By Nathan Hritz

Fall is in the air. Temperatures are finally cooling, the leaves are changing and pumpkin spice is back. It’s time to break out your ghoulish costumes and prepare for the hordes of youngsters knocking on your door chanting the infamous phrase, “Trick-or-Treat!”

This week, I felt it appropriate to share some of the festivities my family takes part in during the Halloween season. While most families take full advantage of dressing their children as Batman or Princess Elsa, my family had a different agenda. Growing up, my family was strictly against any Halloween festivities, claiming the holiday upheld satanic rituals. I know, total malarkey. The older I get, the more obscene I find this notion.

The one and only time I can remember dressing up for my school’s yearly Halloween parade had to have been in kindergarten. I remember dressing up as a train engineer, because obviously trains are fascinating and my young mind was infatuated with trains. Frankly, I still am. I cannot remember distinctly, but I believe that after the parade, we returned to our classroom to carve pumpkins. Something about the smell of pumpkin guts turned my stomach and I immediately fell ill. For all I know, it could have just been something I had eaten.

To this day, I still hate the idea of carving pumpkins because of the smell. That occurrence brought forth the yearly note from my parents saying they would be picking me up early from school on Halloween. I couldn’t have been more excited.

In years following, my family would always head out of the house before the trick-or-treaters ventured into the streets. We would go see a movie or go bowling. I just cannot remember having ever participated in any sort of Halloween festivities. No bobbing for apples, no trick or treating and no Halloween parties.

I have never been trick-or-treating in my twenty years of existence, but it doesn’t bother me. I think if I ever have kids of my own, I will surely get my fill of the Halloween festivities. As a child, I never thought twice about it. This was just what I came to know. I think the vast majority of these traditions in my family were due to a heavily Christian upbringing.

I suppose this is part of the beauty of our nation, the freedom to take part or not take part in certain holidays. The older I get, however, the ghoulish nature of Halloween intrigues me. I don’t think I would be an edgy 20-something year old without thinking skeletons are cool.

With all this being said, I’ll take the liberty of being the first to say, “Trick-or-treat!” Have fun and be safe this Halloween season, everybody.