Halloween is now the second most popular holiday, second only to Christmas. It is certainly funner than Easter, and more creative than Thanksgiving.
I was a teenager in the 1970's and reached adulthood in the 1980s. I think that if you were to ask any of my contemperaries, they would agree that in their mid-fourties, they do not feel like grown ups. And I believe that the generations that have fallowed us - from X to Z would or will follow suit.
We still listen to rock-n-roll. We still "party". We still try to act like the kids we think we are.
At Christmas we continue to try to recapture that magic we remeber as kids. Yet the actual experience was most likely not as magical as our memory portrays it. And we try to instill in our kids the same experiences we believe we had.
This is the reason for obnoxious parents of little league baseball and hockey players. Yet we try to control every moment of our kids lives now with play dates, and bike helmets, and scheduling their day with the precision of a senior project manager.
If you think I overstate this opinion - let me recount my day today - Halloween 2006.
It started the night before, as I unpacked my girls backpacks. Ashley is in junior kindergarten while Alannah is in senior kindergarten (are there really enough skills to learn requiring two levels of kindergarten?). A note fell out of each backpack; "There are no costumes, masks or face paintings allowed at school. Instead we encourage all children to wear a combination of orange and black".
My kids own nothing orange - save a Detroit Tiger T-shirt Darlene bought them at the ballpark last summer. And that is what they wore to school on Halloween.
Yes, they cried "I want to wear my Princess dress!".
"I'm sorry, but dressing like a princess is against school rules. Now please put on the Tigers T-shirt".
Halloween didn't start for my daughters until after dinner at 6 PM. They only got to wear their costumes for an hour and a half. And we all returned home - the bags were poured on the kitchen table to look for pin holes and razer blades. Halloween has actually gotten scarier.
When we were kids, we wore our costumes to school on Halloween. We had a parade and marched through the school and down the main street of town. That afternoon we went out to "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF". We went home and ate dinner in our costume - removing only the mask because that mouth hole was to small to get a hot dog through. Then we went real trick-or treating for what seemed like all night. We ate half our candy before we even came home.
I dressed in black slacks and an orange dress shirt. I got the idea from .. well, I think you can guess. After dropping my girls off at school, I was served at the drive through coffee shop by a witch handing me my double-double.
At the office I was greeted by a staff of faries in the sales department. (the kind with wings I mean).
The IT staff were dresssed as pirates - with the manager dangling a CD around her neck - "I'm a software pirate" she explained.
In HR, everyone was dressed like Disney's It's a small world" exhibit wearing costume like replicas of the attire from Asia, Arabia, Europe and Africa. This stunned me as our HR is very sensitive to political correctness, and our company does employ people from all these areas. I think they must have cringed to see their heritages become fodder for office holiday celebrations. But I digress.
There were candies and cakes everywhere - a costume contest at noon with a cup of coffee as the winning entry (really well done I must point out). I would say our department worked at approximately 50% efficiency today. It was a lot of fun.
So yes, halloween is the second most poular holiday. But the line gets fuzzy when you ask if the kids or adults had more fun.
When I was a kid, I could hardly wait to be an adult. And now that I have - man is it fun.