We have a winner in this year's best liquor-store-sign costume competition

Ari Rizzitano shows off her Sav-Mor sign costume, which should get her bragging rights, if not beer, in greater Medford, no?



Free tagging: 


Rebranded Halloween

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Halloween has been rebranded as an adult holiday for at least the past 15 years now. More money is now spent for Halloween than any other holiday but Christmas. The bizarre thing is how "normal" it has become for adults. I am a middle aged man, and the other day somebody, another adult, waked up to me in work and matter of factly asked what I was "going as" for Halloween, as if asking what I was having for lunch. She seemed taken aback when I told her I wasn't "going as" anything and had no plans as it is just another day to me.

Not rebranded


Plenty of Halloween left for the young ones.

This isn't a new thing, either. It seems to be a mostly young adult thing - but I did it as a young adult 25+ years ago and my sons go to parties now.

Wrong, at least as pertains

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Wrong, at least as pertains to this part of the country. Halloween has been celebrated by people of all ages for the many decades I've been around. We all have a blast: little kids dress up, go trick-or-treating, go to friends' houses for parties, and used to be able to celebrate this tradition at school until recently); adults dress up and attend neighborhood parties and/or go to Halloween themed parties at bars or clubs. When I was in brownies and girl scouts we had Halloween parties for which we would dress in costumes, as did the scout leaders who were adults, bob for apples, try to eat cinnamon donuts tied to strings with our hands behind our backs, carve faces onto apples that we would let dry then see little dresses for them. Also, as scouts we would visit the local nursing home and bring homemade trears and Halloween cards that we made for the elderly. I grew up in New England, so maybe it's different where you come from.

Boo Hoo

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Boo-hoo, you got asked a question. For those who don’t have kids and don’t want kids, what’s the problem with dressing up if you’re an adult? Maybe you should dress up as someone who doesn’t judge people for having innocent fun on a holiday.

So, so bitter, why?

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Yes, more adults celebrate the holidays. No, that doesn't mean kids celebrate it less. We're fully stocked up on bite-size candy bars (OK, OK, a little less stocked up than a couple of days ago) for the trick-or-treaters who'll be coming down our street in a few days.

Kinda Sorta Agree

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No problem with adult celebrations. Why not have fun?

However, I've seen kids coming around less and less for quite a few years. Maybe it's just Watertown, but we never get more than a handful of kids in our neighborhood. It's such a slow night, MY WIFE and I will just be going out to dinner rather than serving the very few.

I'd rather it was busier. Now, I have no excuse for buying huge bags of candy. I might still do it, but I can't use the kids as an excuse anymore, damn them.


Come to Beacon Hill

Sure it is swamped with adults, but there are lots of kids there starting a 4PM. And they come from all over the city.


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It's really hit or miss where you live. Chelsea, we don't get any at all. If I buy candy, it's for me to eat.

When I lived in Revere, our neighborhood was so popular, I ran to Walgreens by 7 because we were almost out of candy and more kids were coming. Talking to alot of the parents, they weren't from Revere.. our neighborhood was just a good one to do this in since it was alot of single family homes, well lit, good views of front doors from distances so the parents could straggle behind as the kids go door to door, and generally a large residential neighborhood (vs here, we're right off a main drag).

The year I lived in Malden, there were some ToTer's but I kept the lights off everywhere and the blinds shut in my room to so I wouldn't get any. (I was poor at the time so giving away 3 dollar bags of candy wasn't a hot idea.)

When I lived in the SoEnd, I lived in a building of all studios. A few years, the 1st floor tenants would wait for kids on the steps.

And finally when I first moved here.. when i lived Medford, we had candy some years, and some. Not many. Once I moved to the third floor, I didn't bother anymore (and neither did the 1st floor guy). We just turned off our lights and pretended we weren't home.

I know, I'm Scrooge but.. eh. Halloween is really for the kids. Take them to the malls and main streets or trick or treat events, where people want to do this.

Neighborhoods age and turn over

The only reason there was any trick or treating when we first moved to our neighborhood was because the neighborhood is very trick or treatable and grandkids of elders in the neighborhood would arrive from less convenient places to trick or treat. We had some of the few kids in the area.

Within about 5 years, the neighborhood flipped and there were kids everywhere. Halloween in this neighborhood is a madhouse. Parents just turn school age kids loose and stand around on the corners, keeping an eye and chatting. The kids would bring home six to eight pounds of candy before they aged out of it and started going to parties (about 7th grade this happens). The baby parade usually starts at dusk - smallest ones come around and show off their costumes - and after that it is crazy until about 9pm.

So, wait a few years until the next rush of young adults starts buying close-in homes. They will be back.

The South End does an annual kiddie costume parade

from Ringgold Park, which with apologies to Elmer, is utterly adorable. It went from a few to a score to hundreds in a pretty short span, like a charity-event thermometer poster of straight white gentrification.

I have one neighbor who clearly doesn't like the way the neighborhood has changed over the last 20 years, always hands out treats from the stoop in an elaborate costume that is way too creepy and scary for little kids, with unsubtle malice. He's not a happy human being.

Mentioned it before, but it always warms my heart that one neighbor annually displays a candle-lit pumpkin carved with the Hartford Whalers logo.


Awesome how Halloween lets adults share innocent humor and fun! (And, of course, spooky/goofy/glam/artsy humor and fun too.)

Oh no!

Sad how adults have taken over Halloween.

Oh no! People are having fun and expressing themselves creatively! Make them stop! Make them stop!


