Matt Olson, Copy Editor
One of the best parts about Halloween is its lack of traditions. People can celebrate – or not – as they see fit. Trick-or-treating is a popular means of celebrating Halloween but is certainly not the only way to do so. People can pass out candy, go to parties and attend events of all kinds, ranging from cult movie showings to haunted houses to local festivities. If none of those activities sounds appealing, then you can still find something else to do.
Dressing up is an equally important aspect. With the exception of casual sexism regarding women’s costumes, judgment is not a part of Halloween. You can be scary or sexy, funny or serious, extravagant or gruesome – and you don’t have to limit yourself with costumes that fall under those descriptions. You can wear what you want, how you want.
Unlike Independence Day or Thanksgiving, overbearing patriotism isn’t a theme – Halloween does not have the history of old white men refusing to pay taxes and arguing for their freedom while also enslaving black men, women and children, nor does the holiday bring to mind the country’s questionable history with Native Americans.
Unlike religious holidays, Halloween is not restricted to followers of a certain creed or religion. Unlike Christmas specifically, Halloween has not become a commercialist venture in which the masses are driven by marketing maneuvers.
You can celebrate Halloween as you see fit. Unlike other holidays, if you decide to stay home and watch horror movies – or not participate at all – then you won’t have to deal with the social judgment that there must be something wrong with you.
If you are a parent, you can share Halloween with your children and pass on your own traditions, whether that means trick-or-treating through the neighborhood or participating in a community event.
Halloween allows individuals to celebrate their own individualities. When we face so many outside pressures – from school, from work, from family or peers – then holidays like Halloween become necessary, even important. Be yourself as you see fit and enjoy it, if only for one night a year.