I don’t want to ruffle any feathers out there, but Halloween is a much better holiday than Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that one of those two holidays has deep spiritual meaning for a significant portion of the world’s population, and the other propels our nation’s youth further down the path of irreparable diabetes. Christmas certainly has its merits. It’s Jesus’ birthday (kind of). Your uncle who smells like olives takes over the guest room for a week. You have trouble falling asleep at night because A) you’re quickly going bankrupt as you knock out the kids’ Christmas list and B) there’s a decaying fire hazard in the corner of your living room. On paper, Christmas should be the clear winner here, but let’s take a moment to discuss exactly why Halloween is the superior holiday.
First and foremost, it’s the only night of the year I stand a chance at getting my wife to wear something slutty. Granted, it’s a really slim chance, and she’s never once donned the “Sexy Nurse” outfit that I buy her every year, but I’m basically a 13-year old pubescent boy trapped in a middle-aged man’s body, so I cling to that tiny thread of hope. Maybe next year?
Second, nobody judges me for feeding my kids six pounds of candy for dinner. It’s the one night of the year that all of those righteous mom bloggers with their “healthy alternatives to chicken fingers” and meal plans that contain actual vegetables can suck it. The retail industry says it’s okay for my kids to eat this crap on October 31; who am I to argue with the retail industry?
But mostly, Halloween rules because it’s the only day of the year that it’s socially acceptable for me to stumble around the neighborhood drunk while my children ask the neighbors for food. And by “socially acceptable,” I mean it’s dark and I’m wearing a mask so nobody can tell how much I’ve been drinking.
Not that I need a holiday to stumble around my neighborhood drunk. I’m a long-time practitioner of the “cocktail stroll.” Most nights, around 5:30 pm, I walk the kids and the dog while drinking a beer or gin and tonic in a plastic cup. I wave to the neighbors. They wave back. It’s all so civilized. On a good night, another family will join us and we’ll have a small, roving party as the kids run around the sidewalks and the parents chew on the ice from their cocktails, wishing we had brought an extra thermos of hooch. This is the true joy of living in the suburbs; you can disguise early onset alcoholism as exercise.
But Halloween takes the cocktail stroll to the next level, because I get to wear a pink bunny suit and drag a cooler around the neighborhood with me. It’s not just a single beer stroll on this glorious night; I have reinforcements. This is something you simply can not do during Christmas. Have you ever tried wearing a pink bunny suit on Christmas morning? Everyone’s like, “what the hell, dad?”
Yes, I’m aware that there was no giant pink bunny drinking a martini when Jesus was born in the manger. But maybe there should’ve been? And maybe I don’t need that kind of judgement on the holiest day of the year?
There is no such judgement on Halloween. Wives can be slutty (even if they won’t), dads can crush cans of beer like when they were in high school, and kids can finally gorge themselves on high fructose corn syrup. We can all be the people we spend so much time pretending not to be. Because it’s dark. And we’re wearing costumes. And most of us have been drinking since dusk. If that’s not the greatest holiday of the year, then I don’t know what is.
Graham Averill is Paste’s Drink editor. He also writes about the intersection of booze and parenthood at Daddy Drinks.