In the musical "Mame", Auntie Mame calls her friends together and sings the song "We Need a little Christmas, right this very minute. Candles in the window, carols at the Spinet." In response to the gloom and doom of the Great Depression, Mame decorates her house with holly, colored lights and a Christmas tree to pull those around her out of the funk they are feeling. At the end of the song everyone is happier, feels closer and finds once again something worth celebrating.
As we've approached this day, October 31st – Halloween, I've been thinking that we need a little Halloween. It is wonderful that Halloween falls on a Friday this year. Children will not need to get up early for school tomorrow. They can fall asleep in their costumes if their parents will allow it. Most adults will not be going to work tomorrow and can stay up helping categorize the candy loot until the wee hours as they talk the young ones out of the more sophisticated chocolate that has landed in their bags. We need a little Halloween to give us a break from the political rhetoric and the economic roller coaster on which we find ourselves.Plainly put, we need a little diversion, a little fun.
Halloween provides that rare opportunity for children to rule. The adults who prepare costumes and dress these children inevitably remember the Halloweens of their past…that mummy costume that kept unraveling at the Girl Scout party while doing the "Monster Mash"…the plate of peeled grapes, passed around in the dark while a scary story was told,meant to be eyeballs….the unbridled freedom felt as we ran from door to door in the dark, parents standing just in the shadows, protection but an arm's length away. It is a night of pure fun with no hidden agenda.
It is also a night when, for a few brief hours, the children and the child-like, can don costumes that allow them to get in touch with an inner desire or confront their deepest fears. Super heroes make their way through neighborhoods fighting crime along side vampires and angels. Peter Pan flies near the witches, both with the longing to 'never grow up.' Clowns hold the flashlight while their Princess friends lift skirts that are just a bit too long, both moving toward the next door which will provide another sweet treat. And those who greet them hold memories of similar costumes and a familiar joy that really only comes once a year.
It is a simple holiday, one that doesn't ask much of us. A mask, some well placed cloth, perhaps a little makeup. A few small pieces of candy. Tonight all this will add up to some much needed happiness.
Tomorrow we can get back to the important work of elections and stock markets. But tonight….let's fly!
Have a wonderful weekend…..remember to turn your clocks back and enjoy that extra hour of sleep….