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My Halloween Nightmare

We're in danger of losing the tradition of trick-or-treating.



I have come to a time in my life when my love for Halloween is not reciprocated. I am too old to trick or treat, but don't have kids to take door-to-door. I am too young to have friends hold home costume parties, but not young enough to head downtown clad in costume. And not owning a house means all those spooky decorations lining the store shelves go unpurchased.

I am left to sit at home watching Halloween-themed episodes of my favourite shows.

I'm not sure if it is me getting older or if it's a sign of the times---the population decline of children, safety, time, money---but it seems Halloween, for adults, has become one of two things: a reason to dress inappropriately and drink, or just another day on our way to Christmas.

But oh! Oh, I will try to bring the spirit of ghosts and witches and things that go bump in the night to those around me. To make them smile and feel silly, like we did when we were kids, running around the neighbourhood, hoping that the house that handed out full size candy bars the year before didn't have new residents.

Don't get me wrong. Halloween's history is not steeped in orange and black candy, or disposable plastic decor. It was long ago a time for making offerings to the dead. There is no doubt that when we talk about "overly commercialized holidays," Halloween should be placed at the top of the list.

But for me, it's one of the best times of the year. And yes, I could be more grown up about it and talk to you about the flavours of this time of year: pumpkin this and caramel apple tarts that. But to me, that's not Halloween.

I want to share with you the little joys of sneaking a mini-chocolate bar before breakfast, or the fun of being up to your elbow in the guts of a gourd. I want to be creative and show you my costume at work, a homemade one that is actually a costume, and not just a short skirt, low-cut top and a headband with ears on it.

But no, as an adult I am supposed to shrug off Halloween. To only look back at it with fondness and as a rite of passage into old age. Think I am wrong? Walk around Halifax. You'll see that no one goes all out to decorate anymore. Ask to do something spooky at work on Halloween, and the answer probably won't even be verbal, but an eye roll.

With adults not finding the spirit of the season, what does that mean for the future generation who have only celebrated October 31 as a night of fun, not one being haunted by their ghosts of Halloween's past?

It means that more of them are trick-or-treating with little to no costumes; if the adults don't make time for this fun, the kids won't either. It means more of us are turning off our porch light early, so as to not give any of those "little beggars" free stuff. It means the holiday is dying a slow death.

But I won't let that happen. I will continue to push for pumpkins in the workplace and candy for all. Join me in this campaign to bring back silly and fun.

This Hallows' Eve Halifax, I hope to see more of you on my morning commute wearing a clown wig or a red, pointy tail. I hope you enjoy those tombstone-and-bat shaped treats made by someone who appreciates the holiday, and wants to make sure you do too. Take your time enjoying taking the kids trick or treating. As adults we often forget how much our energy rubs off on them.

And, if you have a house, throw up a decoration and keep the light on a little longer for the trick or treators, for those of us who wish they could.


Sarah Lyon is a top blogger on the Girl Guides of Canada blog, a member of the Halifax Food Bloggers and a non-profit worker in Halifax. She writes at and tweets @SAPL.

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