(Today is the next-to-last day of APADO – the blog series where I try to write a post for every single day of October. My wittle challenge is almost over *snif*)
(I was planning to post this tomorrow but I might be planning a giant APADO recap/vote/thoughts on the challenge tomorrow so we’re going for today. Besides, it’ll give you some time to think about this post.)
(Of course I’m posting this so late that it’ll probably be tomorrow before you see it. Hmmmm….)
(featured image is an edited version of one of my photos)
(Disclaimer: If you celebrate Halloween, that’s okay for you and I’m not trying to preach at you. I’m just sharing my opinion. Please don’t get triggered.)
I haven’t ever celebrated Halloween. Aside from its roots in druids and demons, it’s a self-centered holiday, and I have no brain energy to waste on it.
Reasons I Don’t Celebrate Halloween
There’s so much darkness and evil in the world, I don’t think we need to add any more. And before you go and say that Halloween is just a fun little holiday, the Wikipedia article backs me up:
Society has turned it into a fun little holiday, but the roots of it are something I can’t get over.
But on another level, the thing that bothers me about Halloween is that it’s a very self-centered holiday. Kids are trained from a young age to stress out over costumes and then go show it off and ask people for treats. That’s something that I don’t find very wholesome.
To show you what I mean, let’s do some math.
People spend $9.1 billion on Halloween candy, decorations, and costumes a year, according to this source.
Just around $1.9 billion would buy every homeless person in America three meals a day for a year, plus a sleeping bag and a Bible for each of them. And the remaining $7.2 billion could buy 120 private islands in the Bahamas for $600 million each.
Just to please some kids and candy companies for one night of the year.
I feel like Halloween is a sorry excuse for a holiday. It makes absolutely no impact. Even aside from the pagan ideas that are at its core, it breeds selfishness and discontent.
So what’s a non-trick-or-treater to do?
As I was going about my day today, seeing people buying last-minute bags of candy or pieces of costumes, I started to wonder if there was anything I could do on Halloween. I mean, I usually sit inside with the lights off and watch the most obnoxiously happy movie I can think of, but…is there anything more constructive I can do?
I got my mom in on the idea, and we ended up brainstorming 31 different ways to spend Halloween that are more positive and meaningful. They had to be:
- relatively cheap
- not associated with giving out candy or dressing up
- helpful to the community in some way
- and fun!
So whether you’re like me and you don’t celebrate Halloween, or you’re just looking for something to do instead of trick-or-treating, here are…
31 Things To Do Instead Of Trick-Or-Treating
Earn $31, $3.10, or 31 cents and give it to your favorite charity.
If your grass is still growing, find 31 weeds in your neighbor’s yard and pull them up.
Copy out 31 verses of Scripture. If you wanna be Pintrestable, you could even write out Proverbs 31.
Do 31 “random acts of kindness”.
Buy the #31 shade of nail polish and commit to painting your nails that color. Electric green? Teal glitter? Go for it.
Everyone loves to find a happy note. Write 31 random notes and hide them in 31 random places. Who knows whose day you might brighten?
Spend 31 minutes exercising. Let’s face it, from here until January, the food just keeps getting more delicious…and more irresistable.
Reverse trick-or-treating! Go to the dollar store and find 31 comfort items to hand out a nursing home.
Do you know any kids who aren’t trick-or-treating tonight, for whatever reason? It’s no fun to be left out. Find 31 stickers and give them to those kids – and make sure you a) tell them how proud you are of them for standing by what they believe or b) console them about their allergies/illness/grounding.
Find 31 nice-looking leaves and make someone a Thanksgiving card by taping the leaves to a piece of cardstock. Don’t forget to decorate the envelope!
Get a trick-or-treat bucket, but instead of filling it with candy, pick up 31 pieces of trash around your park or neighborhood.
As long as you’re okay with hauling around 31 bottles of water, find 31 thirsty people at your trunk or treat or gathering and give them a bottle of water.
Donate 31 cans of food to a soup kitchen or food drop.
Lots of people are buying tons of clothes for their costumes, but how about giving some away? Go through your closet and find 31 items of clothes or shoes and donate them.
Buy 31 tire valve stem covers (don’t worry, they’re cheap) and go on a hunt for 31 tires that are missing their little cap.
Pranksters in your neighborhood? Find 31 of their eggy messes and clean them up.
Go to the mall or the grocery store and seek out 31 items that are misplaced or have fallen on the floor. Pick them up and put them back where they belong.
Find and clip 31 different coupons. (Some grocery stores have them hanging up at the front.) Then, go find the 31 items on sale and tape the coupon to the item. If someone didn’t know it was on sale, they’ll get a chance to save some money.
While you’re at the store, see if you can find 31 loose carts and deposit them back in the cart corrals.
Spend 31 minutes playing with your pet.
Spend 31 minutes with your little siblings or relatives.
Wash or dry 31 dishes for your mom, if it’s not already your chore. I guess you could also do 31 loads of laundry, but that’s kind of ambitious.
Come up with 31 useful coupons for you to fufill and tape them to the refrigerator, to be used by whoever wants them.
Make 31 paper stars and start a vase for a loved one!
Give away 31 of your old toys or stuffed animals.
Bookworm? Here’s a really scary challenge for you. Round up 31 books you’re done with and donate them to your library. Bonus points for putting 31 random notes in them!
Hand out 31 tractates, if your church does that.
It’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, but how about writing down 31 things you’re thankful for?
Strain your eyes and your fingers and make 31 friendship bracelets for your friends.
Make a list of 31 important people in your life and write a letter to each of them.
Spend 31 minutes in prayer. It won’t be wasted time.
The bottom of it all?
Whatever you choose to do this Halloween, I hope you’re happy and safe. If you choose to do anything from this list, though, I’d love to know what you did!
Who knows? You might end up making a new tradition, or at least having more fun than that lame Halloween party you were inevidably invited to.
Maybe, just maybe, we can start a new movement. Spending this night of self-centeredness helping others.
I like to think it’s possible.
tl;dr: If you’re bored tomorrow night, have a go at one of these weird, helpful ideas.
Sayonara for now,