Monday, October 21, 2013

We need a Halloween Intervention

Yesterday at church I was chatting with two sisters who were on a vacation from New Zealand.  In asking about their trip they told me all that they had done:  Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and Universal Studios.  All in a week! They seemed legitimately worn out and were looking forward to the second half of their vacation in Fiji.  Yes, wouldn't we all be.

(Dear friends, if you have out of town guests visiting southern California would you please let me make an itinerary for them so they don't have to spend a fortune and hours of their lives that they'll never get back schlepping around amusement parks.  I hate the idea of visitors coming here only to stand in line for rides and missing out on all the glorious things to see.)

Anyway, once we got through that part of the conversation one of the sisters mentioned a local phenomena that I've noticed myself, that being people going over the top in their Halloween decorations.  (BEGIN 80 YEAR OLD RANT) Has anyone else noticed this?  I'm not talking about just pumpkins or festive door hangings, I'm talking about cobwebs on the eaves, giant spiders on their roofs, skeletons in their yards, and, sadly, those dumb inflatable decorations that used to just be isolated to Christmas.  I really kind of hate those things.  For the record, I've never been a huge fan of Halloween.  I don't care for dressing up and I don't like spooky things.  Even as a kid I didn't really like it other than the fact that I got candy. And now that I can buy my own candy whenever I want, the last of the Halloween magic is gone for me.

Look, I'm not going to begrudge people their holiday cheer, but it just baffles me.  It never used to be like this, right?  It used to just be a jack-o-lantern on the front porch but now it seems like every other house I drive by has some elaborate spectacle going on.   Where do we draw the line?  Inflatable rodents on Groundhog's Day?  Inflatable oaks on Arbor Day?  Inflatable union reps on Labor Day?  The madness must end!

10 comments:

Amanda said...

Tonight I was driving through my neighborhood and realized that I live in that very neighborhood. I passed a house that had a full display including 6 blown up lawn decorations, lights and things hanging from the trees. Weirdness. Nathan loved it, but I'm with you. Too much.

Andrea said...

I'm totally with you on this one. There's a few balcony and patio porches in our apartment complex that are decorated with so much halloween stuff, its annoying. And those inflatable decorations? I don't even like them for Christmas. During the day it looks like a holiday massacre occurred all over the front lawns.

April Aleman said...

Request: please make an itinerary for me? I would love to pretend I am a visitor and see some things. Thanks in advance.

Laura said...

I agree - I want to see what your itinerary would be!

And also agree about the decor. I'm good with a couple of pumpkins and maybe some other little cute thing at the door, but don't go crazy. Although, I suppose everyone has things that make them smile and make them enjoy a particular holiday even more, so I guess it's totally personal preference.

Mariah said...

In NZ people don't really celebrate Halloween.

Some people have started to over the last 10 years, but it's really just when candy sells cheap and shops hang a spidery cobweb or two.

We get 0-3 groups of trick or treaters every year. The years I buy candy we get 0, the years I don't they come, and I'm telling them to eat a few pieces of chocolate from my opened block before their parents see it's not sealed and take it away. You can just not answer your door if you want.

In NZ Halloween is mostly an opportunity for adults to have dress up parties and for kids to go to school as super heroes.

Mariah said...

In NZ people don't really celebrate Halloween.

Some people have started to over the last 10 years, but it's really just when candy sells cheap and shops hang a spidery cobweb or two.

We get 0-3 groups of trick or treaters every year. The years I buy candy we get 0, the years I don't they come, and I'm telling them to eat a few pieces of chocolate from my opened block before their parents see it's not sealed and take it away. You can just not answer your door if you want.

In NZ Halloween is mostly an opportunity for adults to have dress up parties and for kids to go to school as super heroes.

Stacy said...

We have two inflatable Halloween Thingies. One is Hello Kitty holding a jackolantern and the other is a gigantic black cat that is so tall that Sam can stand underneath. You're welcome.

P.S. I have a super funny side story about the black cat next time we talk.

Raven said...

Just introducing my stalker self. The lovely Gina and I used to be neighbors (if you've read her blog lately, I'm the friend she met up with at her 5k race...). I really enjoy your writing! So, hello!

Valerie said...

It will come as no surprise to you that I came from a "pumpkin only" home. And I continue this tradition.

Who's got time for elaborate decorations for a minor holiday? I'm trying to live my life here, for crying out loud.

sarahgurl said...

Halloween is my favorite holiday and I LOVE all the cutesy decor but I don't like when a front yard is turned into a cemetery with body parts and tombstones.