Before I start rambling on and being a negative Nathan, I’d like to make one thing clear: I love Halloween. Which is why I’m a little bit upset this year. It feels very forgotten about and thrown together, and there’s been an instant burst of Christmas that isn’t usually as prominent until later in the month.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are bigger things to worry about this year – the main culprit being the ongoing Global Bastard (as the lovely team at WhatCulture have named it) – and I understand that there’s a huge obligation to make sure Christmas this year is the best it can be – especially in high-street retail. But there’s always been something about Halloween that gets my spirits high (pun not intended).
Before I go any further, I am seeking advice about possibly having Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) on top of multiple other mental health conditions. With that in mind, Halloween is the last holiday before my depression gets worse. The sight of spooky decorations – and the recent additions of pastel coloured decorations 😍 – gives me an instant serotonin boost. While it doesn’t help my BPD-fuelled spending impulses, the spookiness always brings me comfort while my brain is actively doing the opposite.
While I’ve managed to bag a few Halloween goodies from here-and-there, there’s a dominatingly large portion of stores with Christmas decorations, clothing and bits-and-bobs at the forefront. Superstores seem to have a nice balance between the two, but that could be down to the niggling idea that we could possibly see another lockdown coming up. Companies and people seem determined to make sure the ‘ongoing Global Bastard’ doesn’t cancel Christmas.
Halloween isn’t just about trick-or-treating though; there are so many other things we can do! Plus, this year we’ll get to keep the sweets to ourselves, and that’s something I can get behind for my annual dose of Hocus Pocus and Halloween Town (thank you Aimee and Jacob for letting me scrounge off your Disney+ account!!)
Pumpkin carving can still be a fun activity, and they can still be put on the front porch for neighbours (and maybe the occasional trick-or-treater) to enjoy! This tradition is something that predates all the way back to Samhain (the origins of Halloween – pronounced Sow-en) where jack-o-lanterns were carved from turnips!
Something Aimee is doing with her household is a “onesie party”, where they are playing games and watching movies while dressed in onesies. You could do something similar with your household, or even put on Halloween costumes to amp up the festivities.
This year, I have decided to bake cupcakes. Another tradition of Samhain, cakes were handed out as rewards for people who would come to the door and sing away any unwanted spirits or faeries. This idea is where we get our modern tradition of trick-or-treating, as these people would be dressed as monsters or animals to scare faeries away from kidnapping these spirits (source: History.com).
Whatever you decide to do this year, please stay safe. While Halloween can still be celebrated, it is not advisable to go door-to-door this year. If you do decide to go trick-or-treating, please be mindful that some households may not answer if they live with vulnerable people, or may not answer if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. Please be kind to others and respect their decisions on however they participate.
If you don’t feel comfortable answering the door this year but want to make sure trick-or-treaters don’t miss out, you could leave out a little festive bowl of goodies for anyone who does wish to venture outside and keep checking on whether it needs a top-up every now and again.
I hope you are all keeping safe and well and are having a lovely month of spookiness.
Have Hope Always,