Amidst autumn leaves changing colors and the distinctive spicy scent of fall in the air, every year we begin looking forward to our favorite spooky holiday, Halloween. Ghostly decor adorns the streetscapes as the frightening flicker of carved pumpkins is set aglow from town to town. The name Halloween itself literally means “the evening before All Hallow’s Day,” or before All Saints Day, and is associated with scores of fascinating folklore history.
Some say the purpose of this holiday was to scare away bad spirits before All Saints Day, while others claim Halloween stems from pagan rituals. In all reality, many different cultures have many different traditions surrounding Halloween. Trick or Treating closely resembles a tradition from Scotland and Ireland called guising and dates back to the Middle Ages. Modern children have it easy because historically children who went guising had to impress each household they visited, usually by memorizing a poem or song. If successful, the child would receive a treat for their efforts. Today, if no treats are given, a trick can be played on the house in retaliation.
The most popular symbol tied with Halloween is Jack-o'-lanterns. Originally hollowed out from turnips, pumpkins became the choice of modern Jack-o'-lanterns. Legend has it, that a drunk by the name of Jack was visited by the devil one night after a round of heavy drinking. Demanding Jack’s soul, the poor drunkard convinced the Devil to climb a tree and pick an apple. As he ascended, Jack carved a cross into the tree trunk. Devil was stuck, unable to descend the tree because of the cross. Jack released the Devil from his predicament only after he promised that Jack would never be admitted into Hell. The Devil agreed. Upon Jack’s, death, being a sinful fellow, he was not allowed into Heaven either. So he carved his likeness into one of his turnips, put a candle inside and began his wandering the Earth looking for a place to rest eternally.
Regardless of the historical meaning, we universally embrace today’s Halloween on October 31st every year as a light hearted time to let loose and have a little good spirited fun. From planning and dressing up in elaborate Halloween costumes for Halloween party contests to children going from door to door trick-or-treating for bundles of loot in candy form, it is definitely one of the most unique holidays of the year. Ask any child what their favorite aspect of Halloween is and they’re likely to claim the free bundles of candy and carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns. But many adults express the kids in themselves by going over the top with Halloween decorations and planning to have the most terrifying haunted house on the block.
Halloween and autumn in general are often associated as crafty times of the year and as such, they make wonderful opportunities to exchange cute and festive gifts that fit the occasion. Halloween gifts make perfect decor for the season and will be very much appreciated, especially by children who eagerly anticipate getting out the seasonal decor every year and helping mom and dad spice up the house for the season, so take this chance to embrace this wonderful holiday with our special selection of creepy gifts!