By Marty Finley

Last weekend I did something I do every year during the month of October; I went camping. As I’ve gotten older, it’s one of the few family traditions remaining amongst my kin that I still enjoy. The Christmas dinners bombed; I quit attending the family birthday parties years ago.

But this is one little slice of family time I will leave the confines of Richmond to attend, with eagerness

Little changed this year. We decorated our campsite with lights, scarecrows, hay and fodder shocks-enough scarecrows were present on our site that we could have opened our own shop and sold them afterward.

However, I enjoyed my time there. The campfires, the laughs among family and, most importantly, the children with their costumes bum-rushing our campsite anxious for us to fill their bags or baskets.

This was my Saturday night.

But I couldn’t complain. As the world sends carnage and chaos our way in so many shapes and forms, it’s nice to retreat for a few hours into the perspective of a child, to remember what it was like to be standing in their small, untied shoes.

And I laughed as Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz,” Spiderman, Leatherface from the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and Jack Sparrow all made a stop to see us.

My moment was ruined, though, when my cousin told me about some comments made from a family member of mine, who shall remain nameless.

As the story goes, nameless family member saw a young girl pass by her site with a glowing pink dress. After seeing the girl, she commented “oh, well, that’s not what it’s all about anyway” with contempt high in her voice.

Well, technically, Halloween is not about trick-or-treating, or candy, but who cares?

If we want to get fussy about it, we could talk about Halloween’s true origins and pagan beginnings, but once again, who cares?

There is a multitude of things in this world we can be belligerent about, and many of those things we have a right to be.

But a child having a good time? I’m sorry, but you now have the problem.

The wonderful thing about the holidays is we have the opportunity to remove ourselves from our daily drudgery and attempt to recapture the sparkle of our childhood memories.

Some scoff at the commercialization of the holidays, but that is only a problem if you choose to dwell on it; I don’t really care.

Instead, I try to place myself back into the role of my 5-year old self rushing through the house at 6 a.m. to see what Santa brought or the escapades I had running through neighborhoods as Batman in search of Sweet Tarts.

I don’t want to suit back up in spandex or rush for Santa’s goodies again, but it would be nice to have some of that zeal back; that sense of adventure.

But, the truth of the matter is, some people are just filled with contempt. They dislike holidays and anything else you could mention.

And that’s fine; people have a right to feel this way.

However, nothing forces my nameless family member to mingle amidst the children who frustrate her, or participate in these activities.

I don’t like the New England Patriots, but you won’t catch me at any of their games, or even watching their games.

And most of you probably know someone who acts this way – an overbearing aunt, a whiny friend, a drunken uncle or some other person in your life who could kill any mood or good time.

I respect their right to be this way, but I will not tolerate it in my presence. Any narcissistic bubbles people are living in will be popped if I’m around.

So, pull up a chair, pass the eggnog and turkey legs and enjoy the holidays. The world will still be waiting when it’s all over.