When I stopped going trick or treating in middle school, it was actually more of an accident. I had always found the knocking on strangers’ doors part of Halloween to be daunting. So when I stayed home that year and played Halloween-themed card games instead, it wasn’t a big deal. Halloween wasn’t important in my household so that one year became a natural conclusion. But sometimes sitting out the holiday isn’t the only option. Even if you don’t think you enjoy the holiday, there are ways to make it more fun.
Here are some strategies to try if you, like me, are trying to get back your Halloween spirit:
Sometimes we want to try to do everything at once because we think that is what is expected of us. However, this more than likely will make the holiday seem even more overwhelming because suddenly we go from treating a holiday like any other day to something that is pressure-filled. Instead, start small and do less stressful activities. With Halloween, this might mean watching a Halloween movie or dressing up in a simple costume rather than going to a big Halloween party or entering a costume contest.
Be With People Who Make You Comfortable During the Holiday
Holidays are always better with people who you can be yourself around. When you surround yourself with people who make you feel happy, that positive vibe can then spread to the holiday itself. Most people feel freer with trying new things when they trust the people around them. Being with your friend group can make the day seem less stressful and more like just a hangout. This can lower the expectations in your mind and make Halloween more fun in the process.
Keep Trying but Don’t Force Yourself
No one can truly make themselves like an activity more than they actually do. Some things aren’t for everyone, but you don’t know if a holiday isn’t for you unless you try it out. Secondly, we all like different parts of holidays better than others. So, while you may figure out that you don’t like the main traditions of Halloween, perhaps making the holiday your own is better. Forcing yourself to do what is more common might only make you like the holiday even less. Remember, celebrating a holiday isn’t for anyone else but you and the people you cherish.
For me, I did each of these steps at different points in my life when celebrating Halloween. I started celebrating with friends in high school and the fun of Halloween started coming back. One year, we watched a Halloween movie and another I dressed up in a simple costume. Having low stakes attached to the holiday and being around friends subtly grew my appreciation for the holiday. I felt freer to celebrate however much of the holiday I wanted to and never felt judged.
Holidays are the perfect time to find ourselves rather than get lost in how others or the world may perceive us. When we can create our own versions of some holidays, holidays can evolve past what we once perceived them as and grow with us as we move through life. Now that I am older, I am excited for this year’s Halloween not because of the actual day but because of the people I will spend it with.