We Should Celebrate Halloween This Year

New York City is famous for a lot of things. Food is high on the list.

Maybe I’m bias, but being from Texas, I wouldn’t say food in New York is the tastiest. Due to the variety of choices available, I believe food in New York is fun and adventurous. Within a block, there could be at least 10 options ranging from a ridiculous fruit/pasta mashup, to “southern” style barbecue. My sister and I sometimes treat ourselves to a lunch together, but often keep it simple by sticking to American food spots. After dining at one of our favorites, Fuku on 1st Avenue, we passed by a store called Halloween Adventure. The holiday was quickly approaching. We never celebrate the holiday. This struck a conversation.

“Maybe we should celebrate Halloween this year?” The idea was intriguing. I can only remember celebrating Halloween once. Oddly, I vividly recall dressing up as Oscar the Grouch that year. I’m not sure if I chose that costume, but it was a cute look. I stood in a gray trash can held up with suspenders. The outfit was completed by a detailed plastic mask of the green character, and a trash can lid on top of my head.

That particular Halloween had to be before I reached the double digits in age — before my father became a preacher. I can’t remember much before my father went into ministry. I’ve only really known my dad as a preacher. Growing up, my siblings and I did the typical PK (Preacher’s Kid) things, like Bible study every Wednesday, choir rehearsal, vacation bible school, etc. Each Halloween we would go to “Hallelujah Night”, the church’s alternative to trick-or-treating. There would be games, candy, and music all night at my family’s church — completely bible based of course.

Unlike other holidays, I never longed for Halloween. I honestly have always thought it was a silly day. I never enjoyed face painting as a child, so all the blood and monster make-up never appealed to me. Wearing a costume always seemed strange; I have always just liked being myself. Also, I’ve never been a huge fan of candy. To this day, it takes me weeks to finish a small bag of Sour Patch Kids.

I thought: maybe I’m missing the point of it all simply because I’ve never really experienced it? I decided it was time to see what the hype is all about.

Now that I’m older, a more mature costume option is called for. Observing others through the years, it seemed like a sexy, scantily clad version of anything was the way to go. The scandalous priest, the ho-ish angel, Adam & Eve wearing nothing more than eucalyptus leaves…something along those lines.

I’ve always been very compliant and people pleasing. I thought the more I followed rules or stuck to things that I was taught, the more I would be awarded. In the midst of that, maybe I’ve sacrificed some joys in life. Maybe Halloween is one.

About a month later after passing by the Halloween store, I bought my first Halloween costume…devil horns. Not the corny red ones, but the brownish blackish ones that look closer to animal horns. Leaping into Halloween as Satan feels heavy…but I think it’s appropriate for the lost time.

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