I've not thought much until now about diluting Christmas by calling it "Happy Holidays." At first pass it seems fine and PC to encompass all religions and their beliefs (or none). But now I'm wondering if accepting that concept has led to the ridiculous decision of some schools to do away with Halloween. Really?? Canceling Halloween is LAME. It seems a couple of school districts on the East Coast had nothing better to do (how is that possible?) than to figure out how to eliminate Halloween. Their rationale (using the term loosely) was that wearing Halloween costumes to school should be canceled because “safety is a top priority." Other reasons cited included “some kids with peanut allergies might eat or come into contact with something peanut-based during the parade and related events.” And the coup de grâce, “Some holidays, like Halloween are viewed as having religious overtones." I wonder if it occurred to those educators for a second how much children (the very people they are there to serve) love and look forward to Halloween. The fact that they could take something as innocuous as Halloween and turn it into something to be saved from is the scary part.
It's another step in a movement that has begun to homogenize education and the childhood experience. It dovetails nicely with the extinction of games such as dodge ball and the use of swing sets and jump ropes. We expect kids to stand around and do nothing so they don't get hurt and then everyone gets a trophy just for showing up. This doesn't remotely prepare them for life in the real world as an adult and where's the FUN? Being a kid is supposed to be fun. Halloween is the ultimate fun -- dressing up in a costume, being in a parade, loading up your bag with candy, and eating enough of it to give you a stomach ache. Kids don't give a rat's ass about any of those bogus reasons given to cancel Halloween. How did we survive childhood without all the regulations? We survived it just fine and in fact sometimes it was great. Like playing games using balls with our friends, skinning our knees and elbows on bikes and roller skates all the time, seeing how high we could go on the swing set and then jumping off. You know what we learned? We learned how to get up, brush ourselves off and get back in the game. We didn't worry about getting hurt or whether we were stepping on anyone's religious feelings. We were free to learn and have fun because our families were taking care of us without being told what to do by beauracrats.
I think it's time to call bullshit on eliminating tradition. Being a kid today is tough enough with all the homework, test pressure, and expectation to develop a talent. The least we can do is give them Halloween. And Merry Christmas is not a bad word.