Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick-or-Treat? I don't think so.

Yesterday was the warmest Halloween in my memory. I can remember trick-or-treating as a kid and coming back with fingers numb from the cold. I figured, with the warm weather (the high 60s all evening!), we'd be slammed with trick-or-treaters.

I was excited because it was to be my first year giving out candy in my own place. Last year, Andrew and I house-sat over Halloween. This year, I had my bowl full of candy, and I waited...

...for nothing, apparently. Andrew and I didn't get any trick-or-treaters. Zero.

When I called my mom at 7:30pm, she hadn't gotten any trick-or-treaters, either. How weird is that? Since moving here, I've met a lot of people who claim that they don't "believe" in Halloween because it's Pagan, evil, or anti-Christian. I'm sorry, but I think that's radical and stupid. While Halloween might have some Pagan roots, so do many of our other traditions, from Christmas trees to Easter eggs to wishing wells. Why get caught up in past meanings when you can look for your own meanings in things? Why can't it just be about people having a chance to break social norms, dress up funky, and let kids trick-or-treat for candy? I feel bad that some kids have to miss out on Halloween, which was one of the days I looked forward to most as a kid.

Some people worry about the "dangers" of trick-or-treating. I'm not saying there aren't bad people in the world or that you shouldn't be careful, but there have been no (absolutely zero) cases where a stranger has poisoned candy and given it out
to trick-or-treaters. Zero. Let's face it: having a swimming pool is more dangerous than trick-or-treating. I think it's a positive thing to let kids band together, have fun, be kids, and get to know the neighbors and create those community bonds rather than to shy away from it.

So come on people: next year, let your kids dress up and have some fun.

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