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Halloween

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Halloween is right around the corner and it might just be the second most wonderful time of the year (what can I say, I am a sucker for Christmastime). There are just so many positives that come with the holiday; for one, free candy. In grocery stores all across the United States there are aisles of nothing but candy.

Now, it always seemed inevitable that when I was a kid, my autumn dentist appointment would land on either October 30th or November 1st. The scheduling almost seemed too perfect and without naming names (I’m looking at you, parents) I would listen to Dr. Buzzkill yap and yap bout candy causing cavities. So I would lie by saying I would monitor my intake and then be on my way.

Halloween is a pretty simple formula as well; on that fateful night you walk door to door and say the magic words “Trick or Treat,” and candy, as if falling from the heavens, ends up in your pillowcase (anyone trick-or-treating without a pillowcase was dreaming small). This event seems indescribable: you ask for candy, you get candy—are you serious? What a great tradition, what a great night!

Second, the reason Halloween is so awesome is that the holiday happens during autumn. Trees have shed their bland green color and provide a new life with shades of oranges, yellows, and reds. The changes are a reflection of attitude, and as leaves fall off branches, they create a pile of dreams, waiting to be jumped into. The weather has that perfect balance of chill, but not cold. A refreshing breeze makes the days better and the nights more. Fall weather is like nostalgia for a place you have never been, a feeling you have never had, and an experience you have always wanted.

So put a pot of coffee on, sit back, and enjoy the festivities of Halloween as you wait for knocks on the door from kids whose biggest worry in the world is if they will get Snickers or Reese’s. So many times I find myself wishing that autumn would never end, because the amazement in the scenery and the joys of Halloween.

Another essential to Halloween is costuming. At the end of the day, no one is too cool to dress up for Halloween, which is what makes events fun. Even the shyest people dress up for Halloween (sure the costume may be lame, but is that really the point here?). Dressing up for Halloween provides great memories and gets people talking; it’s a way to break the ice.

Costumes also allow reflection of events going on in the pop culture world (Taylor Swift/Kanye West couples, Jon and Kate plus eight, Octomom, a cocaine-addicted Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan), and the list goes on and on. My first Halloween costume was Bam Bam from the Flintstones, and my mother handmade it. I had the cloth robe with the black triangles and a wiffle ball bat, I’m sure there are pictures somewhere in a box, but Lord knows I don’t want to see them.

All of these things make Halloween phenomenal, but my favorite has to be the movies. With everything from B-List horror films to classic horror films, Halloween acts as a buffet for movie lovers. A few obvious choices include The Shining, Carrie, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, and of course Halloween.

As great, and scary, as these movies are, none of them holds a candle to my personal favorite Halloween film, or I guess technically short television movie, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Yeah I said it, and stand by it.

I have watched It’s the Great Pumpkin every year since I was seven years old and continually find joy in the experience. It has become tradition, and one I don’t see myself breaking in a long time. I always grew up loving the Peanuts comic, and I had to watch the short films. It’s the Great Pumpkin quickly became my favorite.

The characters just seemed to make sense to me; they were relatable, fun, and nice. I always felt bad for Charlie Brown; at every single house he continued to get a rock in his trick-or-treat basket. How much would that suck? No candy, no gifts, a rock.

My favorite character from the film is Linus. He makes absolutely no sense at times, but somehow has the best insights. He sees the Great Pumpkin like most people see Santa Claus, coming to give presents to sincere boys and girls who wait in the pumpkin patch. The thing I love about Linus is that people mocking him or telling him how stupid he is acting do not affect him in the least bit. He is going to stay in the pumpkin patch for as long as it takes for the Great Pumpkin to show up.

Now that I am older, Linus is just a reminder to hold out hope for the things I believe and want. The hopes and dreams might not always work out or “show up,” but you have to hold out hope to make it all worthwhile. Without the effort to hope, none of it really matters. That is the beauty of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; the older I get, and based on the experiences I am going through, this short film has a different and fresh perspective.

Halloween is an amazing time of year; there is candy, the beautiful fall weather, creative costumes, and Charlie Brown. Halloween is an evolving holiday: as kids there is the excitement of going door to door with friends getting candy; in the teenage and college years it becomes a huge party; and in the middle-age years it becomes a time of reflection as you walk door to door with your own kids. Halloween comes full circle every year, and that is part of the magic.

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About WesJackson

halloween

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Halloween is the celebration typically held on October 31st each year. The roots of Halloween go back thousands of years. It is believed that the Celtics were the originators of Halloween. The date marked the end of the summer and the harvest and the beginning of the cold winter that was often a time of death. The Celtic New Year began on November 1st. Celebrating the night with bonfires and predictions of the future, the Celtics believed this to be the night that the dead walked again on the earth. During the celebration the Celtics wore animal skins and heads as costumes.

A great source for Halloween party ideas, costume designs, recipes and unique party favors as well as great holiday crafts; check out blog sites like Halloween-Blog.com. It is an excellent source of all things Halloween.

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