Personally, I don’t like dressing up for Halloween. The stress of finding a costume to look like a California Raisin overwhelms me. And I can’t stand all of those seasonal pop-up Halloween costume stores which infest our mini-malls. But there is one thing I love about Halloween: trick or treaters.
In a day when we barely let our kids go to school without being accompanied by a trio of nannies, peer mediators, and life coaches, I love that we still let our kids roam dark streets at night on Halloween. They knock on the doors at the homes of people whom we don’t even say hello to on the sidewalk. For one night a year, we let our kindergartners roam the neighborhood, dressed up like creatures of the night, just to demand candy from strangers.
It’s such a strange, strange custom for such a protective country. It seems like we have done our best to rid our kids of anything remotely fun, and yet, Halloween still rules. These days, we can’t even bring cupcakes to school unless they are gluten-free, nut-free, calorie-free, and vegan. Yet, we’ll let little Jack dress up like a zombie and eat that candy apple that weird Mr. Huston cooked. It’s bizarre, really. Yet, it is wonderful.
I fear the day that Halloween is considered too dangerous. I hope that all kids and neighborhoods take the appropriate steps to keep Halloween safe for all, so that this particular holiday never becomes a relic of the past. (Put the glow sticks on, kiddos, and keep your parents at a safe distance!)
After all, it would be sad if my grandkids never knew the satisfaction of being just a little bit scared of the house with the howling gravestones in the front yard. And, it would be tragic if my nephews didn’t know the joy of dressing up with friends to create the entire Gilligan’s Island crew. I hope that when I’m an 85 year old woman, I can still enjoy a parade of kiddos dressed up like ducks and ninjas and princesses, and scare the heck out of them with an eerie soundtrack of howling wolves coming from the inside of a goblin-carved pumpkin. Boo-yeah!
Long live trick or treating. And long live that one house which gives away WHOLE Snickers bars. Bless you, Thirteen Oak Street. I don’t care what anyone else thinks about your generosity with sugar. I still think you’re pretty darn howl-tastic!