This year, I find myself asking questions I normally would not care to ask. “How is Black Friday going to look like this year?”
“Is Halloween cancelled?”
Black Friday is not something I ever participate in due to its famous crowd craziness. How will we survive without someone getting trampled when the store doors open? How will people be able to snag the hottest of deals if they will not be allowed to engage in physical fights? When asked, people shrug and say they guess most of the shopping will be done online. I mean, I have been wondering about that for years – why people prefer to put themselves through in-person Black Friday. I guess it is the adrenaline rush they seek (and potentially some exclusively in-person deals). Many stores have already announced that they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day this year, which I think is a good thing – giving people the ability to celebrate with their families (or friends or alone) without having to rush out early to go to work. No, I do not plan on going Black Friday shopping, but am curious from the “people-watching-perspective” to see how it all unravels this year.
The second thing I do not care much about is Halloween. Of course, as a kid, I thought it was great to receive free candy. Now, I do not trick-or-treat or go to Halloween parties. I can afford to buy my own candy. (Suddenly, I realize why my parents did not think asking random people for candy was necessary.) And I can afford my own booze if I want a party. Recently, while getting a haircut, I asked my hairdresser what they were doing about Halloween. The answer was unexpected – an egg hunt! Since Easter was kind of cancelled this year, anyway, they thought it might be a good idea to use those leftover eggs, and to keep everyone safe at the same time. What a neat idea!
Girard, a city in Ohio has opted for a drive-through Halloween. For two hours on October 31st, residents of the town (with ID supporting that) will be able to pick up candy for their kids (bags will be placed in trunks). The kids (up to 6th grade) must be present in the vehicle. The officials budgeted for $13 worth of candy for each kid (they are expecting around 1,000 children). How fast can I get a residence and ID in Ohio? Can I also borrow one of your kids? Suddenly, $13 worth of candy seems like something I would love to have in my house, but would probably not waste my money on. OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology will be donating some science packages to go with the gift bags. (How cool?!)
Struthers (another city in Ohio) leaves Halloween planning up to their citizens. However, they do ask that those who would like to participate have the light on outside. I think that is smart and should be something we keep for the future. That way, we would know who is in the spirit of Halloween and who would prefer to be left alone.
In Newton Falls (Ohio), people are asked to have the candy on tables placed outside their homes. That is a good idea in theory, but I am not sure if it will work out in practice. (Will the first group of kids take it all or leave enough for others?)
CDC lists a few great “lower risk” activities that you might want to give a try this year:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
- Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
- Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house
For a few weeks now, I have noticed various articles in my news feed concerning ‘inappropriate’ costumes that one should not dare to wear this year.
During my research for this post, I found out that in 2013, a highschooler from Illinois was asked to remove him costume because it … “promoted religion” and was offensive to some. The costume in question – Jesus. You would think that we would promote peace, mercy, and goodness instead of rejecting it.
As you can imagine, costumes that stereotype a certain culture/ ethnicity are a big no-no. No cowboys (why?) or indians or geishas. Of course, no black face, either. Make sure you also do not dress as a woman if you are a man or a man if you are a woman because that is insensitive to transgender people.
During the limited world-travel that I have done, I have always tried to immerse myself in the culture. At least a little bit. I ate their food, I observed their customs, and learned a few words and phrases in their language. That was to get to know people better. People who were “different” from me yet the same (we all have the same set of emotions, for example). I did all of that out of respect for them and their culture. In no way was I trying to become one of them. (Although, if I was to stay there long enough, what would be wrong with that?) From a couple of the countries, I brought clothes that are representative of the countries’ outfits. Why? As a souvenir. Whenever I look at them, I think of all the fond memories I made back in those places. When I put them on, I close my eyes and transport myself there. It is an amazing feeling. If anything, this is to pay tribute to those countries and their people.
Over the weekend, out of curiosity, I happened to walk into a Halloween-themed store. It was well-stocked with costumes of a wide variety. There were also Halloween yard decorations available, smoke machines, and other spooky things. No, I did not buy anything but I did look at what was available. For research. (If I were one to dress up, I would be afraid to leave my house for fear of getting stoned to death due to my outfit offending someone.)
Shelves were filled with very stereotypical costumes – jewelry and make up for women, sexy, tightly fitting outfits for women, and scary costumes with powerful weapons for men. One could ask for a boycott on this store for their gender stereotyping. But you know what? If a woman wants to be a sexy nurse and a man wants to be Hannibal Lecter, why cry about it? Are we not supposed to be having fun on Halloween?
I bet some people will try to dress in a costume representative of the pandemic and there will be someone there to point out all the people who died due to the virus.
If you would like to hear about my first-ever Halloween costume, check out one of my #ThrowbackThursday’s posts.
Have you been watching football (NFL) games recently? Some players have Black Lives Matter slogans on the backs of their helmets. I am not sure what this is supposed to achieve, but to each their own.
“Wearing a T-shirt that shows your support to a protest, vigil, or just around town is one thing. But don’t try and turn the current fight for racial equality into a current events-themed outfit for your Halloween gathering or worse, emblazon the slogan on an otherwise-unrelated kids’ outfit. That’s offensive, not supportive,” says an article on GoodHousekeeping.com. I am so confused.
To conclude, there is only one costume that will not get you in trouble this year – YOU. Oh, wait, if you get in trouble all year round, Halloween will be no different. And then they wonder why I prefer to stay at home with me, myself, and I instead of going out and socializing.
I promise that if you dress as Goldie, I will not be offended. Please share photos of your costume with me. Prizes for the best one will be considered.
Read more: a fascinating article on the history of Halloween and more.
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