I have a peculiar relationship with Halloween.
In my youth, it was one of my favourite holidays and I looked forward to it every year. I relished the opportunity to wear frightening and gory costumes and I loved trick or treating with my friends. To me, trick or treating wasn’t so much an opportunity to eat lots of sugary treats but a competition to see who could collect the most candy – the goal was always a minimum of one full pillowcase.
I also loved getting into the Halloween spirit in the weeks leading up to Oct. 31. I would help my dad adorn our house and yard with spooky decorations and I would watch scary movies that kept me up all night like Nightmare on Elm Street, The Blair Witch Project and Child’s Play. I also enjoyed visiting Calgary’s most popular Halloween attraction – ScreamFest.
But my enthusiasm has dwindled over the years to a point where Halloween now seems to pass me by. As a 26-year-old, I often feel unattached to the holiday. Once you’re an adult, Halloween is a popular excuse to party but I found the novelty of a costume party wore off within a few years. While I attended annual Halloween shindigs throughout my time at university, I haven’t attended one since 2016. I don’t think I’ve worn a Halloween costume in that time either.
I don’t have kids or young family members whom I could take trick or treating, and because I’ve lived in apartments for the last four years, I’ve never had any trick or treaters come to my door.
What many people consider the focus of Halloween – candy – is another reason my enjoyment has diminished. My taste buds have changed over the years and I don’t like sugary food as much as I did when I was a kid. While I will eat the occasional mini chocolate bar, I don't actively seek candy and it only takes a few bites before I no longer want it.
I realize this might make me sound like a buzzkill, but I hope that’s not the case. I’m happy to see people get excited about Halloween and enjoy everything it has to offer.
Maybe things can change for me. In the last few years, my family has organized a pumpkin-carving contest, which is slowly turning into a fun Halloween tradition. After we’re done carving, we post a photo of our respective pumpkins on Facebook and allow friends to vote on which they think is best. Perhaps this yearly activity can rekindle some of my faded enthusiasm for the spookiest holiday of the year.