Tell someone you don't celebrate Halloween and you can expect a pumpkin slapped in your face. Well okay, maybe not a pumpkin......perhaps a pumpkin spice latte?
Here's the thing: everyone, and everyone that everyone's ever come into contact with, loves Halloween. There's no denying the fact that the moment the clock strikes 12 a.m. on October 1st, it's no longer October 1st — it's actually Halloween 1st.
Memes, pictures, and videos start popping up as soon as October nears. Some of the most popular ones include: that one guy in a black turtleneck sweater, with a pumpkin on his head, dancing and jiving in front of the camera to the Ghostbusters theme song, or the Tumblr post that has a picture of Dwight from The Office walking into work with a pumpkin on his head, and reads "being pumped for Halloween but trying to stay professional like".
Parties start getting planned, TV channels start announcing the '13 Days of Halloween' or-something-of-that-sort marathons, and places like Party City go into full-on Halloween prepping mode.
It's not that Halloween isn't a fun holiday — because it is, really. Rather, some of us just can't get into the spirit (pun intended) of the holiday.
We all have our own personal reasons for not celebrating the spooky day the way that everyone else does. Maybe we had a bad experience(s) growing up, like: getting lost in a corn maze, nearly burning down our kitchen baking cat-shaped cookies, and/or finding out we're allergic to candy corn after eating two pounds of it. Fortunately, none of those experience ring true for me, but my bad experience comes in the form of being forced to wear a McDonald's French Fries costume in Kindergarten.
Not all heroes wear capes - some of us wear fries.
If you're a first-generation immigrant, you may have been raised in a family that never put any (*Josh Peck voice*) emphasis on Halloween at all, so you never formed a connection to it. Unlike other kids who grew up going to pumpkin patches, baking Halloween cookies, and trick-or-treating every single year with the same group of friends, you probably only had a slight passing interest in the holiday. Sure, you may have dressed up one year because your parents encouraged you to, but it never really sunk in or stuck with you after that to keep that 'tradition' going. And now, in your glorious adult body, you just don't get the hype - much to the disbelief and confusion of your peers.
Yes, you may have watched Halloweentown High - and Twitches (sidenote: "Rush" by Aly & AJ song is the perfect Halloween mood song, am I right ladies?) - religiously every year, to the point that you can now quote it by heart every time it comes on.
Yes, you may have enjoyed seeing people dress up as different characters and celebrities, and watched the Disney Channel (and/or Nickelodeon and ABC Family (now Freeform)) Halloween marathons year-in and year-out.
Yes, you may have enjoyed Halloween cupcakes with their little orange frosting and the cute mini-bats and ghosts on top of the frosting, as well as all the cookies, candies, and other desserts that would fill up in your local grocery store in anticipation of the holiday.
And yes, you may have read the Goosebumps books, especially the Slappy the Dummy series as mental 'spookiness' prep work (shout-out to the Goosebumps fans who remember that series).
In a way, you may have 'celebrated' Halloween growing up if you did all of the aforementioned things; or, you may have done none of those things whatsoever. Regardless of whether you did or didn't, now you just don't really care about October 31st to begin with.
You're not one to dress up and go to a party, or hardcore stream all the Friday the 13th movies. The only "Jason" and "Freddy" you want to know are the ones from your high-school classes - and let's be real, you don't even really want to know them anymore either.
In a time of mass connection and sharing through social media, it's easy to feel like a total loser because you're not doing anything 'fun' for Halloween — no party, parade, dress-up contest, drinking contest, dinner party, or movie-marathon that you want go to. In our society, telling someone you don't celebrate Halloween, or even like Halloween, is as weird as saying you don't like pizza. Like, how can you not like pizza? What's wrong with you?
If you're someone who tends to get self-conscious about your lack of Halloween enthusiasm, then there is a silver lining in all of this for you.
What is it, you may ask?
I refer to it as the art of not giving a 'fladoodle' (to put it nicely for all the kiddies out there). In other words, there is no 'right way' to celebrate Halloween and there is no reason you have to celebrate Halloween at all despite what other might people say. The millennial generation has a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out), and we constantly feel like we have to fit in and be everywhere all the dang time. But all that does is create a lot of mental stress and agony which, in my opinion, can be better suited towards finding all the loopholes in Gossip Girl that could not possibly point to *** being Gossip Girl (even though it does make sense...).
If you 'celebrate' Halloween by eating a box of Peeps (not sure why you would though), a bag of candy corn and a can of Sour Cream & Onion Pringles while watching Hocus Pocus on your laptop, then that's pretty awesome.
If you don't celebrate Halloween and just treat it like any other day (i.e. with dread and sleepiness), then that's cool too.
tl;dr: Basically, do whatever floats your boat. Err, pumpkin.
Originally published on Buzzfeed Community on October 25, 2016.