Halloween was invented by four college roommates in the late 1970s. They were staying up late one night listening to Black Sabbath when they suddenly realized that they had run out of candy. The four lads worked their way down the hall, begging for more candy from their neighbors and a tradition was born.
One of those roommates went on to start Google.
The other invented Facebook.
The third, seeing the potential in this new tradition, bought a pumpkin farm and made billions.
Not wanting to be outdone, the fourth one became a pastor and started a new Halloween tradition. He knew that Black Sabbath wouldn’t go over too well with his church but he was convinced that the candy would be a hit. So one Halloween he told everyone to put a bunch of candy in the trunk of their car and hand it out in the church parking lot.
He called it Junk in the Trunk.
The next year a few disgruntled members got together and made him change the name to Trunk or Treat. After that, some seminary bloggers decided that they didn’t like that name so it was changed to Gospel Centered Candy Sharing That Is Not the Result of Moralism or Legalism but Strictly the Overflow of a Pure Heart. It had a nice ring to it so that’s what churches have been calling their Halloween festivities ever since. Well, at least the good churches. The rest settle for names like Fall Festival.
Like most traditions, as more time passes we need to be reminded how to conduct ourselves. Manners, it seems, are easily forgotten. So here are a few reminders to help you make the most out of America’s most awkward holiday without regretting it ten years from now.
1. Keep your color.
It is never cool to become a different race for Halloween. White folks, I don’t care how much you love Sanford and Son and how many black friends you have who say that they don’t care, do not, under any circumstances, show up to a party dressed as Lamont.
“But,” some will say, “you don’t understand. If I don’t paint myself to look like a member of another race then I’ll get kicked out of my fraternity at Auburn.”
So be it. You shouldn’t be paying for your friends anyway. Especially friends that make you act like an idiot. And why did you go to Auburn in the first place?
2. Keep your gender.
I heard some girl on the news say that she was offended that guys would dress up like a girl for Halloween. Me too. But her reasons were different. “My gender is not a costume,” she declared.
Halloween has a way of bringing out the oddities of our culture. It has become perfectly normal for people to change their gender the other 364 days of the year and use whatever restroom they choose. You can even have a surgery and take some pills to help you change your gender. And if certain politicians have their way, this kind of activity will soon be declared a civil right and funded by all the people who are content with their particular gender. So, if I’m understanding this correctly, costumes aren’t offensive if they are permanent.
I’m lost on this one.
Just to be safe, if you’re over the age of 18 never wear a costume. Ever. Especially the permanent ones.
3. Tone down the boycott.
A lot of folks aren’t fans of Halloween because of its pagan origins. That’s fine. There certainly is a creepy element to the day. But before you start looking down on those who don’t have a problem with a little neighborly candy sharing, consider the not-so-biblical origins of most of the other things you participate in.
Your city is probably named after a guy that wasn’t exactly the best husband and/or church member.
Your car was probably made by a guy who worships a few hundred different gods and uses the proceeds of his labor to find even more gods to worship.
So unless you live in the lovely city of Trinitarian and drive a Predestination 2000 LX Coupe, turn the boycott talk down a few notches.
Look, it’s not a good idea to dress your kid up as Lord Fire Demon, Ruler of the Snake People. But there is a good chance that the kid down the street already has his Lord Fire Demon cape laid out and ready to go. And when he comes knocking on your door, don’t hide behind the couch and don’t hand him a pamphlet reminding him of how Halloween was invented by four college buddies who liked Black Sabbath.
Just hand him a few packs of M&Ms and then invite him to your church’s annual Junk in the Trunk festivities.
Or whatever it is they’re calling it these days.