Boo Humbug

(posted by asta)

I’ve been trying to put to together a witty and insightful piece on the popularity of Halloween in Canada. It’s not going to happen, because in truth, I don’t get it.

I understand why the kids think it’s the best day of the year, next to Christmas.
With unidentifiable hordes of them knocking on doors after dark and being handed all the candy their parents never let then have any other time of the year, what’s not to love?
It’s the adult complicity in this sugar shock-fest that stumps me.
In late August the specially designed packages of miniature chocolate bars, and rockets and kisses start showing up on the shelves along with the requisite bags to put it in. A bag of 50 bars, each the size of a hotel pillow chocolate, will cost anywhere between 7 and 15 dollars. Handing out one pathetic looking little chocolate bar to a “trick or treater” will most assuredly result in you becoming the recipient of a trick (involving toilet paper and shaving cream at its most benign) or in the part of Canada where I grew up, something much more expensive.( Don’t ask me why tipping cows, and setting bridges on fire is so popular. I told you. I don’t get any of it) Figure on shelling out at least a dollar a kid. It’s not unusual to have more than 100 little darlings come knocking at your door.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Once upon a time, (cue up cranky ol’ bat music here) it was enough to buy a pumpkin, carve out a rough approximation of a scary-face, place a lighted candle inside and position the wonky jack-o-lantern in the living room window. The house was now decorated. Not anymore. Halloween decorations now rival those of Christmas on the expensively tacky scale. Don’t believe me?
Did you see how many items are sold out? Madness.
Even worse is the politically correct Halloween. Look, handing out colouring books or toothbrushes is just stupid. Either participate or don’t. Or do what I do.
Hand out treats to any child below eye level. They’re the first to arrive since they have earlier bedtimes. They are the first wave. It lasts about an hour. Then I turn off the lights and arrange to be elsewhere. Works for me. The coven is putting on a really fab do this year.

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