Too much candy? Children want a day off
We should have filed this in the “odd news” category, but it was so outrageous, we thought we’d discuss it here.
We all know there’s much ado about the holidays — Christmas in particular because Thanksgiving is almost like a forgotten holiday. There’s no hype leading up to it and once it’s over, Black Friday and Christmas shopping are in full swing.
In fact, Halloween has been sharing retail space with Christmas for a while now, hence the Tim Burton movie, “A Nightmare Before Christmas,” in which the two holidays collided. Apparently he decided to make the movie in 1993, after seeing Christmas decorations alongside Halloween decor in stores.
Halloween is feeling the squeeze even more these days, with stores decorating for Christmas before Halloween even arrives.
Some folks in Florida, however, are trying to make sure that Halloween gets some attention before Tom turkey and Santa take over. Petitions have began popping up to support students who wish to have the day after Halloween off from school.
“Polk County Public Schools was among the district that had quite a bit of support,” a news report said. “While the Florida school district was unable to change its preset schedule, the online petition gained a lot of attention.”
At least one student said they wanted Nov. 1 off because they didn’t want to go to school “after consuming 50 pounds of candy.”
In fact, there were 20,041 people who are in favor of having Nov. 1 off.
“While the petition is moot for most schools this year, some are hopeful the enthusiasm will lead to change around the nation,” the report said. “As posted on the petition, it’s a movement.
A post of the Polk County Schools petition said, “We have a holiday for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day and Presidents’ Day, but we don’t have anything for Halloween nothing at all so with this petition, let’s make a change for good.”
We’re not sure if it’s a change for good, exactly, but it’s an interesting idea, just like the idea to change Halloween from Oct. 31 of each year, to the last Saturday of October. That petition, on change. org, has a goal of 200,000 signatures and as of this writing, had 156,158.
One reason for wanting the date change is that it’s a “dangerous holiday.” Indeed, it can be, when people go out and do stupid things, but it’s also obvious that times have changed and the reason Halloween is celebrated these days, is much different from its origins.
Halloween, known as Samhain when it began some 2,000 years ago, was celebrated by Celtic people in Europe, to note the end of the harvest and the start of a new year. It was also a time to commune with otherworldly spirits and light bonfires in honor of the dead. Fast-forward to the 1800s and people started having Halloween parties with the emphasis on food, games and costumes. By 1950, the popularity of Halloween skyrocketed and became a true national event. Today, over 179 million Americans celebrate Halloween, according to an article in Good Housekeeping.
Just like most things, Samhain evolved into a commercialized holiday during which candy companies and others make about $9.1 billion per year, according to the National Retail Federation.
It’s no longer about honoring the dead or “communing with spirits,” but rather buying decorations and sugary treats. And since it’s no longer true to its roots, does it make a difference if it’s celebrated on Oct. 31 or the last Saturday in October? It depends on whom you ask.
We say leave Halloween on Oct. 31. Some things are best left alone.
If we could change one thing, it would be to take one holiday at a time, instead of having a mishmash of Hallothanksmas forced upon us when shopping. How about a petition for that?