Editor's Note (Oct. 2011)

Good and Scared

Halloween has never been my favorite holiday. I get woozy at the sight of blood, cover my eyes in graphic movies (I only saw half of The Godfather) and can be spooked by any sudden movement. Yet, this year I am looking forward to this gory celebration.

Why my sudden turn around? Well, life has gotten scarier. The economy is failing, unemployment continues to climb and terrorism is alive and well. And it’s not just the Federal government that’s in debt, many, if not most, middle class families are in the same sad shape. The Wall Street Journal reported that PepsiCo (with major offices here in Westchester) and other large corporations sited the way out of the recession would be a consumer-driven rebound. So far soda sales are down. And it’s not because families are trying to be healthier – they just can’t afford soft drinks anymore. That hasn’t had that much of an impact on national obesity rates though because other fast food is still a cheap and easy way to fill growling stomachs.

What’s a parent to do? Some mental health experts explain that horror films can help people reduce the pressures they experience in every day life. Sitting in a dark and comfy theater with a bag of popcorn, a horror film can capture our attention, rivet our energy and give us the illusion that we have bravely survived the danger shown on screen.

I imagine then, if celebrating Halloween as a break from reality is going to make me feel better I am all for it. Plus, it doesn’t have calories and it’s legal. Party City here I come, this year I am donning a costume to rival all others!

Children have long known that playing pretend and dress-up is a lot of fun. So parents let’s join them and find some spooky relief. It’s amazing how much a good scare and a good laugh are interconnected.

Since we are all about making life easier for you read our feature, “Witches, Goblins and Ghosts,” to find where the Halloween fun is this year. There’s something for everyone from really spooky to just slightly scary. And be sure to pick a pumpkin (we tell you where to go). Make a jack-o’-lantern and then roast the pumpkin seeds for a natural sugar-free treat. If that’s not enough, turn to our regular calendar of monthly events and find something fun to do every day of the month. Don’t let reality keep you from having a horrifically good Halloween.

Happy Harvest, Jean Sheff Editor