If it was left to the kids, Halloween would happen every day. With as many free lollies as doors you can knock on, plus the chance to dress like a dinosaur, what’s not to love?
For adults though, whether to adopt this North American tradition is polarising. Since the insane performances in the American presidential debates seem to be reaching us, we might as well get in the spirit and debate Halloween too.
3 reasons to be anti-Halloween
1. Too. Much. Sugar.
What kid needs to collect two kilos of lollies in one go? And what adult needs to sneakily eat both kilos after bedtime to save their kids’ teeth? Halloween encourages tooth-rotting, sugar-high-inducing gluttony.
2. Yet another commercial holiday
We’ve got Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas. Do we really need another thing to celebrate and spend money on? Money isn’t the only consideration – so is storage, particularly for those of us who live tightly packed like sardines in cities. Where to store your daughter’s fairy wing and wand collection, or the life sized pumpkin head scarecrow you used to decorate your balcony?
3. We’re not Americans!
As a Canadian, I think this argument is a funny one. Australians seem to do just fine resisting the bits of American culture they don’t want. For instance, the drip coffee that’s ubiquitous in America (and Canada) is dismissed as sludge here. In my humble opinion, Australian culture is in no danger of becoming Americanised.
But it remains true that Halloween is bigger in North America than anywhere else in the world, and it definitely comes hand in hand with a certain American flavour. It’s not traditionally an Australian holiday.
3 reasons to be pro-Halloween
1. Get to know your neighbours
We’ve heard of a golden age of neighbourliness, when people brought each other casseroles and borrowed cups of sugar. These days neighbourly courtesies seem to be limited to a brief hello on the street. Going from house to house with your kids is the perfect way to get to know the neighbours. A classic Halloween litmus test for neighbourly generosity? Which house gives out the full sized chocolate bars.
2. Dressing up only happens once a year
In North America, Halloween hype is huge, and kids (and adults) talk about their costume plans for months. They do this because they only dress up once a year. For parents that means you only have to scramble for a last minute costume once every 12 months. For some, this fact alone will be enough to welcome the spooky holiday to our country with an enthusiastic BOO!
3. Our warm climate is perfect for fancy dress
The worst thing about celebrating Halloween in the northern hemisphere is that your mum makes you wear a winter jacket with your costume. Unless you’re dressed as a snowboarder for Halloween, the jacket always ruins your costume.
In Australia, we’re blessed with warm weather in October. If your kid wants to be Princess Jasmine from Aladdin, there’s no need to hunt down a flesh-coloured thermal suit for her to wear under her princess garb. A perfect climate for dressing up means we’re practically obligated to celebrate!
Will you send your kids trick-or-treating this year? Are you handing out lollies or locking up the house and going for pizza while costumed revellers take to the streets, possibly toilet papering your front garden?