Trick or Treat! Or Not.

Trick-or-treating. I love it. I gladly walk around with my kids on Halloween while they go from door to door collecting their goodies. It’s not helicopter parenting. Halloween is my favorite time of year and walking the dark streets, admiring children’s costumes, watching parents with their first timers, appreciating the hard work that some people put into their decorations and scaring the children- it makes me happy. So does picking candy from the kids’ bags as we walk and visiting the house that gives out beer to the parents (not joking).
I miss having a group of parents to walk with, though. Now that my kids are older, most parents are letting their children out on their own while they stay back at the house partying it up. That’s fun and all…but I feel like I’m missing out on the spooky magic of the holiday. Having a baby this year and starting over on holiday traditions that have started falling by the wayside is so exciting to me.

While growing up in Georgia, every Halloween we would stop at my grandmother’s house. She would have homemade popcorn balls and the neighborhood streets were lined with luminaries. She would always have hay bales and a strobe light out front on her porch. Tradition. Stability. It was comforting. Which is probably why, at the age of 15 when I got the idea to go trick or treating with two guy friends, this is the first place we went. It was spur of the moment. I’m pretty sure it was also really late. I was a “little girl”, because a baby doll dress and some mary janes were the only thing I had in my closet that could be considered a costume. It was the 90’s after all. I think we all owned a baby doll dress and mary janes, did we not? I threw my hair in pigtails, had the boys come grab me and called it good.
We got awful looks from every house we went to. We were the annoying, late night teenage trick-or-treaters.
At the time, I didn’t know what those were. I just wanted some fucking candy and didn’t have a sibling that was young enough to get me some. Now, I am all too familiar with the type. They have become increasingly popular. They are loud, obnoxious, and most certainly annoying. The boys are in their regular clothes and some stupid mask…and the girls…the girls are dressed in their sluttiest outfit, looking like they’re ready to go out to the Fetish and Fantasy Ball instead of roaming neighborhoods with pillow cases. I take that back. The girls do look like they should be hanging out on a street corner somewhere, just not surrounded by small children. I give them my ugly parent looks every year and generally make my complaint about them at least once. “They’re too old to be out here! Don’t they have a party to go to or something?!”
That night in 1994 was the last time I remember trying to trick-or-treat. I’m sure that I actually stopped before that, but I don’t remember when.

An old friend of mine sent out a great question to the Facebook world today. It’s been a subject that has been brought up in our house and it got me thinking. We both have children that turned 13 this year. In fact, they both went trick or treating for the first time together.

When should children stop trick-or-treating? How old is too old? When did you trick-or-treat for the last time?

The fact that my oldest could be considered too old makes me sad. Those years of adolescence – stuck at home giving out candy instead of receiving it – are depressing. Mike says he’s already too old. I say that this should probably be his last year. What do you think?

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One thought on “Trick or Treat! Or Not.

  1. Pingback: Dress-up and Candy: Celebrating Halloween | Books in the Burbs

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