This is Halloween.
Being The Rough & Tumble, we have a lot of time to reflect on the significance and insignificance of holidays, their value to society, and to individuals. Also, whether or not we can loosely reference them in a holiday song. That’s really more important to us, actually. Recently, we’ve reflected on Halloween (All Hollow’s Eve- the night before The Day of the Dead) and think it has some really remarkable lessons for us in America.
Having both of us grown up in Christian households, we knew the importance of Good Friday-Easter for the life of the Christian and the church and we knew that you couldn’t have Easter if Christmas didn’t come first. We love both holidays (we’re The R&T, remember? We love ALL HOLIDAYS) as we think you might too if you even stepped foot inside a Christian church on these days and were somehow spared the emotional scarring that happens in the church or at least were able to separate the good parts from the bad. They’re very dramatic holidays. There’s a lot of pomp and reenactment. Cantatas and carols. Lots of plant-life (hay for the manger, Douglas Firs, palm fronds waving) and sometimes even a donkey. They’re days that bring the Church together, inside their own four walls, to celebrate the gift of being saved together. And then you go home with your family and eat some food. Good fun, but it’s all a very insulated, cloistered experience.Thanksgiving is pretty much about the same thing. Giving thanks. Eating food with your family. Cloistering. New Year’s is maybe a little better if you go out. Valentine’s Day is the worst of all! It’s just you and a date if you celebrate it correctly.
What is so wonderful about Halloween is that it’s all about invitation, generosity and affirmation. I mean, you get dressed up in a costume that you probably spent some time on that in someway is a reflection of you and your interests, you grab a couple friends and you go door to door in your neighborhood- like, actually up to your neighbors’ front doors- they open it, and give you a treat- an actual treat!- and most likely will say something like “What an adorable ghost you are!” or “You must be a princess!” or maybe “What a striking resemblance to Ruth Bader Ginsberg you naturally possess!” How nice!
Maybe this is what we’ve been trying to get at all along with the Holiday Awareness Campaign– this idea of not holding too closely the holidays that keep us tidy and disconnected from the rest of the world, and maybe teetering further into those that make us open our doors wide and say something nice. Maybe what we are really hoping for is that eventually everyone can settle on a few holidays where religious belief or personal baggage or culture can’t stand in the way of sharing a good laugh and a song.
As near as we can tell it, even with all of its accusations of being the Devil’s Day, Halloween has it closest so far. But then again, there are so many more holidays to uncover…