My sister sent me a Halloween card in which she wrote: “May all the trick-or-treaters pass you by — ha ha!” If only.
I think that trick-or-treating is a tradition whose time has passed. It is a vestige of an older, safer, simpler time:
- when neighbors knew each other and those who came knocking;
- when little kids were the ones going door to door;
- when people put sweat equity into their costumes instead of paying outrageous prices for commercial versions;
- when parents could trust that it was only candy being distributed and not something bad;
- when sugar was seen as a treat instead of a health hazard, and
- when not every tenth kid had a food allergy.
I am not sure it was ever prudent to open your door to strangers at night, and my hesitation grows with each passing year. I often find reasons to be gone, but even then, I fear that I may return home to signs of a trick-or-treater’s displeasure.
Each year, Halloween grows in prominence. There are homes with elaborate outdoor decorations, stores full of costumes, magazines with recipes for intricate treats and aisles of treasures to be distributed. I am not suggesting any of those go away, rather that they be relegated to private parties for those who choose to hold them.
Let’s celebrate Halloween the way other holidays are celebrated: with friends and families gathered in your home — rather than with strangers on the streets in the dark.