One of the best ways to live a positive and present life is to indulge in and celebrate that things that make you most happy. One of the things that makes me most happy is the Halloween holiday. Ever since I was a kid, I've loved it (even though I hate anything scary—such an odd contradiction). And over the past four years, the holiday has grown even more special to me since it's the anniversary of the day I met my boyfriend. I don't know why I love the day so much—perhaps it's all the orange or the celebration of autumn, my favorite time of year—but I can't get enough of celebrating what I think of as the happiest day of the year.
When I think of Halloween, my mind fills not with thoughts of spooks and spells, but with thoughts of happiness and excitement. It's not the holiday most people would consider the most positive—lots of demons, devils, scary things, and mocking costumes—but to me, it's filled with festivity and fun. In case you're wondering how I find positivity in the haunted holiday, here are some of the things that come to mind when I think of my favorite day of the year:
Community: Halloween is one of the greatest holidays because almost everyone can participate in it. When it comes to donning Halloween gear, there's a sense of community, of people who all just want to get dressed up in something silly or scary or sexy. Just go into any Halloween costume store (they pop up all around the DC-area this time of year) and you'll see people joined together, searching for the perfect for Halloween costume. The search itself evokes a sense of community. And, of course, there's the time spent at a party or trick-or-treating with others who are decked out in fun gear. When else do so many people of so many different backgrounds spend time joined together in costumes enjoying a holiday?
Generosity: Halloween is the one day of the year you can (if you are or have a kid) knock on all of your neighbors' doors and they will greet you with a smile and a delicious treat. Can you imagine if every day were like that? If you could just walk up to your neighbor's door and s/he would open it with a smile and treat? The generosity of Halloween—free treats for all!—is one of the best things about the holiday. It's the only time I can think of when people are so generous to those they don't know well. Halloween's greatest lesson could be that it's wonderful to give others little treats.
Creativity: Halloween is a great time to use your imagination to don a costume that is unique and innovative. It's your annual chance to live a fantastical existence. Whatever you want to be, you can put on a costume and be it (or at least pretend to be it). Consider the possibilities! You can be your favorite character (I've been Alice in Wonderland at least five times and I have a Buddy the Elf costume just waiting to be worn!). You can be your dream self (a 1920's flapper has been a go-to for me and I have a yet-to-be-worn ringleader ensemble). The beauty of Halloween is that you can use your creativity to become whatever you want to be (if only for a night!).
Festivity: For me, Halloween has—and will always be—a time for celebration and festivity. In my mind, Halloween is New Year's Eve and Independence Day rolled into one. It's better than fireworks, more of a rush than champagne. Whether it was tame classroom parties in grade school, wild parties in college, or romance-laden anniversary dates, Halloween has always been a time for celebrating, for dressing up, for getting high on a sugar rush. Even if Halloween doesn't hold the same special place in your heart, it's hard not to get caught up in the festiveness of the autumnal holiday.
Compared with some other holidays (I'm looking at you, Christmas), Halloween might not seem like such a positive holiday. But to me it's a celebration not just of ghosts and ghouls but of creativity and community, a night to indulge in fantasies and delight in generosity. And, for me, Halloween is now a day of love, a celebration of the years I've spent with an awesome man who I'm so lucky to have in my life. Even if Halloween doesn't exactly conjure up ideas of love for you, you can love the holiday and all that it has to offer: a chance to revel in community, generosity, creativity, and festivity.
Love Halloween? Here are some links you might want to check out:
Barkley & the Pumpkin : Barkley pup's first encounter with a pumpkin
Halloween Happiness : my Pinterest round-up of all things Halloween-y
2013 Halloween Picks : thirty-one of my favorite Halloween-ish tunes
In the Pumpkin Patch : an anniversary poem I wrote for my boyfriend
The History of Halloween : in case you were wondering where it all started
28 Free Halloween Printables : so perfect for spooktacular decorating
Halloween Caroling : Jimmy Fallon cracks me up with these carols