Happy Halloweek 2019: Let's Keep Trick or Treating Alive!

Hi Ghouls and Goblins,

Let's start of by saying how incredibly tacky I felt with that opening, but I'm attempting to make this week all about Halloween. As a lover of all things spooky it comes as no surprise that this is my favourite time of the year. 

As Halloween night approaches I would like to take a moment to share some thoughts about keeping the spirit alive. When I think back to my childhood some of my favourite memories were from Halloween night. I would pick out a fun costume, meet up with my friends, roam the neighborhood after dark on a school night and get candy. I loved seeing people's decorations and other kids' costumes.

It breaks my heart a little that trick or treating seems to be dying out. The closer we get to Halloween the more I see other adults complaining about the night and how it should be banned. No, just no! Let's keep the night alive so kids can grow up making memories. Today I'm going to shut down many of the anti-Trick or Treating excuses I have heard so far, while suggesting alternative ways to enjoy the holiday.

Trunk or Treat events have become more popular over the years, many parents bringing their children solely to these events and skip out on going door to door. Please keep in mind that there are many seniors and disabled people who are not able to leave their house often. They look forward to the little visitors that stop by on Halloween night. Seeing the children's costumes and smiling faces brings joy to these people who aren't able to get out.

Last year most of my trick or treaters came between 5:30-6:30 PM while it was still daylight. Many people work hard on their jack-o-lanterns and other Halloween decorations that light up once the sun goes down. If all the kids come early than it's a waste of decoration. Also a lot of people are just getting home from work around that time. Give them a moment so they can have a bite to eat and get their pumpkins lit.

Out of curiosity, I asked several parents why they took their kids out trick or treating so early. When I was a kid we always had to wait until the sun went down. The responses I got varied from "I didn't want my kid up late on a school night" or "I was tired after a long day at work and didn't want to be out late" or the classic excuse of "I didn't want to mess with their bedtime routine". All of these excuses can be debunked by remembering that Halloween is only one night a year. Your child having a fun experience that night is more important than your everyday routine.

Some children, especially the younger ones, don't like the spooky stuff. That's completely understandable. They have such big imaginations at that age so of course they're going to think something bad might happen when they see some really scary decorations. Don't force them to go anywhere they find too scary, but also this can be used as a learning opportunity. If your child is scared consider taking their hand and walking up with them and explain that it's only make believe. Once you guys arrive at the door and your little one sees that the person at the door is actually friendly and just wants to give them a treat, they might feel a little bit braver from the experience. It can show them that even though something may seem scary at first, if you give it a try there could be something really good at the finish line.

Now the kids being too frightened for Halloween and not wanting to participate I can understand, but I have to shake my head at the adults who think it should be outlawed.

Some people may feel uncomfortable to open their doors to trick or treaters due to mental health reasons, especially if a person has dealt with abuse in their life. If you feel like this may apply to you remember there is no pressure to open the door. Take a look around your property and see if there's a spot where you can leave a bowl of candy so kids can take a piece without coming up all the way to your doorstep. It may be an easier way for you to feel comfortable without feeling guilty about ignoring the trick or treaters.

For others there is the issue of finances. If you live in a well populated area and are on a tight budget, the idea of handing out all that candy might hurt your bank account a bit. Last year I bought a variety of candy and when the kids stopped by I would let them pick out their own treats. I took tabs of what the most popular treat was, and I was surprised that it was bubblegum. I had all these chocolates and gummy candies, yet most of the kids just wanted a piece of gum. The bag of bubblegum was only $3. Remember that it's not a competition of who has the best candy and decorations, it's just about making this night special for the kiddos. They don't care how much you spent!

I decided to save the craziest reason I have heard for wanting to have Halloween canceled for last. Here it is: "Halloween enables children to expect free handouts". I will not put the person who said this on blast, but that was the exact quote. Think about this for a moment, would you put on a costume and walk around your neighborhood going door to door for free? No? So give them their 10 cent piece of candy and let them enjoy their night.

Halloween is a tradition that has brought happiness to many people. It's only one night a year, so even if you're not the biggest fan of it please don't ruin it for the others. They're only young for a short period of time.

Happy Halloween guys!! What are you dressing up as this year? Let me know in the comments.


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