7 life stages of Halloween
Looking back through the years, I think Halloween may have been my children's favorite holiday. Certainly as young children, with the promise of bags of candy it ranked very high. As they got older Halloween only seemed to grow in significance. Looking back at Halloween as a kid, a teenager, a young adult, a parent and now as an empty-nester parent here is my analysis of the 7 life stages of Halloween, along with some family pictures (some of them compromising!).
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Stage 1: Toddlers and Elementary Students
Halloween is the biggest event of your year. You are dumbfounded by your good fortune to have a holiday where you get to go to all your neighbors and they give you candy -- whether or not they even know you! The best part is coming home, sorting your loot and trading with your siblings. The only downside is sometimes your costume frightens you.
Stage 2: The Tween Years
The lure of candy diminishes, but the prospect of roaming the neighborhood unshackled by adults, throwing eggs, having shaving cream fights and causing general havoc is irresistible. Costumes are important so you are not easily identifiable as you glory in rampant neighborhood destruction and bad behavior.
Stage 3: High School
Now that you drive, or at the very least have friends who drive, Halloween takes on an entirely new meaning. You head outside your neighborhood, far from the intrusive eyes of your parents and neighbors. Candy no longer entices and beverages become much more important. Costumes are essential and less is more.
Stage 4: The College Years
Halloween is THE college celebration. What was considered cool and edgy in high school is not even on the Richter scale in college. The basics that began in high school, a focus on beverages and very small costumes, is now taken to the extreme. The downside? The day after Halloween is really not that fun.
Stage 5: New Parents
As new parents you conveniently forget all the fun you had during stages 2, 3 and 4. Now your concern is coming up with adorable costumes, making sure your children’s candy is not tainted and avoiding all contact with people in stage 2, 3 and 4 of their Halloween celebrations. Your major goal is to wake up the next morning before your kids do, throw away their beloved candy stash and tell them the “Big Pumpkin” took it away in the night.
Stage 6: Old Parents
Your children have survived Halloween stages 1, 2 and possibly 3 and 4. You either no longer worry about them or have accepted that however much you worry about your children’s Halloween celebrations, there is very little if anything you can do to control them. You start to think about how much fun Halloween was for you during stages 1 - 4. You’d like to celebrate a little, but are sage enough to know the time has long passed for a French maid or bare-chested Brad Pitt costume. You would also like the celebration to end by 10 or 11 p.m.
Stage 7: Very Old People
Fortunately, no pictures of this yet!
If you remember, you put a small bowl of very cheap candy on the doorstep and turn out the lights. You can’t hear the doorbell anyway.
Whatever Halloween stage you are at, have a wonderful and safe one!