I heard something very sad today; sad, but I felt sorrier for the person that said it, than the actual words. I was asking a female co-worker if she planned to dress up for Halloween (tomorrow), and before she could answer, a curmudgeonly male co-worker butted in, snorting, “Halloween is for kids!”
“I can’t believe some of the stuff that comes flying out of your mouth,” I challenged him, somewhat indignantly. “I suppose you think Christmas is for kids, too, right?”
“Yeah, it is,” he challenged back, “and I suppose you also wait for the Easter Bunny at Easter and also think the Tooth Fairy visits.”
Rather than paddle into deep water, I decided to let the conversation fizzle out; but I couldn’t help but think how much it would absolutely suck to have that attitude. Doesn’t life pass us by fast enough without us having to relinquish all the fun stuff to just the “kids?” Isn’t there still enough “kid” left in all of us to be able to celebrate, participate, decorate, and just get caught up in the general feel of any holiday or other occasion we choose?
Fortunately my husband Chuck and I are mostly on the same page when it comes to holidays. We decorate the house accordingly — inside and out — and enshroud ourselves in the ambiance and joy that that particular holiday brings.
Halloween for us marks the beginning of the holiday season, actually. Next comes my birthday; then about a week later, Thanksgiving; then the month of December, which, if I had my way, would have a dozen weekends, as it just seems there is never enough time to attend the numerous festivities, throw a few shindigs of your own, and just get everything done.
But getting back to Halloween, it is apparent that Scrooges and Grinches lurk around that time, too. It’s unfortunate — for them. They can try to throw a wet blanket on the fun, but they’re going to lose. Most of my friends and acquaintances embrace any reason to celebrate; if recent Facebook photos are any indication (not to mention the collection of photos I have from our own parties) the Halloween spirit is truly alive and well — and not just for kids.
My neighbor Maureen and her daughter Tess always decorate according to the season and/or holiday. Springtime they have a little flag they post out in their front yard, that simply says, “Spring!” They seem to “get” that part of the joy of decorating, is sharing it with others as well.
As I leave for work at 4:30 a.m. it is still dark and somewhat ominous; looking down the block and seeing the string of orange lights adorning the outside of Maureen and Tess’s home, I feel a sense of joy and security overtake my uneasiness.
As I get in my car and maneuver my way out of my neighborhood, I think about how cool it is that Tess gets to happily study at the feet of the master – Maureen – when it comes to holiday spirit, seasonal appreciation and just a general joie de vivre, and know that it can carry over from childhood on through adulthood.
And how cool is it to be Maureen, to have a daughter she can pass her own sense of wonder and whimsy on to?
Whether it is holidays, seasons or anything else that truly brings you and others joy, growing up shouldn’t mean you necessarily have to grow up.