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There is much to be said about Halloween.

From the looks of things, there is a growing trend to celebrate Halloween, not just by kids, but by adults as well. It rakes in a lot of money at the cash register. 

I think for some it is about the fun of being able to pretend. Being able to dress up as somebody different from who we are is something many seem to enjoy. For children it’s exciting to be able to get all that candy, and to go out trick-or treating even if they don't really plan to do any tricks.

Maybe Halloween is exciting because there has been that long stretch from Easter and the 4th of July, and many look forward to the upcoming winter holidays.

Have you noticed how anxious everyone is to decorate for the occasion? Maybe it’s the need for a frivolous break from school and work schedules. 

At any rate, Halloween has arrived.

I am not particularly fond of ghosts and goblins and the other gruesome stuff that goes along with Halloween. What’s the difference between that and the garbage that is on television these days? Instead, how about having kids dress up as someone else, eliminating the macabre? Let them be cowboys, or astronauts, or sports figures, or famous people. Let them create their own ideas and design their own costumes.

For some kids, Halloween is all about free candy. Though treats aren't needed, they have become such a part of the holiday that anything different just doesn't seem to fit. I tried giving pencils one year, but the reaction is not the same when you drop a pencil in their Halloween bags instead of a piece of candy. Tradition holds fast.

I feel the same way about candy thrown at parades. It didn't used to be expected, but now it is a part of every parade. I cringe thinking about it, even though it is wrapped and clean. We have been trying to teach the children that sugar isn't good for them and that we should not eat things that aren’t "clean," but we let them pick up candy off the street.

My parents never let my sister and me go out on Halloween. Not because they didn't trust us to behave, nor to spoil our fun. If any mischief did occur, they knew we were not involved. We were able to experience our Halloween pleasure in a different way by handing out treats to others instead. It was fun trying to guess who the little ones were behind the masks. One year we even wrote down their names, just for fun, and it was interesting to see who had come, and from how far away, to do their trick-or-treating. 

My dad put a scary Halloween record on the outside speakers one year, which wasn't a good idea because it scared away all but the older and braver children. We never did that again. It scared away all the little kids, the ones we enjoyed seeing on Halloween night, with all their cute little costumes and smiling faces.

Halloween was less dangerous then. There weren't so many real ghosts and goblins, and kids weren't able to see those types of things on television almost any night of the week. Costumes were usually cowboys, astronauts, sports figures, Indians, tramps or famous people. Children worked alone, or with their mothers, to create or design their costumes, using things commonly found around the home. Decorations often came from the garden, pumpkin patch or cornfield, and maybe we had a school party or played some Bingo during the day. Education wasn't forgotten, just taught in a different, fun way. 

I have no problem with schools deleting some of the hoopla from the day, as it seems more like an after-school event - and as for religious significance, I am not sure anyone really knows much about that any more. We do a lot of frivolous things just for enjoyment, activities which take time away from education, but who is to say what is learned and how education is involved in events? Education wears many hats with events woven into the intellect. We also learn from things that don't necessarily involve "school." Even dressing up as someone else can be a learning experience. Maybe kids should be taught something about the person they are impersonating.

I always felt a little sad regarding Thanksgiving, because somehow it always got shortchanged, falling in between Halloween and Christmas, until my cousin Jim and his wife Maryalice took it upon themselves to host the Hanson family reunion on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. It was a great way to share our thanks giving for all the things we have been given, and it served as a time to begin directing our thoughts toward Christmas. The Hanson family is able to share food, conversation and have fun "catching up" with what’s been going on with our families during the year that we might have missed.

My mother can remember how much fun "Yule a bokking" used to be, and though it was between Christmas and New Year’s, she felt no guilt or distraction from either holiday. Did you know that "Yule a bokking” is a variation of “Boxing Day” celebrated in the British Commonwealth countries? It continues the Christmas holidays with giving to employees, government workers, children, etc. - even including employers and employees changing roles. Of course, there continues to be plenty of Christmas cheer involved.

Maybe we don't always approve of everything we have to do in our world today, but we need to remember that kids still need to be allowed to be a kid. Life doesn't always have to be serious. We can enjoy doing different things as long as they’re fun, clean, decent and harmless to others. We shouldn't need excuses to be happy, but it helps!

My mother always said, "Once you start school you will study or work for the rest of your life." Pleasant thought? At least when holidays like Halloween come along we are able to experience a little bit of enjoyment along the way.

Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us. 

If you have birthdays and anniversaries you would like include, or news to share please contact me via e-mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; by postal mail, P. O. Box 192, Geneva, MN 56035 or telephone, 507-256-4405.

This week’s birthdays and anniversaries include:

• Thursday, Oct. 31: Happy Halloween! Kyra Barbara Kotsmith, Brooke Hanson Berg, Heather Wayne, Emily Smith, Bill Klemmensen, Carrie Thompson, Roseann Kasper, Jerry Neitzel, Lorraine Lent, Kaye & Mike Cady, Vonda & Andrew Komba.

• Friday, Nov. 1: Dakota Wangsness, Garrett Wangsness, Troy Hagen, Mike Reistad, Jamie & Sergio Hernandez.

• Saturday, Nov. 2: Gary Dummer, Karen Osmundson, Tracy Farr Simon, Janis Klinger, Troy Sommers, Dan Nord, Sylvia Janet Baker.

• Sunday, Nov. 3: Nakayla Joy Butler, Preston Dean Shaunce, his 4th; Brian Muri, Paula Degan Conroy, Jennifer Misgen, Lois Conklin, Tim Hanson, Aaron Sargent, Sydney McCamish, Quinn Sebastian Briedenbach, Angie & Josh Lair.

• Monday, Nov. 4: Jeff Carlson, Brant Hemingway, Stuart Vangen, Grant Neitzell, Scott Anderson, Andrew Farr.

• Tuesday, Nov. 5: Faith Jennie Tweeten, Preslie Jean Tweeten, Hope Ann Tweeten, Alyssa Hagen, Kerri Newgard d'Eustachip, David Wayne, Mavis Langlie, Chad Braaten, Allison Hanson, Allison Jensen, Skyla Knudtson.

• Wednesday, Nov. 6: Brody Richards, Makota Grahm Misgen, Mary Ann Lund, Dylan Paul Moen, Jon Beck, David Hagen, Doug Klemmensen, Lauren Jo Draayer, Chad Ayers, Toni Roberts, Taylor Roberts, Kellie & Ryan Benning.

• Thursday, Nov. 7: Ella Dobberstein, Solveig Adelaine Mattson, her 3rd birthday; Ava Leigh Wangsness, her 4th birthday; Alymra Seath, Jolee Johnson, Travis Diederrich, Linda Dobberstein, Scott Olson, Mark Sundwall.

• Friday, Nov. 8: Sydney Larson, Andrew Jensen, Brian Hughes, Burton Nelson

• Saturday, Nov. 9: Phyllis Hagen, Tami Lund Wacek, Scott Coxworth, Jon Aronson, Kent Kruckenburg, Cindy Gould, Tim Westrum, Christopher Jepson.

Make your special day a day you'll never forget, filled with smiles, good cheer, and laughter! And may you have a very Happy Halloween!

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