More Tricks Than Treats

Halloween is an overrated and overpriced holiday


Anna Carroll

Leaves on the trees change color as Autumn sets in. Every dead tree means a million dead leaves people must pick up, a tiresome chore, resulting from the change in season.

In an age where purchasing pumpkin-spiced dog treats is normalized, it is necessary to ask the question: Why? It’s understandable that a certain medley of fall-themed spices may be to your liking, but your dog couldn’t care less. In fact, chances are he or she will be inconvenienced by the excessive amounts of cinnamon in their dried meat. Any individual with a morsel of sense (or sympathy for the canine specimen) can share in a mutual appreciation for the absurdity of this product of society. 

The silliness stemming from such an item seems to be a unique theme for the autumn season, for there are several traditions that contribute to fall hype, several of which are less than rational in many, many manners of being. A certain ludicrous tradition that never ceases to confuse me is one that is praised across the nation. The tradition consists of parents and children playing dress up as they commute from one stranger’s house to another, commandeering candy as they move along; they call it Halloween. Although no aspect of this holiday is associated with pumpkin spice, it inspires a personal sense of deja vu. This accepted norm seems to be another glorified cinnamon dog treat that society is trying to sell, but I’m not buying it. Instead, I have the urge to pick it apart, right down to its itty-bitty pumpkin spice specks.

In the year 2019, the National Retail Federation estimates $8.8 billion will be spirited away from the hands of willing Americans who want their front porch to exude a “spooky vibe” or their child to enjoy an upwards-of-$50 costume for a few hours of one day of the year. Or maybe this year Karen wanted to splurge for the kids in her subdivision and bought the bulk bag of king-sized Snickers. Congrats, Karen. You’ve really outdone yourself. 

Of course, I wouldn’t waste time listing all the higher priority items this irrationally vast sum could have been allocated to; however, it’s important to mention that dental insurance can be extremely beneficial, especially in the case of sugar-eroded teeth which may or may not be more common when young children are left to “responsibly” delegate the amount of candy that is able to be safely ingested. These decisions are better off made by a parent, and even when a guardian does enforce rules of candy code, the very presence of excessive glucose in the diet of a developing child will induce more physical harm (most commonly in the form of an increased susceptibility to heart disease) than emotional satisfaction. 

Besides the presence of candy on Halloween, another large characterising factor is the donning of costumes. For the majority of people whose favorite part of Halloween isn’t candy, it’s an opportunity to dress up as whichever character or “thing” that strikes their fancy. Some would even say it’s the one night of the year they can fully express themselves and their specific interests sans judgement. It saddens me to see passionate people restricted by others’ opinions and, as a result, condense said passion into a measly few hours where they can be themselves. 

Those who believe Halloween is the only occasion for dressing up and having fun are hiding behind societal barriers of the “whens” and “wheres” of which personal expression is appropriate in. So, what you’re a Potterhead through and through?  Show it! You want to dress up like Wonder Woman because she is your personal inspiration? What’s stopping you? You are not living each day to its fullest if you are holding yourself back from conveying your true self. There is no logic behind having to wait for the one day of 365 to feel comfortable in your own — or someone else’s, rather — skin. 

The time is now to be ourselves. Of course, there are a few occasions in life where certain apparel is required– a wedding, the workplace, a funeral; I don’t believe Great Aunt May would like to see Wonder Woman in the same room as her husband’s open casket. A pity, really. However, there are plenty of opportunities to be outgoing and unapologetically yourself in everyday life, contrary to Halloween’s propagandic claims.

Is Halloween worth the hype?

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