I love trick or treaters! Weeks before Halloween, I pick up bags of candy here and there (typically, the kinds I DON’T like so I won’t eat it all). I love watching the little kids, the ninjas, the super-heroes, the ballerinas and fairy princesses, and I even love the scary and ghoulish costumes, sometimes tossing extra candy into the bag of a kid whose costume I really like. I don’t mind the teenagers who bang on the door, shouting “Trick or Treat!” in their deep, tenor voices. It’s okay if they hang on to a childhood tradition for as long as they can, and it’s certainly better than some of the more mischievous things they could be doing on Halloween. BUT, is trick-or-treating becoming a thing of the past? I hope not.
My siblings and I would trick-or-treat for hours with our friends. We brought home pillow cases full of candy which we would pour out on the table to quickly see who got the most and the best loot – and the trading would begin. We all knew which house to visit to get full-size candy bars, and the ones to avoid that gave out pennies, popcorn balls or an apple … I mean, really?
When my own kids went trick-or-treating, it was a big family and neighborhood event, and everyone knew each other. So, we never really worried about tainted candy. One year, when my daughter was very young, she went trick or treating for UNICEF. Her excitement could hardly be contained. At each door she would yell (very loudly) “TRICK OR TREAT FOR UNICEF!” Her cuteness and her passion for the cause got her a lot of candy and a lot of donations.
So, why aren’t kids trick-or-treating so much these days? “Trunk or Treat” has become a popular Halloween option, often church- or community-sponsored. People decorate the trunks of their cars in a holiday theme, gather and park in a large parking lot, then pass out candy to kids from their trunks. Seems like a safer way to get candy than going to the homes of people you don’t really know.
Communities also host Halloween events such as “An Event So Good It’s Scary,” a longtime tradition in the City of Fenton. Participating downtown businesses offer safe trick-or-treating from 1-6pm. Many other churches and communities host alternative Halloween events, as well.
I, for one, will be carving jack-o-lanterns and setting them out on the porch, turning on the light and waiting for the kids with my candy at the ready. And if there is any leftover candy, oh, well. I may have to go out and buy some of my favorites – just in case!