Fall is quite possibly my favorite time of year. I live on the East Coast and am privy to some of the most beautiful foliage variations our country provides. Right now my back yard is delivering a show of yellow, burnt orange, crimson and green leaves. The weather is breezy and cool, and except when it rains, the summer humidity has left, which means good hair days. Best of all, autumn is host to the most wonderful holiday ever. Nope, not that one with the Turkey – the one with the witches, ghosts, and goblins – Halloween!
This weekend I spent about four hours decorating my home with Halloween dÃ©cor. I have skulls, pumpkins, eyeballs, and decorative candle holders littering table tops and mantles. A motion sensing, insult comic, skeleton greets my guests by the front door with comments such as, “Nice Halloween mask. Oh! That’s your face.” Upon entering the kitchen a sound sensing spider drops down onto unsuspecting visitors – the children have named him Boris. A bubbling cauldron on the piano sits next to various potions and ingredients, such as Eye of Newt, and Elixir of Life. A hairy spider with a leg span as large as my kitchen table is crawling up the dining room ceiling. These are just a few of the decorations scattered through my house. Come Halloween, the yard will be turned into a spooky grave yard complete with creeping fog and eerie sound effects.
My children love October as much as I do, and as soon as school begins they start asking when the Halloween dÃ©cor will make its appearance, and making plans for their costumes, which invariably changes three or four times before the actual day.
Unfortunately, where I live, political correctness, has allowed the schools to suck the fun out of Halloween. Children, even elementary school age kids, are not allowed to wear costumes to school. Yup. That’s right, no costumes. Remember when we were kids and you excitedly woke up the morning of Halloween. You’d climb into your Princess Leia, or Tweedle Dee costume, race down stairs to scarf your breakfast, and after impatiently posing for photos, you’d hot foot it to the bus stop so you could compare what everyone was wearing. I remember it was a tradition to have the younger grades parade through the classrooms, showing off their plastic Strawberry Shortcake outfits.
This is just one of the many creatively “fun things” the schools have discarded over the years. I’ve heard a number of excuses as to why this is. Distraction, inappropriate costume choices, religious offensiveness, blah, blah, blah the litany of excuses goes on and on. Sadly, administrators have taken the joy right out of a day that used to be filled with excitement and fun. I mean, really, if you have to go to school on a holiday, such as Halloween, the least they could do is allow you to dress up as your favorite super hero. Right? After the first three years of banging my head against the brick wall of the school system administration, I gave up and have simply found as many outlets as I could for my kids to wear their costumes outside of school.
What happens where you live? Do schools still allow this little bit of childhood fun to continue?