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Editor's Notebook: Leave Halloween Right Where It Is

October 30, 2011 by John Rook

Halloween is on Oct. 31 of each year.
Unless, that is, it isn't.
You see, some places around the country have been breaking with tradition and celebrating Halloween on the last weekend in October. No worries about the holiday landing on some inconvenient day like Monday or Tuesday, these people say. No concerns as to whether there will be enough time to get the kids to finish their homework and go out trick or treating. It just eliminates the hassle, the story goes.
The argument is so convincing that at least one Connecticut lawmaker, Tim Larson (D-East Hartford), is championing the idea. Let's knock off this yearly crap shoot and just make Halloween a weekend-only event, Larsons says.
See, the good representative believes changing the date of everyone's favorite ghoulish holiday would be good for the economy and make everyone safer. No, he honestly said that. That's right folks, if we move Halloween, the financial fortunes of the country will begin to turn around and our children will walk safer in the streets.
Of course Larson wasn't suggesting his idea would bring about such outlandish changes, but even the mention of rescheduling Halloween for the “greater good” is a bit silly.
First, the holiday makes a reported $7 billion a year, putting it behind only Christmas in the race to the top of the holiday goldmine. It's hard to imagine that having Halloween on a Saturday as opposed to a Monday will make a dent in that figure.
And will children really be safer on a Saturday night as opposed to a week night? I'd love to see what evidence Larson has for that one. Is Saturday suddenly a much safer day for children to wander the streets dressed as Harry Potter or a princess? Hopefully, no one has wasted any taxpayer dollars trying to figure it out.
But, let's be honest. Larson and his fellow “move Halloween” supporters aren't advocating this because they think it will be better for the economy or safer for children. That's a nice cloak in which to cover a more basic reason: people don't want to be all.
Having Halloween on a Saturday would make life easier for parents. They wouldn't have to rush home after work, get the kids dressed, walk them around the neighborhood for the few hours, then come home and relax for only a few minutes before heading off to bed and the prospect of another work day. That's not much of a fun night for the adults, is it? Saturday, however, provides hours and hours of down time. There's no rush needed. There's no need to feel stressed. Get the kids dressed at your leisure, take them around the town without ever checking the watch, and then settle back at home for some candy pig out sessions and maybe even a scary movie for mom and dad. Now, that's living.
Yet, do we really need to change the traditional date of a beloved holiday because having it on Monday through Thursday makes life, for a few hours, less perfect than some people believe is owed them? Is having Halloween on Monday this year really all that arduous?
Obviously, whether the date for Halloween is changed or not means little in the grand scope of things. If it's moved, so be it. If not, it really doesn't matter. The world will keep on spinning.
But, the suggestion that it should be moved is just another example of a society that believes convenience is a birthright. News reports on the matter over the last few days have included interviews with parents talking about Halloween and the straining effect it can have when it falls on a weekday. I mean, it's so tough, these paragons of parenting explain, because they have work and trick or treating to worry about. Why, that only leaves so many hours in the day to catch up on their DVR'd Housewives of Orange County shows. Can't the government do the right thing and help them out of this predicament?
Would having Halloween on the last weekend of October rather than on, say, a Monday, make life a little easier for people? Sure. But why does everything have to be so easy, especially things that aren't really hard at all? Having Halloween on a weekday is far from burdensome: it just simply isn't ideal. Who cares? Sometimes life isn't perfect. Sometimes, things aren't as easy as they could be. Sometimes, Halloween falls on a weekday. Get over it, and leave the holiday alone.

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