Don’t give up on Halloween – treat it as a challenge

get ready for the coronavirus costumes. Julia Raasch via Unsplash

Traditions can mean a lot. We should take them wherever we can

by Rayanne Gwilliam, Contributor

Ah yes, spooky season is upon us… or perhaps it has yet to leave, depending on how you look at it. It’s fair to say that Halloween is a time of celebrating the abnormal, which this year in particular has been full of, even though abnormalities we usually like to celebrate are our wildest fantasies about fantastical creatures, as Halloween becomes an excuse to play dress-up as adults. It’s also another chance to get together with friends and family to have a good time. Granted, this Halloween will be less than traditional because of COVID-19, but that does not mean all is lost. Halloween isn’t exactly a holiday that depends on formal traditions. 

Some people throw costume parties, have drinks, and share stories. Others go all out with the decorations, providing a full Halloween experience. Some love the seasonal activities, like watching horror movies, going to haunted places, and some love Instagramming different fall activities. Some do a mix of everything above. Some of the things I’ve listed maybe can’t happen this year, because people aren’t comfortable or there will be rules preventing it. However, we have gotten this far during the pandemic together by adapting and making decisions (though they’re not always wise, I’m sure). 

I know everyone has differing opinions on how to manage the virus, and I’m not suggesting any particular strategy. I simply want to say that there aren’t many days in a year we can treat as special occasions. For this reason, I feel it’s important to do our best to seize every opportunity for ourselves to celebrate what we do have in some way. If decorating is your thing, there’s nothing that says you can’t do it this year. If you love trick or treaters, take orders from the kids you know to make up sanitized treat bags, and drop them off no-contact if you have to. Dress up, do the makeup, and set up a makeshift outdoor theatre so people can social distance. And though I don’t condone doing anything potentially reckless or harmful, I’m sure there are haunted places abandoned enough you could find somewhere to spend time. Many close knit groups came together once they heard about quarantine happening. Embrace those connections! There are guidelines to group events; educate yourself on those and participate if it’s safe for you to, or at your own risk otherwise.

I know it’s not fun to have to think about barriers and rules surrounding a holiday meant for fun and expression, but it can be taken as a challenge. We can challenge ourselves to adapt to how we have fun and enjoy ourselves, possibly forging new experiences for Halloween that could become new traditions. I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me, this is one of the better challenges I’ve come across this year.

I will probably get some eye rolls for these suggestions, and that’s okay, I know this is a sensitive subject for everyone. If you’re in a place where your risk is lower and you’re in perfect health, great. If you’re not, and you think this is all garbage, you have every right to feel that way, too. Regardless of how anyone feels though, we’re all ultimately still human beings. Therefore, it’s important we try and face things as positively as we can, and find our own methods of enjoyment when it comes to traditions we depend on. If you need or want to be cautious, if the rules are stricter for you or you can’t celebrate the same way – whatever the circumstances are. I hope this has inspired you to still find a way to enjoy yourself and have fun, by whatever means you can. 

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