Friday, 2 November 2012

Halloween Bashing Part II

Last year I wrote a this post about Halloween. In a nutshell, how it could have a good case for festive discrimination, that people don't like the trick or treating aspect of it and are generally a bit snobby about the whole thing.

In any event, I like Halloween and the kids like it.  I take them trick or treating not to gather masses of sweets (I don't stock them in the house - cakes, crisps and biscuits yes, sweets no) they just like to dress up and knock on peoples doors. What's wrong with that?! Knock down ginger (remember that - where you'd knock on someones door and just run away?) but waiting for the person to open the door. I figure at what time in your life can you do that for before you get locked up. Its just a bit of fun and if you don't want to take part you don't have to. And here's a hint if you don't want to get into the spirit (pun intended) of things - don't deck your house out in Halloween garb and then slap a whopping great big sign saying NO TRICK OR TREATING!

Maybe next year people could carve this instead?
Yes, this year has seen a new phenomenon that I have never encountered in the three years of trick or treating, A4 coloured printed piss off signs.  I would love for the people of this country to feel so passionate about real issues like cuts to public services and things that affect their local community and demonstrate so forcibly like I saw on Halloween night. Alas, that would be too much effort - anything that is worth fighting for is met with shrugs and "they're going to do it anyway". People have forgotten how to protest and protest they must in these austerity times.

I watched a programme last night about the town of Stoke. It was a behind the scenes look at the council and all the pathetic types making the decisions. I tell you something - the people working there wouldn't be able to get a job in the private sector. Its despairing to watch the type of people that are involved in such massive decisions. One councillor (on the committee that made the decisions) did the job part-time (and paid a handsomely £45,000 for it) it was all a bit of a hobby for him. Going back to protesting, one parent canvassed people and got signatures on petitions to save their Surestart centre. She was successful and spoke eloquently at the cabinet meeting. The councillors thought better of pissing off a possible 12,000 voters so it remained open. Protest can bring results but you have to have the stomach and fight for it and most don't but we will have to in the coming years I feel.

Halloween signs my children were confronted with. Basically it says NO trick or treating enjoy it but don't knock on my door. Maybe next year that should be the trick - knocking on these doors with the sign?!
I digress. As ever.  So back to trick or treating and the signs.  Now don't get me wrong I understand some people don't like people knocking on their doors especially if they have babies etc. If that's the case, may I suggest you don't leave out a carved pumpkin, stick up a whopping great big skeleton on your front door and embrace all the Halloween nick naks. Don't be a Halloween tease. I'm not going to put up all my Christmas decorations and then put up a sign up saying "Fuck off Santa" so let us use a bit of common sense shall we. 

I only let the children knock on the houses that are decorated - this to me is a sign that they are partaking in a bit of trick or treating.  So imagine the children's and my confusion, having walked down a spooky path, to then come face to face with a very arty go away sign.  My daughter made a valid point "why decorate if you don't want us?"

Naturally I ranted about it on Facebook and Twitter. One of my followers said she considered it to be begging - I did ask if she had decorated her house but she didn't answer. She also said when she did look out the window she saw 3 children about 12 years old with hoodies. I immediately thought well she clearly doesn't live in South London as this is small fry living on the front line - sure enough she lived in the worried well part of the UK - the shires.

I don't consider it begging, my children would happily have a trick, you don't have to give out sweets.  Besides even if some one was 'begging' which, given that there are now 300 food banks in the UK, it is not against the realms of possibility that the treats a child receives may be the only ones they can get their hands on. Its a good night for a sweet bounty haul and if you've trawled the streets in the drizzle dressed as a zombie and are a teenager you deserve your sweets.

Maybe next year we'll protest about the Halloween Bashing....





10 comments:

  1. Hmm enjoyed this post. We don't go down the halloween route and yes I do put it on a par with begging but that is down to my beliefs and the way I was bought up. What others do is entirely up to them and I do not judge for what people fancy getting up to. Halloween just does not sit well with Christianity.

    I saw people mentioning on Fb about these signs, I have never heard of them before, it does make me laugh that they decorate their house and then put a sign up!

    Ok for us to agree to disagree.

    Mich x

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    1. Not at all Mich - love a bit of disagreeing so I do. I do understand why people don't like it and to be honesty I could have just as easily written a post like this (pre children) along the lines of children knocking on doors and asking for sweets but since having had children I think the sweets is a bit of a red herring and it is more about the experience of dressing up. Yes my argument about not partaking is then don't buy all the halloween stuff and then say no to aspects of it. Halloween is just another way for us to spend money as is Christmas on stuff we don't need. Christmas for me is obscene and I am guilty as charged ma lord! Every year (and I don't go crazy on the kids) I look at the presents and the constant adverts to buy stuff and eat as much as your belly can take and it doesn't sit comfortably at all! x

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    2. Icompetely agree about Christmas, I have written posts in the same vein before and am sure I will again! Mich x

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  2. I disagree with people calling it begging! That's not the spirit of it all! It's simply a bit of fun for the children - they get so excited about dressing up and being out in the dark, and of course the sweets are a bonus. Most parents I know all abide by the same 'rules' as you, only let. Kids approach houses that are decorated. I fail to see how it's begging when those residents are clearly welcoming the festive fun and have sweets at the ready. Hopefully strangely confused people with their skeletons and door signs are few and far between! Great post.

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  3. Whether or not you agree with Halloween, you make a fair point that people should make up their minds. We have the pumpkin rule around here and so we only go to houses with pumpkins outside. That seems like a clear enough sign for people but to do that and then have a sign is ridiculous.

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    1. Indeed its like they're making a point that they have every right to decorate their houses in halloween garb but will not open the door to any children knocking. Like I say shame they don't have such strong passionate views about things that really matter x

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  4. We had the same, a family on our street that we know from church and school, had a pumpkin and things in their window BUT didn't open the door to the kids and it was only 6pm so we were quite early.

    Again, take your pumpkin off your step if you don't want people knocking, or do what we did and leave the sweets outside with the pumpkin. We did that as we were out with the kids.

    I also don't agree its begging but I do live in a middle class bubble without a "hoodie" in a 5 mile radius so the only people trick or treating are small children. When I lived on a council estate in West London it was a very different experience and from that I cam understand why people feel threatened.

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    1. Totally agree - have your little pumpkin party inside if you don't want to play halloween ball! And yes to depending on where you live Halloween can be real and scary x

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  5. Being somewhat new to the country of Canada from the UK we weren't expecting the 250 kids that showed up last year on our doorstep. Neighbours had warned us to be prepared and we were to a point. When the candy ran out around 8pm we just switched off the porch lights and not a single person disrespected our decision by ringing the doorbell after that.

    It is what it is here and it won't change anytime soon. Back in the UK we were pestered up to two weeks before Oct 31st and that was very annoying; here, it's a one night event and I think that's why it's so much more enjoyable.

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    1. Hi thanks for taking the time to comment - sounds manic!!! I'd imagine they put lots of effort into dressing up too. We don't have knocks prior to Halloween but I'm sure it does happen a bit like the pathetic teenage attempts to sing carols 2 weeks before xmas. x

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