It was a simple question. “Is our town banning Halloween this year?” If so, I planned to have a small, family Halloween party complete with a treasure hunt, bobbing for apples, cupcakes and anything else that I could think up to give my ten year-old the Halloween experience I surely didn’t want him to miss out on.
I posted the question to a town-wide website which invites parents to share helpful replies — one neighbor to another. It is quite handy, especially in these situations.
Immediately, I received some great advice as to where to find my answer as well as some thoughts on the trick-or-treating matter altogether. I appreciated all of the comments…less one that is. This gentleman endeavored to turn my logistics question into a political cattle prod, remarking “Last I checked this was a free country. Now you all are willing to ASK PERMISSION TO WALK OUTSIDE?”
I thought about my answer and the bait that was set. I responded clearly, “Not exactly. But if the town was banning trick-or-treating and no candy was to be had, I didn’t want to bring my child out to only be disappointed. I’d rather head to another town or set up a home Halloween party with bobbing for apples, a candy hunt, scary cupcakes, etc. This was not meant to be a political cattle-prod of any sort, rather a logistics question.”
My words were well received by others. The entire scenario however begged me to question why it was that everyone had to make everything political right now, even Halloween. Party lines are bleeding into just about everything, and the nonsense that is coming out as a result is really scary.
Why are we allowing the hatred and divide of some to hold our entire nation hostage? Can we not think for ourselves? Remember that behind every political opinion remains a human being still?
There is a place for politics and political discussion without question, but it isn’t at the center of Halloween. Tradition is at the center; joy is at the center; children are at the center; imagination is at the center; community is at the center. Politics? Not at the center.
What is truly frightening is that this respondent and many others like him don’t understand this. I recognize the message he was sending. But whether I agree or disagree with it has nothing to do with my intention or efforts in solving my quandary.
If nothing, his remark left me hollow and questioning the size of his weeny in the end. Surely not his intention but definitely warranting my “trick” to his “treat” of a reply. Don’t deny it…I know some of you are chuckling!
This post was previously published on Medium.com.
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