Halloween is the most pagan of pagan holidays. It's the one day you kind of side eyed your friends in Sunday School and asked what they were going trick or treating as only to be told that Halloween is of the devil, just like Harry Potter. That, or they told you they were going as a pumpkin and what about you?
When I was younger and fatter I was really into Halloween. I loved the candy. Once I realized that you didn't need to take those plastic bags provided by the school or the pumpkin shaped candy carrier and could instead take a pillowcase things got a whole lot more lucrative for me. It's a miracle I don't have diabetes and only got my first filling a year ago.
I had some pretty epic costumes over the years. Before I was in school I was a fluffy bunny. When I was six or so my parents got me all decked out in an EPIC witch's costume. Green face paint and all. A couple years later I went as Indiana Jones. Then, when I was in grade seven and decided on a last minute whim that I did indeed want to go trick or treating, I threw on my dad's red bathrobe and he helped me make a cotton ball beard attached to a piece of printer paper. Then I took him trick or treating with me. When I partied, I partied hard.
Once I finished middle school I was kind of done with Halloween. It's been a good excuse to bust out the fairy wings (my grown-up go-to costume) and socialize at a friend's house but aside from that I can take it or leave it.
Since going off dairy a year and a half ago, Halloween's really been put into perspective for me. Mini chocolate bars aren't as fun when you can't eat them. I was thinking about this the other day when it kind of... hit me. The true meaning of Halloween.
Now, no matter people say, Halloween is not a holiday. Sorry, but it's just not. If I have to go work and I'm not being paid to stay home it's not a holiday. Neither is St. Patrick's Day or Valentine's Day. Maybe the day after all those "events" should be a holiday to let people recover from their candy/beer induced comas but that's another argument for someone who cares more than me to make.
It's come to my attention that the true meaning of Halloween is twofold: Reese's and ladybugs.
Halloween growing up was always about the candy or, more specifically, the peanut butter cups. Some people would give out the Eat More's (gross), raisins (old people), or the cheap doctor's office suckers (grape or bust), but I was in it for the Reese's peanut butter cups. Those things were worth their weight in gold. Diamonds. Platinum.
I would shove those little wonders in my face faster than you could say gingivitis. They were, and still are, the most delicious thing in the world (although having tasted a vegan doughnut my mind might be changing, but that could just be maturity kicking in). As I got older and started to think a bit more about what I put into my body Halloween became that one glorious day of the year where I could indulge myself on a dozen peanut butter cups guilt-free.
Now, though, I can't. That sweet sweet pleasure has been taken from me by my lack of tolerance to non-goat dairy and it's by-products. Intolerance leads to nothing but heartbreak.
In our cozy little west coast basement suite we didn't get a lot of trick or treaters. That was okay because school-age children intimidate me. All I hoped for every year, though, was just one tiny little ladybug to come to my door and politely ask me for a trick or treat. There is nothing at all cuter than a child between the ages of two and four in a ladybug costume. Nothing, I tell you. (Except for maybe a baby in a peapod costume but they're usually too little to even hold their heads up let alone say trick or treat.) And you now what? It was a crap shoot. I think I got one ladybug last year, but I usually ended up having to settle for something almost as cute but equally as tiny.
This year I have dropped less than subtle hints to our neighbours that I would really appreciate it if their 18 month old would kindly dress up as a ladybug. She's not quite two, but she's tall enough that I'll let it pass. If she does show up at our door in a ladybug costume I might just give her the whole candy bowl and call it a night.
So there you have it, folks, Reese's peanut butter cups and ladybugs, the true meaning of Halloween.
That's also why I've kind of given up on Halloween as anything but a final hurdle to get over before I can watch LoveActually and start contemplating where to put the Christmas tree.