I have to admit, Halloween is probably my favorite holiday.
I know that probably sounds odd for a grown man to say, but I’ve always loved to be scared. To this day, I’m one of those “strange” people who watches horror movies year-round. I love them; I always have. As a kid, I had an elementary school teacher I must have bonded with, because for years after I left her class, Mrs. Graham sent me little presents at certain times of the year - often the presents were books, and often they were books filled with scary stories for kids, and I would receive the gift around Halloween.
By the time I was in junior high school, the book fair was a favorite event for me, mostly because I could buy the newest “Goosebumps” book - a series of scary tales written by R.L. Stine. A few years later, I graduated to “Fear Street” a series of books by the same author, just for slightly older readers.
And so it has been as the years have gone by, and still today, I like to sit down with a good scary movie or books.
So, naturally, I love Halloween. It’s not just the spooky aspect, either. Fall is my favorite time of year. Being from South Alabama, I didn’t get much of a winter most years growing up. But, Fall marked the beginning of a bit of respite from the blazing heat and humidity we get most of the year. Fall also meant football, hunting, hayrides at church, festivals at school and a myriad of other fun things that I loved as a kid.
So, now that I have kids of my own, I get excited for this time of year for a whole new reason: Now I get to be the one “controlling” all of the Halloween fun; pranking Sawyer and Colin with semi-spooky practical jokes; decorating the house with cobwebs and fake candles; I even get to pick out the candy. Being an adult isn’t all bad.
But, this year Halloween, like everything else in 2020, is at the mercy of COVID-19 restrictions. In both Tallulah and the Village of Richmond, trick-or-treating has been canceled, for safety reasons. And, that makes sense. It obviously isn’t the best idea to have our children traipsing around town from house to house in groups, taking candy and prizes from different houses and spreading germs in the process. But, it’s sad - like so many things we’ve had to miss this year. But, just like those other things that have been hampered by the pandemic, we haven’t so much missed them as we have adjusted them to be as safe as possible.
This year, I have no doubt we’ll all do the same for Halloween. We’ll find ways to make it fun without the traditional trick-or-treating, get-togethers for hayrides or bonfires and the like.
Maybe this year we can huddle around the TVs with the kids and watch “Hocus Pocus” or “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
We can still have bonfires in the back yard with family. We can still get creative and find fun, spooky things to do with loved ones.
And that may be one of the few good things that comes from this pandemic: the opportunity to shut the world out for a bit and enjoy the people in our lives we often take for granted.
Without a doubt, 2020 has been scary enough without Halloween tossed into the mix, so maybe this year we can have some good, old-fashioned family fun and make a scary holiday enjoyable during a what has been a truly scary year.
Blake Bell is the editor and publisher of the Madison Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com.