An evil hex on the changes to Halloween!Published 10:05am Monday, October 29, 2012
Column: Something About Nothing
The ghostly screensaver runs on my computer. The ghouls howl and chant as my computer shuts down. The screeching of the bats and owls let me know when an email has come in. Yes, it is time for Halloween.
Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday anymore. It could be because I don’t have any children to trick or treat with, and my grandchildren are too far away to enjoy my Halloween with them. It could be that I am jealous that I am too old to trick and treat the way we used to.
I am concerned. I picked up an area newspaper the other day and there was an article stating that it was time to do away with Halloween as we knew it.
Dietitians and health care organizations were recommending that the practice of trick-or-treating for candy be abolished in the favor of healthier options. The concern is that candy consumption contributes to the obesity problem in our society. The suggestion also recommended that if Halloween fun was going to be observed it should be done at home parties where the candy consumption can be monitored and instead of candy, healthy treats would be observed.
Also this past week I happened to listen to a radio show discussing a school that was banning Halloween, fall harvest festivals and any kind of costumes or celebrations. According to the principal, there was to be no discussion from parents. He hadn’t consulted the school board. He had made an independent decision, and there was no changing his mind. It didn’t seem to matter that most of the community was protesting.
As I fondly remember trick-or-treating and the fun we had dressing in costumes, I wonder if perhaps today we over-think things.
Of course, we don’t want to offend anyone. I would hope we could all practice our traditions and be respectful of each other’s traditions rather than do away with them all together.
Many are concerned about the connotation with devils and witches and evil. As children, none of my friends or I had a thought about that. I don’t think that our parents did either or if they did we never heard about it. It was all in fun and not taken too seriously.
Of course, had someone or the media instilled those thoughts into our heads perhaps it would have become a concern, but around my neighborhood that didn’t happen. It was community fun and streets were alive with witches and goblins and ghouls. Our streets were so busy it now reminds me of walking around during a busy celebration during the summer when the streets are full of people.
I am more concerned about the candy aspect right now. I love candy. I don’t remember pigging out on candy the night of Halloween. We brought our stash home, had fun looking at it, and our parents let us have a few pieces, saving the rest to be doled out piece by piece on other days. I followed the same example with my kids and my kids are following the same example with my grandchildren.
It was also a festive, fun day at school.
The article stated that by having home parties and serving healthy snacks and treats instead of candy the parents would be able to control how much candy their kids would eat.
Times have changed whereas we kids, even in elementary school, were allowed to go trick-or-treating without our parents. It was safe. Yes, we would sneak a little candy, but we were having too much fun running from house to house to stop and chow down. Today, most elementary kids are accompanied by their parents so those parents can choose how much candy their kids get to eat.
I am mourning the changes of Halloween because I remember the fun, and I want my grandkids to remember the fun of trick-or-treating, too. I guess I need to accept that times have changed, but I will never agree with the fact that Halloween candy is going to make a child obese. Halloween is one night; the rest of the year can be a time for healthy eating.
That having been said, I had better go and buy my Halloween treats in case anyone comes to my house. I want to be socially correct so I will pick out the best cauliflower, carrots, veggie chips, vegetable juice, and whatever else healthy I can find to hand out to trick and treaters. I will save the candy for me. I will wallow in the sugar, the chocolate and the memories of Halloween gone by.
Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.