In the recent episode of The Simpsons titled Halloween of Horror, Homer uses the term “skipper” for the ever increasing number of people that turn off their porch lights and close their blinds on Halloween. There are any number of reasons to skip Halloween: religious beliefs, agoraphobia, going on vacation, and so on, but it seems like the number one reason people are skipping Halloween is just because they don’t want to bother. Here is why I think you should bother. Halloween is the one holiday dedicated to meeting your community.
Think about it. The big holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter you spend with family. New Years and the Forth of July (or whatever your local patriotic holiday is) you spend with friends, and the greeting card holidays, Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, and whatnot, you spend the day with the person you bought the card for. Halloween on the other hand is the day that you get to dress up and use getting/giving free candy and toys as an excuse to talk to your neighbors. As your kid joins the sugar crazy hoard, you get to watch and hang out with the rest of the parents from your block and get the dirt on what has been going down on your street. You get to see how excited the old lady down the lane is to see so many kids at her door, or interact with the imaginative scares the guy across the street came up with. In short, you get to be involved in the place where you live.
Halloween is unique in its premise, and by skipping, you are opting out of your community. I will also say this, if your religion is what is stopping you, I would ask that you reconsider. I grew up being a lumber jack or fisherman more times than I can count because I couldn’t take part in the creepy aspect of the holiday, but I was still out there, and if God is all powerful, he can certainly sanctify a day meant to celebrate the darker forces. Don’t be a skipper: buy a cheep bag of candy, turn on the light, dress your kid up as a garden patch, and meet the people of your neighborhood. You will be glad that you did.