Halloween is my favorite holiday for one very specific reason:
No one tries to tell you how you should feel on Halloween.
Sure, there are plenty of emotions one could associate with it: horror, gluttony, glee, sexy feelings, and whatever emotions are brought up by the sense memory of trying to see and breathe through a latex mask of Batman’s face.
But that’s it. Every other major U.S. Holiday is an endless barrage of the world telling you what to feel.
Thanksgiving. You’re supposed to be grateful. Even if you hate Turkey and football. You should be grateful it’s only one day a year.
Christmas. You are supposed to feel an endless string of emotions. Joy, peace, good will, guilt, massive (yet hidden) pride in the raw power of consumerism.
New Year’s. Optimism, lies about exercise, hangovers, guilt.
Valentine’s Day. Love, sexy feelings, ironic dislike of the Hallmark card you just purchased, guilt.
St. Patrick’s Day. Alcohol poisoning, guilt.
Easter. Joy, renewal, fertility, confusion about why the hell a giant bunny left perishable food items all over your house, guilt.
Fourth of July. Patriotism, a desire to eat meat outside, fear of blowing your hand off, guilt.
Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Arbor Day, National Pancake Day, National Think About Clowns Day, National Eat Pancakes Shaped Like A Clown’s Head Day: GUILT.
But not Halloween. Halloween is an honest holiday. We all like monsters. We’re all intrigued by dark and scary things. We all like candy. We get to put on masks, go to other people’s homes, and take things from them.
Halloween is basically a huge group of otherwise normal people role-playing an elaborate heist film.
The only difference is that at the end no one has to feel guilty.
We just get to have fun.
Happy Halloween, you monsters.
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