Last year I wrote 5 reasons to ditch trick or treating this Halloween. I had been daring myself to finally upload it to HuffPost, but I just couldn’t do it in the end. Worrying if I would accidentally ruffle a few (ok a lot of) feathers, and admittedly, be pulled down from my high horse on this topic. Because there’s a clear divide. Those that detest the appalling deed of *whispers, begging for sweets, and those that lap up this deliciously wicked tradition and stick two fingers up at the fools that don’t join in. Ok. Well not exactly a tradition for the UK, but you know. Us Brits like to keep up with our neighbours don’t we. I’ve been sat on the ‘don’t do it’ fence for so long, that it hadn’t occurred to me that one day (yesterday), Little Button would announce that she would be going trick or treating. Obviously she hadn’t thought of the logistics. In her 5 year old mind, she was going. In my 30-something mind, she was not. Today I am meanie mummy.
Last night I was forced to take a really long hard look at Trick or Treating and why I errmm… hate it. Because, when your little angel is looking up at you wondering why they can’t go, ‘because I said so’ doesn’t really cut the mustard.
Of course I knew it would come up at some point. I just hadn’t expected it so soon. It seems that peer pressure starts much younger these days, and if everyone else is doing it, then it’s ok right?
-We must not beg for sweets or money. We especially must not beg for sweets or money from strangers.
-Not all strangers are friendly. Some strangers are dangerous. Some strangers want to steal children away from their families and never give them back. Some strangers want to hurt children. When you knock on a stranger’s door, you won’t know if they are going to be good or bad people.
-Many people don’t give something for nothing these days.
-Some people don’t enjoy Halloween. Some people are frightened and will worry all day about who may knock on their door asking for sweets or money. Some people may turn off all their lights and sit in the dark or go to bed early because they are so worried. That’s not really fair on them, is it.
-Some Trick or Treaters are not children. Some are teenagers or grown ups who want to play silly and sometimes dangerous tricks on people. Some don’t just want to play tricks. Some pretend to be Trick or Treaters so they can deliberately hurt or rob people.
“You won’t have enough time to go Trick or Treating AND go to the Halloween party. Which would you prefer to do?” I know, sneaky right. Of course going to the party won hands-down and that was that on the matter, with the exception to the occasional grump at me when Trick or Treating was remembered. We did talk about stranger danger (as you must), but briefly and in that general way we do, so we don’t scare our tots out of their little cotton socks. But was that enough? Was putting it mildly really good enough?
In her mind, Trick or Treating is now some event that happened in the distant past that she didn’t get to join in with. She’s now gleefully looking forward to the fireworks that come with bonfire night (she says boomfire night, I like that) so I won’t be rocking the old Trick or Treating boat again until next year. But I’ll be better prepared. I have to be.
What’s your take on Trick or Treating?
Not the organised ones between friends, but the traditional knock on anyone’s door venture.