Does anyone else remember the classic tale from this time of year, when Charlie Brown and his friends all go trick-or-treating, except for young Linus?
He believes in the Great Pumpkin, which brings toys to the children on Halloween. He waits all night in the pumpkin patch to try and catch a glimpse of his holiday hero.
Perhaps this story was created simply for the humour—a young boy who seems to confuse Halloween with Christmas is funny, especially in America where both holidays are extremely popular (and commercially successful).
Linus says the way the Great Pumpkin chooses the patch to visit is to look for the sincerest place. He hopes by being a staunch believer that he will receive a visit and be rewarded for his faith. But when the Great Pumpkin doesn’t come, he vows to repeat his vigil the following year, his faith unwavering.
I know most kids today watch stories that are much more high-tech and hip, but they still need to have dreams, and that’s why this old classic has staying power. Faith is a timeless concept, and so is friendship.
Linus’ friend, Charlie Brown, understands Linus sees the unusual nature of his belief and considers it to be simply “denominational differences”. Everyone needs friends like that.
Linus also had a big sister, Lucy, and she ridiculed Linus for his “silly belief”. That was an early benchmark for me that has always stuck—I didn’t like Lucy. I didn’t want to dissuade my little brother or my friends from their dreams.
We don’t see any little goblins at Rabbit Hollow, or hear them shouting “trick or treat!”, as there is no sidewalk and no streetlights, and the houses are far apart. There is a pumpkin patch not far from our house, but I’ve never seen anyone waiting for the Great Pumpkin.
However, I hope that there are kids in your neighbourhood. Please make sure you have a few goodies for them if they come to your door. If you see them out and about, act sincerely scared or delighted with or dazzled by their costumes.
We are all responsible for ensuring another generation of kids knows it’s worthwhile to believe in magical things.
I think a day every year to remind us of this is good for our souls, don’t you?
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.