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Hate Halloween? [with poll]

By Barcham 31 October 2013 54

Debate abounds, is Halloween a gross piece of American commercialism with no place in Australian society?

Batman!
Popular meme bouncing around on Facebook.

Or is it a bit of fun that in no way needs to be commercial or American and what’s your problem with American culture anyway?

Robin!
My response.

What do you think?

I tend to feel hating Halloween for what commercialism has done with it is kind of stupid, you might as well hate music or love for the same reason.

But maybe it’s too much. Maybe you’re fed up with culture bleed? Maybe you just don’t want kids knocking on your door? Maybe some other reason? I don’t know. I’m not a cranky pants like you are.

Let us know!

Halloween in Australia?

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Hate Halloween? [with poll]
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Bad Seed 4:25 pm 03 Nov 13

I suppose the issue is that not all the customs come with the importing. In the US, its well known that if you don’t want to participate in T or T then you leave your light off. And house with no outside light on is a no-go, with a light on means kids welcome here. Also, 12 is the limit -teens aren’t really “supposed” to T or T. A few years ago, we had a bunch of teens rock up about 9pm, no costumes, ring the doorbell and wake up our then toddlers. The next year, we put up a sign saying no T or T ( – yes, I know I know but you try getting a cranky 3 year old back to sleep who is still awake at midnight!). We DID get egged that year for our troubles. So, it does happen.

Doing the porch light thing is a bit tricky in a place where it doesn’t get dark until late. I get the whole community aspect thing but I also feel that if I don’t want to open my door (in the same way I don’t want to open my door when I see the Mormons on the loose on a Saturday morning, I don’t deserve to get egged for my choice.

I go professional begging -I do the Vinnies doorknock every year -I know that people who are home choose not to open their door -that’s their right, I ring once politely, at a reasonable time and then I move on. I’ve never had a rude person yet, but having kids at the door asking for free lollies is a different matter altogether.

beedlebum 7:35 am 03 Nov 13

I took my son and his friend for a wander, specifically looking for houses that were decorated or had a pumpkin out the front. We had a great time. There were plenty of generous, friendly households, and we ran into a couple of big groups of adults and kids that we’d obviously having a great time.

Oh, and nobody we saw was playing tricks, it was just a fun night of dressing up with friends and walking around in the fresh air (a night otherwise spent in front of the telly?)

We do so much to kill everything fun for kids, and they get a real kick out of dressing up. Why not?!

EvanJames 11:09 pm 02 Nov 13

cantdance said :

I hate Halloween. It irks me that people’s kids come to my door expecting me to give them sweets. I had my front gate locked, yet teenagers jumped the gate and ignored the do not enter sign.

Do you have a hose? Well then. Trick or treat? TRICK! (blaaaaaaast).

cantdance 8:03 pm 02 Nov 13

I hate Halloween. It irks me that people’s kids come to my door expecting me to give them sweets. I had my front gate locked, yet teenagers jumped the gate and ignored the do not enter sign.

scorpio63 4:42 pm 02 Nov 13

One more thing…I LOVED the Masks and the artwork (good on you Watson for reminding me LOL) displayed when I opened up the door to the many visits I greatly enjoyed the other night.

Trick or Treat I asked THEM! Then handed over the many packets of lollies to each of them while watching them smile behind their masks, with their beautiful eyes lighting up!

“Thank you and Thankyou and Thankyou” from every one of them; the most beautiful manners and more grateful than an Adult when I hold the door open for them in shopping centres or smile at people with only a vacant stare or glare back into my face around Tuggeranong for the most part.

“Yeah” as Watson said “Lighten up”!

scorpio63 4:32 pm 02 Nov 13

Hi Barcham,

Great Thread and Cartoon!

My view is that anything which promotes ‘giving’ to others is a wonderful thing and does as much for the ‘giver’ as it does for the ‘receiver’.

Just remember all that some of these Children/Kids that knock on your door may not receive much in their own home Life by Parents (not all kids are spoilt) particularly Parents who don’t give much to their own Kids and lucky if they receive a comic or book at Christmas time or a bag of lollies. There are families believe it or not in the A.C.T. and Queanbeyan with Parents who drink away or spend away all of their money prior to the weeks leading up to Christmas or Parents who have struggled renting for many years and not on high Public Service wages whom cannot afford some of the expensive presents that many public servants have regularly purchased for their kids each year while growing up.

