Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

There's No Masking It: Hooray for Halloween

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

There's No Masking It: Hooray for Halloween

Article excerpt

`WHAT IS IT about Halloween? Why is it such a big deal these days?"

D-Day, a deejay on The Point radio, asked me that on his morning show.

My brain isn't at its best in the morning. I mumbled something, waiting for the caffeine to kick in.

Ever since, I've thought about what I should have said.

Halloween has become one of our biggest holidays. Kids love it. Adults like it even more.

My grownup friends spend weeks planning their costumes. One is going as his fantasy Barney, with knives, chains and spikes sticking out of his purple back.

There's so much to do at Halloween for kids and grownups: For a whole month there are parties and plays. Spook houses are getting $9 a person to scare you.

And don't tell me Trick or Treating is dead. Every year, at least 100 kids panhandle for candy on our street.

Why is Halloween so popular? I can think of six reasons.

(1) It's not a family holiday.

You may love your parents, but you dread the holiday obligations. Guilt is big at Christmas and Thanksgiving. I'll bet you're trapped in one of these scenarios: You spent last Christmas with his mother, so you better go to your family this year, or they will be upset.

Mom and Dad are divorced, and make you choose between them on holidays.

Mom and Dad want their little girl to come home for the holidays and sleep in her own little room. Their little girl is 28, and would rather go to Aruba and sleep with her own big hunk.

It's your turn to have your sisters and their screaming kids at your place. Some holiday you'll have, cooking and cleaning.

At Christmas and Thanksgiving, you know no matter what you do, there will be hurt feelings, fights and misunderstandings.

Halloween doesn't have that. You don't have to please anyone but yourself and your kids.

(2) Halloween has no bad memories.

We've read the holiday books and seen the movies. We know there's supposed to be that perfect Christmas and that happy family Thanksgiving.

But most of us don't have perfect families. When grownups are worried about holiday bills, they can misbehave.

There aren't many happy holiday stories about Mom getting boozed and burning the turkey. Or Dad smacking you into the Christmas tree.

If you're lucky enough to have a good family, something bad has happened during the holidays. …

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