When I was younger I loved Hallowe’en. Not because of the candy (it was a bonus) but because I got to dress up in a crazy costume and hang out with my friends. I got to stay up late and be outside after curfew. I got to see all the cool things that people would do to their house to impress the kids and it was just fun.
I suppose that I was able to enjoy this freedom during Hallowe’en because we took time to get to know our neighbors and my parents would place limitations on where I could go without them. If I wanted to visit the apartment building a parent had to go with us. No running around in the forest. Not that we wanted to, it would mess up our costumes! My parents let me run around in the freezing cold to teach me to make sure I dressed appropriately. I learned easily how to tell if I was aloud to go to a house (lights on and decorations out) and which ones were off limits (no lights and no decorations.) Most of the time we knew if someone was going to be away for the night and would not even wonder if it was okay to visit their house.
In this day and age we are bombarded with news about how dangerous it is for kids. We have had a knee-jerk reaction and decided that we should protect them from EVERYTHING, even fun. Just because the news says something is bad does not make it so. News stations have to sell and bad news sells. So people putting razors in candy apples sells and reenforces the ideas that Hallowe’en and Trick-or-Treating is bad. It may have happened once, to a friend of a friend’s second cousin’s (twice removed) kid sister. This does not make it a true story. That is how myths get started! Start fact checking the news and you will find that half the time they are just spinning a story to sell more air time and line their pockets.
I promote Trick-or-Treating. It helps establish roots in the neighborhood. I helps teach children who is a safe caring neighbor, someone they can go to if there is trouble. It helps you interact with your neighbors and become a stronger community. Neighborhoods need to be close knit to survive a disaster (like a fire or flood.) If no person is an island then no house is either. Trick-or-Treating also is a way for grown-ups to show their appreciation for the younger generations. A way to pass on traditions to the next generations.
Let the children enjoy their childhood. Be parents and look out for them. You do not need to keep them from experiencing things. Just be there to help them if it was an unpleasant experience. Let them Trick-or-Treat. Let them get a sugar high and not be able to go to school the next day.
I turned out alright. I bet you did too.