Not to mention the parents who have a Child or Teenager or Young Adult at home with Autism or another disability who have shared the full time caring role of their child (with siblings in the family who have missed out greatly on many Gifts during their lives); I know some Families who have struggled greatly renting on the one wage of the Father working long hours to support his Wife and Children while the Mother for 20 years has Loved and cared for their Child with Autism.

“Hallow”-ween and all of these fun activities should be a regular event for Children growing up, particularly now that the World is fast, most Parents work long hours and given the sacrifices that Kids have had to endure not being able to roam around on their own or for a walk or bike ride on their own for fear of being abducted or assaulted. In other words, more types of activities with a Parent out walking with their kids to create some fun memories during a Child’s life that is gone quickly.

Kindest wishes

Woody Mann-Caruso 1:52 pm 02 Nov 13

I get to egg the house or trash the letterbox

Any chance you could uploads pics of all these egged houses and trashed letterboxes? I’ll settle for a pic of a kid in Canberra in a Halloween costume carrying eggs.

I’ll just be waiting over here. I mean, with the level of moral panic you’ve got going on, I’m sure it must be happening everywhere, you’ll have no trouble coming up with the evidentiary goods, and I won’t be waiting long.

GardeningGirl 6:17 pm 01 Nov 13

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Personally I feel that Halloween gives people ‘cultural permission’ to make threats and cause criminal damage.

You see a little girl dressed as a witch. She smiles, and says ‘Trick or treat!’ What does she mean? Is it:

a) ‘Hello! What do you think of my costume? I’m having a great time and I hope you’ll be part of it and maybe I’ll get a Mintie or a Freddo, but a smile and a ‘d’aww, so cute!’ would also make my night!’

b) ‘You’re my hostage, and I’m making a credible threat of criminal violence against your person and your property. Don’t let my age, choice of garment, smile, the fact that I’m carrying candy, or lack of screams and sirens* from the other houses I’ve visited on your street create doubt in your mind that you are in imminent danger.’

I don’t like feeling threatened in my own home.

I’m glad to hear you got your own place. You seemed to have no end of problems with the public housing system. Kudos!

*Sorry if your new digs are still in Chisholm. That might make the screams and sirens thing difficult to work out.

I see someone thinking

I either get candy

or

I get to egg the house or trash the letterbox

Win/win for me

As for you, the rest of the year I don’t even know you, and I don’t care what you think, how busy you are, how much you spent on your letterbox, whether your sick in bed today, whatever, cos I’m having fun and your just a grinch!

I DO understand how Halloween could be but I haven’t seen any evidence in all these years that that’s what it is in any of the suburbs I’ve lived in. So yeah, until I see proof of genuine respectful considerate lighthearted fun I’ll be a grinch.

Woody Mann-Caruso 3:50 pm 01 Nov 13

Personally I feel that Halloween gives people ‘cultural permission’ to make threats and cause criminal damage.

You see a little girl dressed as a witch. She smiles, and says ‘Trick or treat!’ What does she mean? Is it:

a) ‘Hello! What do you think of my costume? I’m having a great time and I hope you’ll be part of it and maybe I’ll get a Mintie or a Freddo, but a smile and a ‘d’aww, so cute!’ would also make my night!’

b) ‘You’re my hostage, and I’m making a credible threat of criminal violence against your person and your property. Don’t let my age, choice of garment, smile, the fact that I’m carrying candy, or lack of screams and sirens* from the other houses I’ve visited on your street create doubt in your mind that you are in imminent danger.’

I don’t like feeling threatened in my own home.

I’m glad to hear you got your own place. You seemed to have no end of problems with the public housing system. Kudos!

*Sorry if your new digs are still in Chisholm. That might make the screams and sirens thing difficult to work out.

GardeningGirl 3:18 pm 01 Nov 13

Watson said :

GardeningGirl said :

miz said :

Personally I feel that Halloween gives people ‘cultural permission’ to make threats and cause criminal damage. I don’t like feeling threatened in my own home. We don’t need or want this import in Australia – and I say this as a person of Gaelic heritage. The American version is commercial, crass and awful.

