The Disappearance of Halloween

Today’s post was a toss-up between a Halloween mini-rant, or another installment of “She Said, He Said” but I figured my marriage drama could wait a day or two, perhaps to gain a little perspective.  Stay tuned for that one…

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Last night on Twitter, I read about how a school had cancelled Halloween.   Then another woman tweeted today the same about her child’s school, in another province.

What the Ghoulish Goblin Guts???

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I am still astounded by this.  Cancel Halloween?  Are these some weird military schools churning out kids with zero sense of fun?

The explanation, apparently, is that:

a)  Some families don’t participate in Halloween, whether because of cultural or religious reasons

b)  Some kids come from families that can’t afford Halloween

Well, I guess that is your choice and I’m not here to convince you to join in on Halloween.  I just want it left alone for those who DO participate!

Here’s my 5 cents on that (you now officially get 3 extra cents because pennies no longer exist):

If you don’t like Halloween or don’t want to participate – then don’t!

That seems pretty straightforward to me.  So why don’t our schools get that?

We are not campers in our family, so we don’t take our kids camping.  See how I did that?   

I don’t take my kids to campgrounds and then complain to all the other campers that WE don’t camp, so neither should they.  The campgrounds don’t close up because some people don’t like camping.

We don’t stand outside camping equipment stores and petition everyone going inside to cancel camping, just because WE don’t like camping.  The stores don’t stop selling gear because we don’t buy it.

Get my drift?

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If you don’t want your kids to participate – find something else for them to do while their class enjoys Halloween fun.  Why do our schools feel they need to make everybody happy all of the time?  Why does our government support this mentality?  There are A LOT of people that don’t like smoking.  For very good reasons.  Has the government banned smoking everywhere in this country??

As for costumes, I will admit that my kids prefer store-bought costumes.  Mainly because they don’t know any different.  I confess I am pretty uncreative and probably a bit lazy when it comes to thinking of original, homemade costumes.  It’s always seemed easier to buy one off the rack, but I’m not crafty, as you already know.

However, if I did not have the means to buy my kids costumes, I would suddenly become much more creative in digging through my closets, basement, parents’ closets and recycling bins to find bits and bobs that I could make inexpensive Halloween costumes out of.  I have a friend and she’s on a tight budget with four kids.  She does not buy costumes, but her kids pranced off to school today dressed in AMAZING homemade Halloween costumes that THEY thought of and made almost independently.

Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

When I was a kid, I don’t remember getting a store-bought costume (I may have gotten one, but I only remember the ones I made. Hmm…) and not because my parents couldn’t afford one.  It just wasn’t the norm, but not once did my parents or any other parents that I know of march down to our school and ask them to cancel Halloween because we couldn’t afford to BUY a costume!!!

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I support inclusion, I really do.   But I think we need to pause and consider what exactly inclusion means.  Inclusion is not a reversible word that translates to really mean inclusion for some, while excluding others.  And cancelling the fun of dressing up for Halloween with their classmates and eating a few treats for those who enjoy it sounds pretty exclusionary to me.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween everybody!

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4 thoughts on “The Disappearance of Halloween

  1. I love this. I totally agree. Whenever there’s talk at my school about changing it to orange and black clothes etc I cringe. My school is very diverse and for the most part, all of our families embrace Halloween and allow their children to participate.

    • Baby Girl’s school is very diverse as well, and so far, they simply ask ahead of time to know what kids won’t be in costume, not sure what they do for them. I hope that never changes! Black and orange clothes are not quite the same…

  2. It irks me beyond belief that some schools cancel Halloween. Halloween is a part of the Canadian tradition, it has been celebrated for ages. When people move here from another country and don’t want to participate, fine don’t but don’t be asking us to cancel it, because it is against your beliefs.

    • Thanks for commenting, Catherine. I don’t know that it’s only people from other countries that don’t celebrate Halloween. There are many Canadians who don’t enjoy it, even those born here. I’m also not convinced that these schools are cancelling because of pressure from those who don’t celebrate. I think that the schools are perhaps trying to hard to make everybody happy, and sadly ending up making nobody happy. If they really want to make everyone happy – why not simply allow class parties with Halloween costumes, and open the gym with games and sports for all the kids who don’t want to do Halloween? Just an idea. : )

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