I was making lunch today and wondering how I was going to come up with money for Halloween costumes for my kids this year. Beggar's Night is a week away. I could make their costumes, if I could find materials that were cheap, and if I could think of a costume that was relatively simple to make that wouldn't make my children look like idiots. Not to mention the hour-long internet search of hundreds (if not thousands) of costumes with my son, while he complained about each one and continued asking for costumes that didn't exist or were just too expensive to make. In the middle of the second grilled cheese sandwich assembly, a song came on the radio about trick-or-treating. It was the kids' radio station, and the song was the old "Trick or treat, smell my feet," song most of us has heard before, but with lots of other lyrics. Like, "Give me something good to eat. If you don't, that's just fine. I hope you sit on a porcupine." Silly? Funny? I guess if you're 6.
But what a horrible attitude for kids to have, even in jest. I just keep thinking about the money parents spend on their kids' costumes. The candy bought by the neighborhood just to pass out to greedy, inappreciative, cavity-riddled children. Just like any other "holiday," Halloween is over-marketed, over-priced and widely misunderstood. Does anyone care about how this holiday developed? Do they care that it stemmed from religions most people don't practice and beliefs that no longer exist? Why do we continue to spend money on a "holiday" only celebrated by traditions we don't understand? My guess is because the heavily-stocked Walmart shelves tell us to, and because everyone else does. (Americans spend about $6.9 BILLION anually on Halloween crap, making it the second largest commercial holiday in the country.)
I really want my children to only celebrate things that are important to them, and by "important," I mean something other than the collection of candy. I don't want to be a big mean mom, but I want holidays to mean something, not just be celebrated because the Mainstream says we should. However, after mentioning to my husband I was thinking about calling off Trick or Treating and just having a nice night at home, my husband insisted I "can't do that to the kids." As if they'll be permanently damaged by not wandering around in the cold rain for two hours and eating two pounds of candy. *Sigh*
I bet a mummy costume would be easy to make...