Soon witches, goblins, vampires, werewolves, and other personifications of darkness will be knocking on our doors. Jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, and spider web decorations have been visible for weeks, preparing us for the night. Stock-piles of candy have been secreted away, with some occasional invasions from hungry critters, like mice or…me?

Yes, it’s Halloween, occupying more and more attention as the years go by, but possibly, just possibly, a vestige of our remote pagan past, grabbing some familiar corner of our primitive consciousness. Or maybe just plain fun. Angels, fairies, and assorted friendly creatures show up at this time, too.

Perhaps this exuberant show and canvass for goodies does represent our growing distance from purity of heart and piety. If inclined to say so, we may conveniently need to forget the “tricks” that attended the event decades ago—outhouse tippings, cars on roofs, damage to assorted properties. Though they still occur, those offenses are much less celebrated than years ago.

Still the forces of darkness, attending this season of increasing darkness, have plenty of real-life surrogates. A variety of terrorists, plagues, and catastrophes are making their marks in our increasingly populated, crowded, but shrinking human world. Why not have a little fun while we’re at it? Give some things away. Enjoy our children. Love our neighbors. Dress colorfully and silly. Let those evil forces know that at the end of the day we will laugh more than we will cry, and be grateful more than greedy.