Happy almost Halloween! How are you feeling about Halloween this year? Are you still celebrating? We have so many family and friends that absolutely LOVE Halloween. This is the one holiday they go all out for. They design haunted houses and always create the most amazing costumes. I am always in awe of the time and effort they spend transforming themselves into different characters and creatures.
I fondly remember a grandmother I would talk to waiting for Akira to come out of the kindergarten gate. She had an amazing collection of creepy, scary dolls. She showed us photos of her collection while we waited for the kids. She announced when she got a “new baby” and would delight us with stories of people running out of her haunted house screaming in terror. At the time her passion for Halloween seemed wild to me, and she was judged by some of the moms as being crazy. With time and a little wisdom I think I finally understand her WHY. She enjoyed being "childish" and that kept her young.
Halloween is the one day we have permission to truly be children again. It’s about dressing up, eating candy, hopefully feeling the thrill of being scared by a monster popping out from the corner. It’s a simple holiday too. We don’t have to prepare a turkey or wrap presents. We don’t have to clean the house cause trick-or-treaters aren’t coming inside. All we have to do is ignite our imaginations and let go.
“We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw
Remember as a child dressing up not just on Halloween, but all year round? I remember spending hours playing Star Wars with my brother and cousins. I would wrap myself up in a white sheet, twirl my hair in buns, and I was instantly transformed into Princess Leia. We spent hours killing storm troopers with our lightsabers and my brother’s bunk bed became the Millennium Falcon. I remember the hours and hours of laughter we shared on Alderaan.
And then society began to tell us to grow up and to part with our childish ways. Being “childish” became an insult and we learned to avoid the rich fantasy worlds we used to visit. We abandoned imagination to become serious and hard working. Our desire to play was replaced with our desire to acquire material wealth. We convinced ourselves that this was the path to a successful life.
By reconnecting to our inner child on Halloween we are reminded to not take ourselves so seriously. This holiday transports us to a simpler time when we didn’t have a mortgage and only had to worry about grabbing a pillowcase big enough to hold a lot of candy. I propose we use Halloween as a starting point to remind ourselves that being “childish” isn’t a bad thing if viewed through the lens of play.
And let’s not stop with Halloween. Let’s figure out a way to add fun and play to our adult lives all year round. Let’s model to our children that play and laughter are an essential part of being happy in life. So carve your pumpkins, eat candy corn, and plan a few tricks for your family. Make them laugh hard and enjoy your time together. For a truly well balanced adult will always embrace their "childish" ways.
City and County websites have published guidelines and videos on how to have a safe Halloween during COVID. Here's the link for San Bernardino County: https://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/countywire/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/San-Bernardino-County-Guidance-for-Celebrating-Halloween-FINAL-9-23-20.pdf