Let me just get it out here at the start: I don’t celebrate Halloween.
Now, let me explain. There are lots of things associated with Halloween that I really like. I like costumes. I like kids. I love candy. But there are other things associated with Halloween that I’m not keen on—things like gigantic, gaudy, blow-up lawn ornaments and freaky movie previews that interrupt my otherwise tranquil TV viewing.
Even as a kid I wasn’t a fan of Halloween—which says a lot because I’m a big fan of free sweets. As an adult, I’ve been able to avoid the holiday because my husband and I do not have kids. I count this as an easy out from the pressure parents feel to participate in the festivities when their convictions are raising a raucous.
Because of this, I’ve been able to remain detached from Halloween, allowing me to avoid all the things I dislike (although I roll my inner eyes at the unavoidably obnoxious lawn ornaments).
Although I am detached, I am not unaware of the growing popularity of this holiday. Generally speaking, people like it because it offers three things for us as a society to rally around: Kids. Sugar. Fear.
Kids. Who doesn’t love cute kids in adorable, creative costumes? This has to be the best part of the festivities. Get your fix from this roundup of inventive and impressive kids’ costumes: set 1, set 2, and set 3.
Sugar. We love our sweets in this country. According to this infographic, we spend $2.08 billion to purchase 600 million pounds of Halloween candy. The average American consumes 3.4 pounds of it on Halloween. Does your favorite candy make America’s Top 10 list?
Fear. Some people love to be scared. I love to see the reactions of scared people caught on film, like the shots captured each year from a haunted house in New York. I feel bad for them, except, they went there, on purpose.
Despite my reservations about Halloween, I do see why people like it: It offers community. It draws us together for one night to gush over kids and eat some treats and comfort each other in our fear. I may not prefer the means, but I understand the end.