Really? Really, Today Show?

So one of my the things I do to wake up and watch in the morning is the Today show on NBC. I don’t really consider it news, but it’s kind of a nice thing to have going on in the background while I have my coffee and bagel. It came as no surprise that, with Halloween around the corner, it was a topic of conversation. I was only half listening, as most of it was about the usual complaints that seem to crop up. Some schools are choosing to ban Halloween due to “safety concerns”, “peanut allergies”, “separation of church and state”. It received no more than my usual eye roll as I listened to the cast discuss if these concerns were legitimate or not.
And then Al Roker said something that made me eyeballs twitch. “I’m just not sure people want their children celebrating an unwholesome, pagan holiday.”
Excuse me?
It took me a few minutes to wind down my temper before I wrote this so that I could present my case in a competent manner.
*deep breath*
Okay, let us first discuss that Halloween, in and of itself, is not a pagan holiday. It is derived from a Catholic holiday (or two) which were based off a pagan holiday and has been diluted through the centuries into an American holiday. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. It’s a lot of fun and represents a deep seeded psychological coping mechanism to deal with our fears. But Halloween is not, to me at least, related to the pagan celebration of Samhain. No more so than Christmas is related to Saturnalia.
So let us now tackle the unwholesome comment. I know that a lot of churches may not approve of the holiday, but I know of even more than sponsor Trunk or Treat, or full out Halloween parties in the church itself in order to provide a fun, safe environment for the children.
I’m not going into diatribe about the meaning of Samhain, because this isn’t about Samhain. It’s about Halloween. That wonderful, amazing time of year where we get in touch with our inner desire to play pretend and our inner sugar junky. It angers me enough when schools ban every kind of costume besides princess and superhero (hello gender indoctrination). Or when they say that children can not bring candy to pass out to the class because someone might have allergies. It infuriates me when beggars night is a full week before Halloween even pops up and when there is a curfew installed “for the children’s protection”. It upsets me when the media portrays Halloween in the fear mongering light as though your children are in danger of being poisoned at every turn. Just for the record, every instance where they found candy to contain poison or glass, it was found to be a relative of the child who gave it to them.
Guys, please stop turning this fun, quirky time of year into some mass conspiracy theory! Yes there is some amount of risk in allowing strangers to give your kids candy. I know it might seem ill advised to let them wall around as a zombie any other time of year. But just follow a few basic rules and everything will be fine.
1) Never let your child trick or treat alone. Go with them.
2) Only trick or treat in areas where you know people.
3) Make sure your children have a reflective patch somewhere on their costume and/or a flash light.
4) If your teenager refuses to dress up to go trick or treating, tell them to go buy a bag of candy at the store and stop being a dick.
5) Be sure to take your 10% candy tax at the end of the night. This includes first choice of all chocolate, nut and caramel filled treats. A full size candy bar is worth triple all “fun sized candy bars”. Junk candy (strawberry wrapped, candy corn and anything that can be found in the bottom of your grandmothers purse) does not count as legitimate candy and as such can not be used as taxable income.

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