While Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays are often the celebrations most synonymous with being home, it’s actually Halloween that deserves the most credit. There’s no other day when random, crazy-looking people visit your front door and you open it without question bearing gifts for their enjoyment. And “being home” is the central part of Halloween.
For the last two years in the Northeast part of the United States, we’ve had to put Halloween on hold. Two years ago there was a bizarre snowstorm that dumped a foot of snow on the ground and halted all trick or treating activity. Last year, my home state of New Jersey canceled Halloween activities due to Hurricane Sandy and the fact that most of our homes were without power or worse. So the Halloween 2014, at least for us, is like an old friend we’re welcoming back after being away for a few years.
No one is more excited about Halloween than my 5, soon to be 6, year old. He is the epitome of the Jerry Seinfeld Halloween bit where he states that as a child his sole focus in life was to “get candy.” School, friends, family, these were just obstacles in the way of getting candy. He knows this not a day to be messed with. As a 3-year old he approached a neighbor’s door with bucket in hand awaiting confectionery treasures. Our neighbor placed a bag of “Halloween pretzels” in his bucket. My son looked at the pretzels, pulled it out of his bucket and handed it back to our neighbor. He had not time to waste on these snacks. Chocolate and lollipos were ripe for the taking elsewhere and he needed all the room he could get in his bucket for those essential October treats. And therefore Halloween is one of the most joyous days of the year in the Marine home.
Halloween is one of the few days of the year that people go out in their neighborhood, meet their neighbors and walk the streets where they reside. Somehow dressing up in costumes and the prospect of free candy makes us more neighborly. We need more of that in our world today.
So today Darth Maul, Boba Fett, an Orca (yes, an orca), and a dragon will depart from our home with empty buckets, but grinning faces. They’ll return home with those same smiles, sticky fingers and the anticipation of having candy for dinner. While candy may be the catalyst for the day, it’s the fact that others are opening the door of their home and the enjoyment of the day with family and friends that make the day so special.
Here’s to being home for Halloween.
Header image courtesy of Flickr user Violentz