In Defense of Halloween

hellhouse
Flyer I received. Obviously I’m too young to have a 12+ year-old, right? Riiiiight? :/

I was leaving Walmart (reason #12983593452 I avoid Walmart at all costs) and a woman sweetly approached me with a flyer. She said if I have kids, I should bring them to her church’s “trunk or treat”. I glanced at the flyer, chuckled and politely declined. My son just turned two and I still think two is a little young for eternal damnation. But, hey, good luck, lady! Happy Halloween to you too!

Obviously, this was not a traditional trunk-or-treat, this was a Hell House. My only real experience with a Hell House has been on the King of the Hill Halloween episode, which was hilarious. 

In my area, Trunk or Treats are everywhere. Traditional trick or treat times and dates are scheduled according to town or county. At the risk of sounding old, (like Clint Eastwood, “Get off my lawn” old), it’s nothing like the Halloween I loved as a kid.

When I was young, on Halloween night, my mom would stay home and pass out candy to trick-or-treaters. My dad would take us out in our costumes and we would walk around the neighborhood and get as much candy as we possibly could hold in our bags. Sometimes it was bitter cold. Sometimes it snowed. Sometimes it rained. Often it would fall on a school night. And yes, it got dark outside. But we toughed it out and went trick or treating, on Halloween night, always, as the curbside jack-o-lanterns lit our paths.

We would complain about the old ladies who dropped pennies in our treat bags. We would discard the apples left by dentists and more health-conscious people. We would pick out our favorite candy to nibble on between houses.

As I got older, we stepped up our trick-or-treating game. I met up with friends, and a parent would drive us to the “ritzy” neighborhoods because we assume the wealthier houses would have better candy and be more generous with full-size candy bars, no minis. We would also periodically dump all our candy in a different bucket and show up at doors with empty bags, so they felt sorry for us and compensated with extra candy. It’s alllllll about strategy, people. We would rejoice at the sight of an unmanned bowl of candy on the porch and be saddened by the sight of its emptiness, already pillaged by tricksters. We stayed out later than normally allowed. We ate way more candy than our stomachs could handle.

It. Was. AWESOME.

The trunk or treats can be great and maybe as my son gets older, they’ll just be another stop for more candy and another excuse to wear his costume. But the trick or treat dates, times and restrictions are excessive and unnecessarily confusing. Dates and times have been affected and changed by weather, sports, other areas, etc. and it’s just, well, kind of lame. Over the years, Halloween has changed so much, I worry that instead of my kid staying out late, roaming his neighborhood, he’ll be limited to roaming church and school parking lots walking from car to car on whatever afternoon in October they deem appropriate. Eeek, that’s spooky.

So, here’s my personal solution, as long as he wants, my kid is going trick-or-treating. Every year. Door to door. On Halloween Night.

…And ya’ll better have candy.

wine-pairing-halloween-candy-funny-ecard-fwm

 

Published by Farrah

Farrah Alexander is a writer whose work focuses on feminism, parenting, social justice, politics, and current events. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, BUST, and Scary Mommy. Her commentary has been discussed in Scientific American, Buzzfeed, Refinery 29, Yahoo, Hello Giggles, Woke Sloth, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Perez Hilton, Daily Mail, BBC, and others. Her debut book RAISE THE RESISTANCE: A Mother's Guide to Practical Activism is forthcoming from Mango set to release in the Fall of 2020. As an advocate for gun reform, she previously served on the board of Whitney/Strong, a non-profit founded by mass shooting survivor Whitney Austin. She now is a member of the Everytown Author's Council, which was designed to "harness the power of the literary community to amplify the gun safety movement." She lives outside Louisville, Ky. with her husband, son, and daughter.

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