I am glad halloween is over. It's the one holiday I've never really enjoyed. I don't like dressing up in costume and I don't like being scared. The two major components of the holiday that others enjoy. Even as a kid I never liked Halloween. Honestly, it was the free candy and competition with my brothers on how much we could collect that was the focus of the holiday. We'd grab our pillowcases and run from door to door in our neighborhood gathering candy by the pound. We'd run home when the pillowcase was full and pour the candy on the front-room floor and rush back out into the night in another direction. At the end of the evening we would compare piles of candy and the winner would be the victor. We'd have candy in the house until next Halloween and most of the time we'd throw out the candy within a week or so because we didn't have the storage space.
When my daughter was young I had not celebrated halloween for many years and the thought of dressing her up and going to complete strangers homes was scary to me. Warnings about razor blades in apples and cocaine and methamphetamine in candy kept us at home. Then one day our church put on a Trunk-or-Treat event and suddenly we had found a safe place where she could play games and get candy and toys. She dressed up in cute outfits that were not scary but as an angel or warrior with a sword. It's been a long time since those days and Halloween looked very different this year. The costumes that resembled action figures, superheroes, and characters from scary movies didn't happen. Stores remain closed, gathering places remain restricted, and everyone is so tired of wearing a mask the thought of wearing yet another mask put a damper on the festivities. Still, last night the evening air was filled with BBQ's searing steaks, glasses clinking, and people laughing as they gathered around backyards in my neighborhood. The door steps may have been vacant but the backyards were booming. For one evening we changed masks from sad and angry to one of joy and laughter. We needed a reason to celebrate, a purpose to our gathering, to focus on something other than CoronaVirus and the elections...and people did.