Sunday, October 31, 2010
31 Things I Love About Halloween: Trick or Treating
Beyond the nostalgia of wanting to treat our kids to the same kind of Halloween experience that we had at their age, Trick or Treating serves an important purpose. When nostalgia is all parents care about, we can rationalize that kids can get that same experience by dressing up and going to the mall or the grocery store or the church parking lot. And maybe they can. I'm not going to argue against it.
But what I will argue is that doing that robs us - and our kids - of the most crucial part of the entire exercise. Halloween has always been about facing our fears and in our current culture, one of the things we're most afraid of is each other. I'm happy to blame this on the 24-hour news cycle and the ratings-crazed fear-mongering that goes with it, but whatever the reason, people are afraid to get out and meet their neighbors. We even create urban legends around Halloween to express how unsafe we find the whole thing. Did you hear about that guy who put razor blades in the apples he was handing out? Or the creepy lady who injected cyanide into Snickers bars?
Trick or Treating is one of the last neighborhood social activities we have left. It would be a serious shame to give in to our fears and abandon it for the "safety" of a corporate-sponsored replacement.