It’s beginning to look a lot like … Halloween. And I dread it.
That “bah humbug” attitude that Dickens described so well in “A Christmas Carol” is how I regard this season of ghosts, goblins, and neighbors’ houses dressed up as elaborately as Snoopy’s doghouse.
Everything around here is witchy, blinking orange, or covered with huge black plastic spiders. Ghouls are popping up from fake graves on front lawns. Rattling skeletons hang from trees.
It’s not the expense that I resent so much, although it does cost a fortune to keep this house in candy. We live on the main street of a town that celebrates everything with gusto. And people drive from all over to trick-or-treat here, thanks to a neighborhood with a million houses all planted close together. A candy hunter’s dream.
So, hundreds of costumed people we have never seen before bound up to the front door over an about four-hour period, running through about $80 worth of Almond Joys and Smarties. Many of them are older teenagers and even people with kids of their own who hold out a bag for a treat. Are you serious?
I feel so ripped off, then guilty for feeling so. Shouldn’t I adore Halloween like everyone else around here? What’s wrong with me?
When I was young(er) I liked to dress up, but even then felt uncomfortable going door-to-door. Of course, I liked the candy and looked forward to dumping out my bag to categorize. Five Milky Ways, seven M&Ms, four MaryJanes …
But that was back when things felt fairly safe, on the cusp of the trend where a few nuts a year put razors or pins in candy. At the time, I was more interested in the boys from my class who stalked us in the dark, threatening to spray hair remover on our heads and pelt us with eggs.
I took my kids around when they were young, and then gratefully stepped back when they asked to go alone, leaving me defenseless at home as the official distributor, which I also despise.
I know I could leave for the night, or turn the light off and hide like my neighbor does. But it feels like bad form, even though I’m tempted. So I’m a victim of this holiday I hate, counting down the seconds until it is over. At least until next year.