It’s that time of the year again where bloggers the world over wonder whether they should use the world Hallowe’en (with the apostrophe) or Halloween (without) or even All Hallows’ Eve, in order to maximise the SEO of their content about Halloween / Hallowe’en / All Hallows’ Eve.
But since I’m not that way inclined (*winks at Google*) I thought I’d just cut straight to the chase and tell you why I think the modern incarnation of Halloween was actually invented to do us mums over….
Halloween Is Yet Another Reason to Feel Guilty
As if keeping the kids alive whilst collecting ‘things that signify Autumn*’ for their homework wasn’t enough to do during half-term (*anyone know how you can cram ‘a feeling of diminished hope and general sense of gloom about the impending Winter’ into a brown paper bag?).
No, October is a month in which you also have to deal with the nagging guilt that you should be hand-crafting soufflés that ooze green slime rather than scraping the mould off the pesto and keeping your fingers crossed that this isn’t the time you give them food poisoning.
At least for one week of the year you can look upon those cobwebs in the corners of your ceilings as decoration rather than evidence of your failings as a human being.
You Will Never Again Do ‘Sexy Halloween Outfit’
Even when I had the chance, I’d often pass up the chance of sexy fancy dress.
Take a friend’s Vegas-themed 30th birthday party for example. This was an event being attended by a boy I really fancied; an event to which I could easily have gone as a show girl, or Marilyn Monroe, or a really rude slot machine. But no, I went as one half of Siegfried and Roy, complete with life-size toy tiger that I had to lug around all night for fear of being mistaken for a slightly flamboyant lesbian without it.
What a fool I was. Nowadays, I am less Harley Quinn and more Gnarly Quim – but I can’t see me raking in the sweet dollars designing a fancy dress costume that looks like a vagina that’s been through the mill, even if it would scare the retinas off your eyeballs.
You Don’t Really Need a Fancy Dress Costume
I’m not entirely sure why my less child-challenged friends go to extreme lengths to look like haggard old witches at Halloween when they could just ask me to confiscate their make-up bag and borrow my son for the day.
I guess it’s only fitting that Halloween should fall around this time of the year. Last night I was woken by something going bump in the night and it took me a good two minutes to realise it was my son, whose body clock is well and truly shot to buggery by British Summer Time ending on Sunday.
It’s Only 55 Days Until Christmas
The true horror of modern-day Halloween is that, as soon as it is over, every retail outlet feels perfectly justified in playing Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody on a loop until you start willingly poking cotton buds into your ear precisely because the label says doing so might cause hearing loss.
But don’t worry, because as soon as Christmas is over, it’s only 312 days until Halloween folks!
I’m wondering why we don’t combine them both into a two month-long tat-buying, sweet-eating, costume-wearing orgy of consumption, but replace Santa with the Grim Reaper so when you’re creeping about as the big fella on Christmas Eve, that threat of ‘being nice not naughty’ actually packs some clout.
Halloween Makes a Mockery of Every Major Rule You Have Taught Your Kids
Hey kids, don’t speak to strangers! Hey kids, don’t play with fire! Hey kids, don’t eat too much sugary stuff! Hey kids, don’t be mean to old people.
But for one night of the year, of course you can dress up in an outfit made of tinder, clutching a jack-o’lantern, gorging yourself on strangers’ sweeties whilst throwing eggs at Gladys’s house because she’s too terrified to come to the door.
Why just mix your messages when you can Nutri-Bullet the bejeezus out of them?
You Have to Live With a Rotting Pumpkin for Days
If someone told you there was this tradition which involved carving a pumpkin to ward off evil spirits you’d assume it was some medieval bullshit from back in the day when people’s brains were 85% syphilis and 15% turnip.
But no, in 2017, an age when we can reprogram skin cells into stem cells, sequence the entire genome of a human and discover ice on Mars, we can’t quite bring ourselves to throw out that rotting vegetable in the lounge all because it has a face on it.
It’s Just More Crap to Hang On To
We have a carefully balanced system in our house – no more stuff than you can easily find a home for and anything beyond that operates on a strict one-in-one-out policy.
But Halloween upsets that balance. One trip to the school Halloween fair and you’ll be drowning in detritus: monster tentacle Deely Boppers; jumping suction-cup ghosts; a jar filled with the flotsam and jetsam some other mother felt too guilty to send to landfill and so ‘donated’ to the Terrible Tombola.
If you want to experience something truly horrifying for Halloween, just think about that pile of crap you have. Now multiply it by 11 million children in the UK. Now imagine a cauldron big enough to put it all in. That’s a big steaming pot of pointlessness about the size of 55 football pitches.
Those Druids who started this whole shebang aren’t just turning in their graves; they’re being evicted to make room for the Waste Disposal Sites needed to process this junk.
So I suggest we boycott Halloween next year. Just close the curtains, extinguish the tealight candles and leave the Haribo Scaremix on the supermarket shelf.
Or else we could go back to the more traditional customs of the day, where people performed witchcraft, made human sacrifices and tried to contact the dead through various forms of divination. At least then there’s a chance us mums would end up on the bonfire rather than agonising over a tray of overdone parkin in the kitchen.
[photo credit: Carol (vanhookc) Lady Spider! via photopin (license), photo credit: sarahgb(theoriginal) More bedroom cobwebs … oops! via photopin (license),photo credit: taymtaym OKIMG_1689 via photopin (license),photo credit: kennethkonica IMG_0986 via photopin (license)]