I was fairly bummed out when the Greenville City Council made the decision earlier this month to cancel trick-or-treating this year.
For those without children, this decision probably meant little to nothing to them. For someone such as myself with young children who are at the prime age for trick-or-treating, I was a little sad.
I was not surprised or even mad as it was a decision I was expecting most cities across the nation to make in light of coronavirus.
I do think it’s a bit silly though, especially when it’s deemed OK to gather in masses to attend sporting events and go shopping. It’s also acceptable for people to line their cars in a drive-thru and hand their money to the same cashier who has just touched hundreds of other residents’ cash and credit cards. But somehow, all of that is considered safer than children being outdoors, knocking on doors of homes they will not step into to receive a piece of candy and move along.
It would be too easy for those who don’t wish to participate in the candy giving to just turn off their porch lights or put out a sign asking people not to knock on their door.
But I digress.
A lot of people don’t consider Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, a real holiday, but I do.
I will not dive into its history because it would take up my entire column, but I enjoy the day for what it has developed into in modern culture.
Halloween is my favorite holiday, far above even Christmas, because it is just fun.
As lovely as the Christmas season is with the twinkling lights, lush, green trees, beautiful nativity scenes and hopes of snow for us down South, it can be rather stressful.
When you have a family as large as mine — six grown children, their spouses and all of their children — you have to start making plans well ahead of time to accommodate everyone’s schedules, plan a menu everyone is (mostly) happy with, draw names to determine who will gift who, agree on a gift spending cap, and the planning just continues until you're either so stressed out you gain a few more grey hairs or you find yourself getting an early start on the holiday drinks.
With Halloween, there is little-to-no drama, which is why I believe it is the holiday my family does best.
Since the city did decide to ban trick-or-treating, my family decided to hold a trunk-or-treat event at my mother’s house so the children could still feel like they experienced Halloween.
The children enjoyed roasting hot dogs and s’mores over a cauldron of fire while watching “Halloweentown” on the backyard projector.
Our costumes included some pirates, a couple of skeletons, a few witches, one shark, a black cat, a spooky doctor, and Disney characters Woody, Bo Peep and Elsa.
The trunks were decorated in an array of themes, including Harry Potter, Hocus Pocus, a pirate’s treasure chest, a skeleton dance party and a haunted mechanic shop.
We even set up a haunted trail for those brave enough to enter to walk through in the dark.
It was a lot of fun and something we felt important to do for our children.
I have heard of some local churches who have decided to move forward with Halloween events as well and I think that’s great. With this crazy year we’ve had, our children deserve to feel some sense of normalcy and have some fun.
For those who still feel uncertain about getting out at any event, take your children on a drive to see some decorated homes. You could get some candy and let them enjoy their treats as you take the drive.
While I can’t tell you where every decorated home is in Greenville, I can tell you about one in my own neighborhood.
Once the sun sets, I strongly encourage you to head over to John Chick Drive, the house shown on the cover of today’s paper.
I promise you will not accidentally miss seeing this house as the lawn is covered in Halloween decor everywhere you look. As neat as it looks in the daytime, it is far more impressive at night once everything is glowing and the projectors are turned on.
I feel fortunate to live on the same street as Maranda and Thomas Haik as my children enjoy taking nightly strolls over to admire their decorations. My daughter calls it “The Halloween House.”
Don’t be afraid to take a slow drive by and take it all in. They put a lot of hard work into it, they want people to enjoy it.
It’s thanks to local residents like the Haiks that Halloween still feels very much alive, despite everything else going on in the world this year.
Like Maranda told me just the other day, “As much as we love it, it’s not just about us. We do this for the children.”
They get it. Our children’s happiness is, after all, what matters most.
Catherine Kirk is managing editor of the Delta Democrat-Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.