
Someday, she will celebrate Halloween. She will celebrate Halloween even if it kills her.
Shady Satin Drug
Hey, it’s Halloween time!! Super-stoked. I have only dressed up one time (last year) and I’ve never been trick-or-treating. Yeah, I’m angry about it. For most normal adults, this may not seem like a craaazy huge problem. That is, until you consider the pain and suffering that NOT celebrating Halloween causes a child. I’d like to thank my parents for their well-intended but totally misguided methodical torture of my young self’s’ heart and mind.
Perhaps the only thing that could make not celebrating Halloween worse, is someone trying to sell you a knock-off. For all you folks out there who are thinking “I don’t want my kids to celebrate Halloween, we’ll have an alternative celebration. The kids will dress up like characters from the bible and we’ll give them a responsible amount of candy” I can assure you, your child will never forgive, nor forget the deprivation they’ve suffered at your hands. These parties sucked for two major reasons:
1) According to these parents and these parties, every costume was basically just sheets loosely draped over your head and torso. There are only so many ways to be Mary, Esther or the other Mary. Those were typically your only choices. Unless you had parents who were way too committed. Then maybe you’d be, like, Vashti or something. BUT NEVER BATHSHEBA.
2) That meager reward of candy they give you? It represents the kind of return on your investment you’ll be getting until you graduate high school. “You mean to tell me I’m the good kid, work super hard to not be like all these mongrels out here and this is all I get?!” Trust me, I was not thinking about my treasure in heaven when all the other kids came to school with 3 pillowcases full of snickers bars and skittles.
Each church or alternative group would have its own version of the celebration. Mine decided that they would regale the young children with horrifying skits about the devil and temptation. Seeing Deacon John draped in a black velvet cloak and telling my friend Craig that he was going to REGRET disobeying his parents in exchange for a shitload of free candy wouldn’t have me thinking anything except ‘where the HELL did Deacon John get that cloak?!’
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUST LET ME GO TRICK-OR-TREATING.
Nevermind the guilt I felt when eating a cupcake with a pumpkin drawn on it, my parents refusal to let me celebrate Halloween was a slow psychological torture that I’ve sworn will never be repeated in my bloodline. I haven’t yelled at them yet about how the tree part of Christmas is really from Saturnalia, an Ancient Roman festival worshiping a Titan. Maybe someday. But for now all you need to know is that I make it rain whole Snickers bars on Halloween.
In other news….this is what comes up if you Google the term ‘hallelujah party.’