A contrarian take you sometimes see from curmudgeons around this time of the year — Halloween! — is that Halloween is for children, and an adult “celebrating” Halloween is acting like a child. I’m not going to embed it, but for example, this Tweet from another one of those faux-macho types, who if that wasn’t enough for mockery, is also one of those Alex Jones conspiracy morons, argues that Halloween is for children, and anyone celebrating Halloween is a “weirdo.” Yes, well, I sure am offended that the man who believes 9/11 was an inside job thinks I’m a weirdo. But even beyond him, I think it’s worth affirmatively stating why Halloween can be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.
In other words, Halloween is for children! But it’s also for adults. Because here’s the truth, as I see it: Adults err in two ways by thinking like this: a.) there’s a certain sense that saying something is for children or childlike is to look down upon it, to make it lesser than, which I see as a disservice to children, and a continuation of something else I could go on a longer rant about regarding how adults don’t take children and what they like seriously; and b.) adults who lose their childlike wonder about the world and about things are doing a disservice to themselves.
There’s a meant-to-demean quality to it. If you, as an adult, get associated with something seen as childish, it’s supposed to be some sort of put-down. But I’ve never been bothered by that stuff. I still have my childlike wonder and curiosity about the world, and I still enjoy things seen as “childish” without any shame about it. My go-to example of how silly this is is that Pixar films are ostensibly geared toward children, but Pixar has made some of the greatest films in the history of modern cinema. Imagine how less-off you’d be by discounting Pixar merely because animated films are for kids and therefore, it’s not worthy of adult consumption. Get out of here with that.
I’m 30-year-old man. The day I stop laughing at, say, this classic Texas clip from Spongebob Squarepants, is the day I want you to put me six feet under:
Also, an obvious fact here: Adults make these programs and films! So, at least the best of those, will do winks and nods to adults.
But the point is, dressing up in fun or scary costumes? Eating candy? Watching spooky movies? Cutting into pumpkins? Doing a corn maze or a haunted house? Those can all be kid activities, but also, adult activities. Why is there a cut-off that says at a certain point, you outgrow those activities? Now, I think, obviously, going door-to-door for candy should be something with an age cut-off since we’re talking about a good faith free candy giveaway. That’s something more for the kids. But those other things? Adults can still do them. There’s no shame in putting on a fun costume or biting into a gummy worm. And contrary to the faux-macho types of the world, there’s certainly nothing unmanly about any of it.
Halloween, or more broadly October itself, as it’s sort of seen as a month-long thing in the way December is for Christmas, is a celebration for kids and also the kid within us, as adults, still.
What do you think?