We were chatting at my house the other day about Halloween. We do a bit of decorating for it - nothing fancy like they do in College Hill, but a few strands of orange lights, an autumn leaves wreath, stuff like that. It was interesting to compare Halloween decorating today with what we did during my 1950's and 60's childhood.
Basically, back then, we didn’t do squat. Maybe one or two houses in the neighborhood would put a cardboard skeleton on the front door, a jack-o’-lantern in a window, but even that was rare.
Nowadays, forget it! People have a grand old time with lights, sound effects, animated monsters, full-sized skeletal menageries, graveyards - you name it. Is it (ahem) overkill?
Well, in my humble opinion, heck, no! I love it. I have the same impulse that many others have to mythologize my own childhood experience. It’s tempting to think the way things were done in the past is the right way to do them and the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. (Or a trick-or-treat bag.)
“Why, when I was a kid I had to trick-or-treat 10 miles, uphill all the way!”
But honestly, it’s more fun now. No one can really complain that a sacred time of the year is being commercially exploited, as some say about Christmas. There are almost no Halloween songs that get over-played to the point of nausea. (Okay, Monster Mash, but that’s about it.) Halloween is fun to overdo.
So get out there and horrify your neighborhood. Kids love it and so do those of us who are still kids but walk around costumed as grown-ups.