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Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Day

When I was a kid, I went trick-or-treating with my friends, just like almost everyone else. (In fact, I went with a friend in her neighborhood because the getting was good- one guy owned a wholesale company and would hand out one pound candy bars.) And, my kids go trick-or-treating (photos may follow later- they're going as vikings- no, not the football players- this year).

I've always been a little uneasy with the darker side of this day. It started in darkness, and it really hasn't gotten all that much better as it morphed over the years. Harvest festivals are all well and good, but the darkness that surrounds its beginnings is hard to ignore or deny.

No, I don't think that all the Wiccans who celebrate Samhain today are evil or anything like that (I'm not counting those who intentionally practice the dark arts in that group... and that isn't a judgement of their religion, just their intentions). I've just never been a fan of goblins and ghouls and ghosts and haunted houses and all that stuff. (My kindergarten teacher dressed up as a witch on Halloween, and I completely freaked out... get the picture?) I don't like scary movies (except for the rare few that are intellectually and/or psychologically intriguing). I avoid gore (the man and the carnage). Maybe it's because I believe in the real thing- there is real evil and a real Devil and real demons. I don't need to see the commercialized versions, thankyouverymuch.

That being said, today's the day when kids (and used-to-be-kids) dress up (or don't even bother) and go house to house, keeping dentists in business for one more year. And, so, it's in the news. Cops are warning predators to stay in their homes and not hand out candy. Parents are warned to go through candy before their little cherubs dive in. And... um... then there's stuff like this:
Dutch witches were guaranteed a financial treat when the Leeuwarden District Court reaffirmed their legal right to write off the costs of schooling _ including in witchcraft _ against their tax bills. Those costs run to thousands of dollars.

The court found on Sept. 23 that a witch can declare schooling costs if it increases the likelihood of employment and personal income.
Uh... yeah, I know it's in The Netherlands, but... can't you see some idiot lawmaker in the States thinking this is a good idea.

And... then there's this:
It is the adults who should be afraid this Halloween. Not of ghouls and goblins, but of permanently scarring their children.

In a recent study of six- and seven-year-olds in the Philadelphia area, Penn State psychologist Cindy Dell Clark found that most parents underestimate just how terrifying the holiday can be for young kids.

Halloween has been scaring the heck out of kids of all ages for centuries.
Precisely. The problem only came up when people started shielding their kids from the world around them. They are so afraid of damaging their kids (ruining their self esteem or shielding them from all pain or keeping them from getting each and every boo-boo) that they don't give their children the tools they need to cope. There's nothing wrong with a little fear every now and then.

OK... OK... I'm done... I'm not sure where I was going with all of that... there has to be something better than a demonic holiday for everyone to participate in. But, until then... trick or treat!

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