Weekend Assignment # 341: How Do You Do Halloween?
Each year at this time, we are told that Halloween is second only to Christmas in its commercial impact. Once an amalgam of religious holidays, it has grown over the years, at least in the U.S., and it’s not just for children as it may have been half a century ago. What, if anything, do you personally do to celebrate Halloween? Have you ever participated in an alternative or related holiday, such as the Dias de Los Muertos, Samhain, a church Harvest Festival, etc.?
Extra Credit: What was the last Halloween costume you wore, and when?
I don’t actually have Halloween traditions anymore. Other than buying the candy, I mean.
Today, I went to the used book sale at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. I managed to control myself and only purchased three books. None of which I remotely need. Then I had lunch and came home.
I spent the afternoon on the couch, flipping between football, The Rocky Horror Picture Show marathon and the marathon of something called The Most Terrifying Places in America, on the Travel Channel. Apparently, a devil baby once lived in Jane Addams’ Hull House. Here is what Ms. Addams had to say about that. And I handed out candy to the few trick-or-treaters that bother to come all the way down my street.
The last time I wore a costume was to a Halloween party held by my friends Bill and Liza just before they were married. I believe Liza just said that was eight years ago. I went as a medieval ghost with the dress and the makeup of death. I remember my friend Andrew did the makeup, which was cool because I would have done the softer pale-haunted look, and he went for the starker-scary look.
Eight years, though. That rather suggests that I am over Halloween. How sad.
I followed your Jane Addams link to one of her articles about the supposed Devil Baby. It was very interesting, albeit depressing as she wrote of the plight of abused and abandoned women from the age of immigrants. Her remarks about how belief in the urban legend of the Devil Baby was unshakable in the minds of so many people strongly reminds me of today, when so many people believe Obama is a Kenya-born terrorist socialist Muslin Antichrist or whatever, regardless how much counter-evidence is presented. So frustrating! Addams wrote about belief in the Devil Baby being related to the difficult lives of these older women. What is in the lives of the birthers and other modern believers of nonsense that only nonsense is plausible to them?