It’s no surprise that Halloween is any Goth’s favorite secular/non-Federal holiday…it’s the one time of the year when all of the spooky things, campiness, and morbid humor we embrace through our nightly lives are also embraced, or at least accepted, by the mainstream popular culture, and thus we feel slightly less like the rejects of society we are perceived to be…notice how I wrote ‘slightly.’ It’s a magical time of year when fantasy and make-believe reign supreme through the minds of children and adults alike; but also a bewildering time for Day-Crawling women to dress like über-sluts and Day-Crawling men to act like moronic fratboys…Well, on St. Patrick’s day too, but I digress…
For Goths Halloween should go further than two weeks worth of costume contests at every Halloween nightclub party or gorging oneself on scores of candy and treats. So, following is a list of ideas, new and borrowed traditions, and gloomy things to make your next Halloween extra special…especially if you are celebrating it with a loved one!
- The 13 days of Halloween: I never understood the whole 12 days of Xmas whilst growing up…were they trying to compete with the 8 days of Chanukah? Regardless, I want to take this concept and run with it. The 13 days of Halloween actually start 11 days before Halloween and flows past All Saints day and will end on the Day of the Dead which is November 2nd. For example, for Halloween this year (2011), the 13 days will start on Friday, October 21st and will end on Wednesday, November 2nd, with Halloween falling on Monday, October 31st (Duh!). Within these 13 spooktacular (ugh…I hate that pun…had to use it though) days is when you should implement the following traditions and activities listed below.
- No Work: Even though Halloween isn’t recognized as a national or religious holiday, and the banks are open, and you will get mail, it doesn’t mean you can’t schedule, far in advance, one or two days off to fall on October 31st and/or November 1st (to cure that hangover). If you get much resistance from your boss, just tell him/her that for you it’s a religion holiday you need to observe…hey, it works for Jewish people!
- Gift-Giving: The giving of gifts to friends, family, and loved ones need not be confined to Xmas, birthdays, or anniversaries anymore! Fun and darkly delicious gifts, whether simple or elaborate, inexpensive or pricey, can and should be exchanged or given within the 13 days of Halloween.
- Morbid Pranks: This Halloween tradition was primarily popularized by the mainstream television industry…more notably by Roseanne Barr and her Halloween special show on her sitcom that was all the rage then. Unlike the pranks played on friends and family (or even strangers) on April Fool’s day, these pranks don’t so much fool people as much as scare the living crap out of them! Beware of causing heart attacks or injury though! When I was in college at the University of Miami (don’t ask) I was very proficient at special effects make-up and I made this huge scar down my arm with a bunch of fake blood all over the place in my dorm room. I then called in a friend on her phone and told her to please help me and hurry. She bolted down to come help me only to find me dead on the floor with my horrific gash in my forearm. Well, she screamed and ran to my side trying to revive me…and just as the moment was right I popped up and said boo! Of course, she was a bit peeved at me at first, but soon enough we both had a good laugh about it (too bad I didn’t videotape the prank).
- Cards: Forever cranking out a card for any and every occasion, the greeting card industry actually has a myriad of pretty funny and appropriate Halloween cards for us Goths to choose from. *Hint: Get in the habit of buying a bunch of them soon after Halloween is over when they are at a discount and save them to send out to friends and lovers the following year (this also work for candy corn…the shelf life on that stuff is like 1000 years!).
- Halloween Music: If I hear The Monster Mash or One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater one more time, I’m gonna hurl! This tip is particularly geared to all those in a band out there (are you reading this, Voltaire?): Make more and better Halloween songs! But, please, no cheesy remakes of the 12 days of Xmas/Partridge in a Pear Tree song! That song is waaaaay to repetitive and boring!
Ok…let’s get started with these and I’ll add some more on future posts all the way leading up to our favorite day of the year. If you have any ideas or Halloween traditions of your own, please share with the class, I would love to hear them!