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Fantastic. She put a lot of work into that and it shows. Very well done!


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Halloween parties for adults have been going on as long as I've been an adult (more years than not). Costumes, beers, getting drunk, the works. Adults have not taken over Halloween.

Where kids are found depends on the neighborhood. Check out Melville Ave in Dorchester. Infamous for the many kids who descend from seemingly the entire city.

The one part of Halloween that I heard about which left me sad are schools that have Halloween trick or treating in their auditorium as a substitute for the terrible dangers of trick or treating in the big bad outside. A principle told me about this safer Halloween. I just thought dreadfully lame, empty and sterile.

The whole business of decorating has extended from Xmas to Halloween. Odd and peculiar. Perhaps it speaks to a desire to make ones home brighter and more fun as the year comes to a close, as the day shortens, as night and winter takes over.

What's sad to me is the

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What's sad to me is the number of schools, towns, etc. in some locales where it's not allowed to even be called Halloween anymore, but has to be some kind of generic "harvest festival"--I saw a lot more of that when I was living in Georgia in the '90s, but it seems to be creeping in here as well. Down South, the usual complaint is that Halloween is clearly a Satanic holiday, complete with the usual suspects writing in the local papers every damn year to bitch about it, while here it's usually couched as being "potentially offensive" (read: we don't want to stir up any of the bible-bangers); the end result, however, is the same.

I don't have any problems with adults dressing up and having a good time, and if you want to see kids by the hundreds, stop by my neighborhood in West Somerville in the Willow/Lexington Aves. area; it's quite the event, with lots of the candy-dispensing adults dressing up as well and at least one house with a fairly spooky display out front. Alas, I'll be working one of my multiple part-time jobs during peak Trick or Treating hours, so I'll miss most of the fun. *sigh* The only thing that does get to me is the obsession with artsy-craftsy home-and-gardens decor; it makes sense if you're part of a neighborhood event, or tend to be a well-known stop on the candy route that gives out Reese's Cups and KitKats by the metric ton, but otherwise what's wrong with just plopping a damn pumpkin on your front step and calling it a day? I'm blaming Martha Stewart for this one...*grumble, bitch, moan*

The Right to Party

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I am surprised how defensive people are being here about their beloved Halloween and how fiercely these adults are fighting for their right to party, to paraphrase a Beastie Boys song from years ago. I personally don't really care what people do with their lives, but I'm kind of thinking the original poster was correct. I'm not sure how much I really want to see a middle aged man in a Halloween costume. But if a middle aged man (or woman) wants to wear one, so be it I guess.

I think you are looking at this the wrong way

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Have you ever saw the original Fever Pitch? There's a scene where the soccer loving male lead (Colin Firth) tries to explain to his love interest (Ruth Gemmell) why, since his youth, he's been hoping that Arsenal wins the league. The love interest says the following in return-

I'll tell you something Paul, there isn't anything that I've wanted for eighteen years, cause I was a kid eighteen years ago. And if I did still want the same things I'd think I'd gone wrong somewhere, because actually I don't want to marry David Cassidy, I don't want bigger tits, I don't want to do better on my mock-Os. I've stopped worrying about that kind of thing and maybe you should try.

I have nothing against Halloween, and in fact I am now living vicariously through my son the whole experience. I also love giving out candy to the kids. But I have an utter lack of desire to get all dressed up for the holiday, because I am no longer a kid. Personal opinion, really. I mean, there are a lot of things like this that are not that important that people have opinions on. Doesn't mean we all get worked up about it, but it does seem silly to me for adults to be dressing up for Halloween.

People get dressed up for all sorts of stupid things

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When people go out to a concert or a club, there's a usual way to dress. Brides buy a dress they are only prepared to wear one whole day in their entire life. Going to church can easily be a formal affair for many people. Finding the ugliest Christmas sweater is becoming an annual laugh riot for some. People go to conventions dressed as comic/cartoon/video game characters.

Halloween is just one more occasion that you can choose to dress up for or not. For some it's any excuse to party with friends. For others it's fun to just do something fantastical. Kids are told to dress-up as if it's part of the ancient ritual of the "holiday"...but they're really just having fun playing make-believe.

I like doing it to celebrate the macabre and scary. I feel everyone should be uncomfortable even if just for 1 night a year, so my costumes are usually always edgy, scary, creepy, etc. If teens jump, if parents squirm, if kids are afraid to come get candy, if my friends remember the costume for years to come, then that's why I dress up. It's absolutely silly. It's silly that people are spooked by a mask or makeup and a hooded cloak. But not everything in life needs to be so serious...even though we're no longer kids any more. It's good to have a night where people can get together, play out a fantasy, scare some people, meet with neighbors, and hand out candy to kids, and just have fun.

But to each their own. It's certainly not a necessity that everyone have fun the same way.

This year's somewhat lazier effort (Professor Pyg from DC Comics):

And make sure your Halloween is politically correct

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Aside from Halloween being celebrated largely by adults now, there are also apparently a thousand and one rules and regulations on must follow to be utterly and concisely politically correct. As an LGBT man I read Bay Windows, a local LGBT publication many of you will be familiar with. An article appeared this week about how to correctly celebrate Halloween that has to be read to be believed. Everything from making sure costumes are trans-correct, non-culturally appropriating and all-inclusive to what kind of candy can and cannot be served. I'm all for not offending anyone needlessly and being all inclusive, but this is just a bit much.

Read it here:



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Glad you got that off your chest by finding some minimally and tangentially related place to cut and paste it!

Poor thing.