Last year my eighteen-year-old son asked me to carve a pumpkin with him. Do you have any idea how long it had been since we had carved a pumpkin? I jumped at the chance and the memory will always be among my most precious.
In my (as yet unpublished) novel, The People of the Green Hills, the Green Hills society is based on seven principles, one of which is “Live simply and celebrate often.” They knew that life is a beautiful, joyful gift, and every so often we should put everything else on hold and celebrate its wonder. I made it that way because I truly believe that holidays are an essential part of keeping our eyes on the reasons for everything else.
Halloween is next Friday. I love Halloween. I love the kids coming to my door in their costumes. I wish they stayed longer so I could get a really good look at them, but in our neighborhood, they trick-or-treat with pillowcases instead of plastic pumpkins. We virtually keep the candy companies in business all by ourselves. But, you say, candy is garbage! It rots their teeth! It causes sugar highs! It has no nutritional value!
Oh, for Pete’s sake! Go suck a lemon. They have lots of vitamin C and fiber.
I know that some places the parties get out of hand. I know that in some places awful, criminal things happen. The bad guys are stealing all of our happiness, bit by bit. If we outlaw everything they abuse, pretty soon we will have nothing wonderful left.
Let the kids have their fun. Let them be princesses or pirates or zombies for a night. Collect up all the candy that people give out with such joy and generosity, monitor how much your kids have, and make sure they brush their teeth. Well monitored Halloween candy can last a couple of months. Happiness is a good thing.
By the way, my boys have outgrown the Halloween candy phase. They are getting pumpkin bread instead. It’s delicious and it makes the house smell wonderful.