Halloween is literally on its way again and with every passing year it becomes more difficult to say no to children on the street with their colorful costumes, cheeky grin and huge appetite.
Too many of us don't even know our neighbors, let alone spend time with them, so shouldn't we lose our sense of snobbing around a borrowed American tradition and just embrace the chance of fun and a better sense of community?
While it is tempting for some to lock the doors, turn off the lights and park their car behind the car, the intoxicating mixture of children's laughter, chats with neighbors and street-wide sugar outweighs the negatives.
Moreover, as our lives become busier and responsibilities pile up, many people long for a simpler time and the sense of community that many of us managed to grow up in the suburbs.
Father of two Darrin Barnett believes that Halloween Aussies can help their neighbors embrace (photo Mr Barnett & # 39; s children)
Reconnecting with those who live in our street, as well as informal acquaintances from the neighborhood and the loose bond of parents with children in common at the local primary or high school is definitely a good place to start.
Halloween itself is a national holiday in the United States, which suggests some research is celebrated by & # 39; about 70 percent of the population who in turn spends around $ 9 billion USD on sweets, costumes, and decorations & # 39 ;.
That leads to the first obvious problem – that candy does not exist in Australia.
As I pointed out to my two children in primary school this week, we eat lollipops here and sweets are sent to the same language waste as diapers, soft drinks and vacations.
Regarding the visuals, dressing like a ghost, Count Dracula or even your favorite superhero meets the criteria for about 50 percent of children's parties and the last time I checked it, carving jack-o-lanterns has no historical significance in Australia .
Although it is an American mainstay, Halloween comes from the Celtic festival Samhain, where people light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
A neighbor of Darrin Barnett in the decorations of Sydney for the Halloween festivities on Thursday evening
It was adapted for use by Christian religions long ago, with Pope Gregory III in the eighth century who designated November 1 as All Saints' Day and the night before it became known as All Hallows Eve and later Halloween.
Halloween has been the basis for many a horror movie over the years and is probably best known for its catch cry & # 39; Trick or Treat & # 39; while children wander from door to door in search of tasty treats or a little fear.
Today it is undoubtedly commercially driven and it comes down to the dream of a chocolatier or dentist.
Although that description is also a way to describe Easter and Christmas, at least many of us make the effort to go to church and the emphasis is often on family.
Christmas encourages family members to overcome small differences and busy lives to celebrate together, while Halloween gives us the opportunity to make an effort to connect with our local community.
As someone who lives in a street that is far too crazy for Halloween, my hardened attitude diminishes, largely because of the pleasure it brings.
Unlike the run-up to many other celebrated days of the year, my children are really looking forward to this.
All week they put together their costumes, watched what their friends wear and do and devised their plans for maximum yields of lollipops and fun.
In the twilight, my street fills with children in a range of costumes, ranging from downright creepy to absurd, while I take a seat in the front row and the guilty pleasure of filling them with sugar without having to take any responsibility.
In addition to neighbors, the friends of my children and their families come along and there is nothing wrong with making a few clear local additions to all things of Halloween, such as a barbecue and a few beers.
In the midst of all this pleasure, the last thing I want to be accused of is the nice police.
Of course it can all go too far; it's all about the right balance.
Mr. Barnett believes that the American tradition brings back a sense of community in neighborhoods full of strangers
There have been media reports this week that some households on the north coast of Sydney are spending up to $ 1,000 in lollipops in preparation for tonight's festivities, with 1,700 children expected at the door.
Even if you are a millionaire, that is clearly absurd, so I went to my local supermarket this week to see what $ 1,000 could buy.
I thought maybe one way to make things run locally is to give well-known Australian favorites as treats.
Due to the large discounts, it turned out that with more than 5,200 Caramello Koala & # 39; s or Freddo Frogs you could walk away for your investment of a thousand dollars.
With such numbers you can open a zoo, let alone feed an army of children.
With more than three chocolate animals per child, there are certainly some left over and I will be back tomorrow this time and I know a few children who will be at a low level and desperately looking for a destination.
We should all be scared by that time. Happy Halloween!
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