Fall is my favorite time of year, with the unfortunate fact that nestled soundly in its center is Halloween, my least favorite holiday.
To make it to my Top 5 Holidays List, a celebration must consist of at least all of these:
- lying to children
- divisive religious overtones
- figgy pudding
- fat snowmen
- enough nostalgia to raise the dead
Yep, you guessed it: Christmas is in my top holiday slots – all five of them. Which is why I play Christmas music in August, much to the delight of my co-workers.
Conversely, to land in my Worst 5 Holiday List, the joyous occasion must either be:
- or Halloween
Every year, when October 31st rolls around, I dream of turning into a Jehovah’s Witness just for one day so I can bypass the holiday.
Now, if we all dressed up as Frosty the Snowman and knocked on doors to receive homemade cookies from jolly, plump housewives, I’d say: scoot your merry butt over, Christmas Slot #5! You have competition.
But that isn’t what happens. The ghoulish holiday seems to don itself with an increasingly dreary ensemble: ashen apparitions, ghastly ghosts, wicked witches, and malignant monsters. Call me old-fashioned (I won’t be offended, because Christmas is old-fashioned, so it must be awesome), but the relishing of gross & scary things doesn’t measure up to my idea of a good time.
However, since I just maligned the treasured holiday of many, I will now proceed to mock myself, and then we’ll be even. Granted, Halloween scares me, but just about everything does. The dark scares me, MSG scares me, ducks in groups scare me.
To illustrate my remarkable faintheartedness: last year my equally-timorious friend Cupcake (her real name is Holly, but I used an alias to preserve privacy) and I visited a haunted corn maze. Please do keep in mind that we were 27 & 26 years of age, which is certainly not old enough to be out traipsing in the dark by ourselves. Trembling with fear, we ventured into the muddy, dark maze, nerves taut.
So far, so good.
No, those were not the cries of one in mortal danger of life and limb. They were the pathetic pleas emitting from us when a teenager making minimum wage, dressed in sweat pants and a cheap plastic mask, jumped out of the corn stalks and blandly yelled ‘boo.’ Slipping and sliding in the muddy chaos, we ran away like squealing, blind little pigs, with me dragging the terrified Cupcake in my cowardly wake. This hysterical behavior of course only motivated him to chase us more.
He finally left, and I was still alive, which was great, because I really want kids someday. As the echoes of our screams faded off in the distance, we crept forward. A deceptive calm cloaked the field.
Even my frazzled mental state, I recognized that a chain saw is not a common corn shucking tool, so once again we broke into a mad sprint, clawing blindly through the maze to escape the predator’s relentless weapon.
This dumped us right into the path of a gruesome lady, ghost-white and draped in tatters. Moaning, she wailed in horrifying tones, “I am going to eat your bones! I want your soooooouulsssss!”
After Bone-Eating-Soul-Stealing Lady, we were so traumatized that we resorted to the only mature option available: walk the remainder of the maze in the shadow of a small, plump boy, assuming that even fiends wouldn’t prey on a child. Perhaps we lost some dignity points here, but let’s be honest, there wasn’t much left to lose at this point.
This year, I will be celebrating Halloween night with a Christmas party. Sorry, Small Plump Boy – you’re on your own!