Too much candy? Children want a day off

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Opinion -

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?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.