Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't post to my blog as much as I had planned to this month. Publishing 31 stories this month on Amazon Kindle, ended up taking up a lot more time than I expected it to (who would've thought? /facepalm). As I believe I mentioned before, this blog along with with Laura's House of Halloween, will remain up year round. I will continue to add content as time permits.

Now, if I may, I'd like to say a few words about Halloween.

When I was a kid, Halloween was always a big deal to me. It captured a sort of bittersweet melancholia that no other holiday does. I think part of it has to do with pretending to be someone else for one night a year. You could be the person you wish you were, or you could dress as something to scare your friends, or even something cute and sweet. It didn't really matter what costume you chose. In the end, you were someone else. Halloween gave us the excuse to let our hair down and be free, and everyone accepted that. It was all in the spirit of the holiday.

As you get older and you begin to outgrow trick-or-treating, Halloween takes on another life. It's a time to reminisce about the days of being young and carefree. For many adults, it's an excuse to be their old silly, lighthearted selves again. Halloween is a kid's holiday, it's tailor-made for them. Adults have their role to play as the distributors of candy and carrying on traditions. It's about keeping that magic alive generation after generation. And there is a sort of magic to Halloween. The world (the areas that celebrate Halloween anyway) transforms on Halloween. It becomes the norm to dress up in costume and to not give in to conventions.

Halloween is the outcast's holiday, the people who never quite fit in. Because the things that make them outcasts, whether it's dressing differently, having different ways of thinking, or just plain being unable to conform to what society deems normal, suddenly becomes normal on Halloween. You can be macabre on Halloween and no one bats an eye. You can be outrageous, sexy, terrifying, weird, funny, whatever you want. For someone like me, who is macabre and strange 365 days a year, Halloween is a way of expressing myself, as it is for many strange, macabre people or people who don't quite fit what is "normal" the rest of the year. They say you can't go home again, but Halloween feels like home. I feel like it welcomes me with open arms every year.

Halloween is not an evil holiday, not by a long shot. It's an outlet for our daily fears and anxieties. It's a way of laughing in the face of death and being "in" on the joke, hence why we can dress as ghosts and skeletons and zombies, without digging deeper and having to deal with what death is really like. I believe this has been true since the dawn of Halloween. It was always a way to deal with our fears as human beings, without having to look them square in the eye. In that way, celebrating Halloween is actually a healthy way of expressing ourselves.

This is just my take on Halloween. Everyone can interpret the holiday as they like. Anything goes. We create our own definition of what Halloween means to us, and in the end, isn't that what truly makes Halloween special?

So Happy Halloween, everyone! Go out, stay in, whatever you prefer. Just be safe and enjoy yourself :)

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