I agree, its a weird tradition that says on one day you’re allowed to threaten people to get what you want. There are probably other traditions that also look weird from the outside (I can’t think of anything offhand but I’m sure there are times when I’ve though lol what would an alien make of what we’re doing). But the thing with Halloween is some people feel entitled to share their fun with everyone whether you have chosen to participate or not, they make a mess on your property if you don’t respond correctly (sometimes people have valid reasons why they aren’t prepared) and then berate you for not being fun. In the thirty years since I was abused by a neighbour who had never previously bothered to say hullo, I haven’t seen Halloween evolve into an event with a real community feel. It’s just random strangers, sometimes older kids not even dressed up, banging on your door disturbing your evening. I know of someone who had a very distressing evening during a major illness. It would be nice to think that the ‘community’ would have known and had the respect to leave them alone, or to leave alone any household that has its lights OFF, but they don’t. I grew up in Canberra, believe me, I would love more old-time neighbourliness and community spirit and all that. Halloween isn’t doing that, it just feels nasty.

Where is this ghetto you live in?

The Halloween trick or treating I’ve seen are cute 6-12 yo kids dressed up as witches and skeletons who are generally polite and considerate. They’re kids, they might trample the odd flower and talk too loud, but geez, lighten up a bit.

Like I said, it feels nasty. At least here I chose to post and you are entitled to post your opinion of what I said, but why I deserved a rant about how I “probably don’t celebrate Christmas either” (huh?????) just because I was sitting at home one night minding my own business . .

Watson 2:49 pm 01 Nov 13

Stevian said :

Which is why Halloween should be banned. Thanks for proving my point

As in, you will have to notify the police if more than 3 of you plan to go out dressed in “scary” costumes?

Postalgeek 1:29 pm 01 Nov 13

Stevian said :

Postalgeek said :

Stevian said :

All well and good, now get off my lawn!!

Not before we TP your house.

Which is why Halloween should be banned. Thanks for proving my point

We’ll TP your house anyway for being a grump who got Halloween banned.

Stevian 12:58 pm 01 Nov 13

Postalgeek said :

Stevian said :

Postalgeek said :

Thumper said :

I think it’s great. For one it’s a community sort of event which is something somewhat lacking these days.

Besides, the kids are generally happy, respectful and friendly, and by engaging with them you are reinforcing these traits.

Which has to be a good thing.

Good point.

For those who might think we live in a soulless society, or mourn the absence of a supportive local community, or complain about how yoof have no respect, well, this is one way working communities are built, by people knocking on doors of those who live nearby in a festive environment.

For the price of a packet of sweets it’s cheaper than pretty much every other commercialised Northern Hemisphere holiday we’ve imported, and no worse than anything our own plastic-flag-and-slab-of-beer culture has dreamt up.

All well and good, now get off my lawn!!

Not before we TP your house.

Which is why Halloween should be banned. Thanks for proving my point

Watson 12:45 pm 01 Nov 13

GardeningGirl said :

miz said :

Personally I feel that Halloween gives people ‘cultural permission’ to make threats and cause criminal damage. I don’t like feeling threatened in my own home. We don’t need or want this import in Australia – and I say this as a person of Gaelic heritage. The American version is commercial, crass and awful.

I agree, its a weird tradition that says on one day you’re allowed to threaten people to get what you want. There are probably other traditions that also look weird from the outside (I can’t think of anything offhand but I’m sure there are times when I’ve though lol what would an alien make of what we’re doing). But the thing with Halloween is some people feel entitled to share their fun with everyone whether you have chosen to participate or not, they make a mess on your property if you don’t respond correctly (sometimes people have valid reasons why they aren’t prepared) and then berate you for not being fun. In the thirty years since I was abused by a neighbour who had never previously bothered to say hullo, I haven’t seen Halloween evolve into an event with a real community feel. It’s just random strangers, sometimes older kids not even dressed up, banging on your door disturbing your evening. I know of someone who had a very distressing evening during a major illness. It would be nice to think that the ‘community’ would have known and had the respect to leave them alone, or to leave alone any household that has its lights OFF, but they don’t. I grew up in Canberra, believe me, I would love more old-time neighbourliness and community spirit and all that. Halloween isn’t doing that, it just feels nasty.

Where is this ghetto you live in?

The Halloween trick or treating I’ve seen are cute 6-12 yo kids dressed up as witches and skeletons who are generally polite and considerate. They’re kids, they might trample the odd flower and talk too loud, but geez, lighten up a bit.

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