Halloween Is Not Fun Anymore
The thing about Halloween is it’s the time of year where people get excited because they can be whatever they want to be for a couple of hours.
For some people, this is the day where they feel pretty. For some people, their costume helps them feel powerful. For some, it is the one day they fit in.
You can be a different person and empower yourself, and I’m not going to take that away from anyone. Some people need that one night of pretending now more than ever.
It's just that it's not even Halloween yet and I am hearing people debate over how old is too old to trick or treat.
Moms asking is my child old enough to trick or treat alone. Moms are asking do you think it is ok if my teenager goes or my kids go out alone.
It’s more than free candy. Halloween is about having a day where we are supposed to leave our houses and see our neighbors and to meet new people. A day to let kids run wild and be kids something desperately needed in a society where kids are not kids for very long.
We call people helicopter parents because they follow their kids to school when they walk by themselves. We have free range parents that let the kids walk home from school by themselves, and people are calling child protective services on them.
Don’t even get me started on how childhood comes to a crashing halt for a lot of kids these days because of the Internet and technology.
Kids, in general, are growing faster these days. Kids are finding out things that they shouldn’t know about until they are much older because the kids at school picked up on it somewhere and tell them or because of the Internet.
No matter how old you are, I don’t care if you trick-or-treat. I will hand out candy to whoever knocks.
These days people are very opinionated and vocal. People need to stop worrying about what other people are doing and worry about themselves. We are so wrapped up in what we think people should be doing that were ruining holidays and events that should be fun for everyone.
We usually know nothing about the children who come to our door. For all we know they came to your house because trick or treating was not plausible in their neighborhood. Or they are a kid that lives part time with one parent in your community. All we know is they come because they want to have fun and they want candy.
I’m so sick and tired of people with opinions talking about teenagers shouldn’t be able to trick-or-treat, or bloggers are posting articles supporting teenagers trick-or-treating. Teenagers are still kids too you know. Why should we defend kids wanting to act like kids?
Trick or treating has lost its appeal. Most houses on one street have the lights off and one or two families passing out candy. Last year there was one house, and they took all these garbage cans and blocked off the area that led to the door. It was saying don’t come near us. If you don't want to participate, you just put up a sign that says we don’t participate in Halloween or just don't answer the door. I don't get it.
I mean I’m not telling people that don’t want to participate that they should. I don’t want to force people to do something they don’t want to do. If you’re against kids eating candy or you just don't want to answer the door, you can get stickers or erasers and put them out in a bowl by your door, and no one will bother you.
It’s just unfortunate because Halloween used to mean something.
I remember being a kid and telling my mom I'm going outside and then just not coming back for hours. We didn’t have cell phones. I had fun, and I played with my friends. I didn’t worry about people trying to kidnap me. Grown-ups looked out for kids. If you got lost or hurt, they would help you. If another kid was being a jerk, they said hey cut it out.
Things were different then. People cared more. Helped each other out without asking. Judged less.
Other moms and dads would help other peoples children. No one turned a blind eye like I see today because people don't want to get involved. You could play outside. I'm not saying there was no crime, but there was less of it. People looked out for each other better back then.
I have fond memories a kid is wandering around all day outside unsupervised. I remember walking places with my best friend. Heck, there were times we walked five miles each way to go shopping. I remember walking to get school supplies far away and shopping by ourselves after being dropped off at the mall and picked up hours later or taking a bus.
Halloween was terrific when I was a kid we would go out with a pillowcase you didn’t bother with trick-or-treat buckets they were too small. You are out there for hours. You could start before or after dark. Knock on doors after 9 and people did not care. They greeted you with a smile.
These days I always wait for it to get dark before trick or treating. Someone usually complains that my kids are coming to their house too early. Now if you knock on their door past 9 o’clock, they’ll get mad at you for showing up so late. It’s not fun anymore. I don’t know if this is a Southern California thing or not. I have a friend on Facebook that I’ve been friends with for 12 years and every year she counts the trick-or-treaters, and they go through so much candy. She loses count after 100 kids.
I moved last year so this last year was a little bit better. It was the first year we went trick-or-treating I didn’t feel completely discouraged. Sure a lot of people had their lights off, but a fair amount was participating. Between the garbage can house and the family walking in front of us made it feel a little sad though.
I try not to judge the mom that had a large glass of wine and sent her older child back home for a refill. There was another group where the dads were drinking beer. Outside. In the street.
It gets to you when a kid is excited and trying to tell their parents what candy they received, and the parents are not answering them. There were either blank stares and drinking or ignoring the kids and talking with friends and drinking. It made me feel sad. Hey, I love beer. Beer is my favorite, but I don't know when it became ok to start drinking in public.
I get it watching the kids can get boring I do. I just do not understand why people were drinking. It seemed as if they were drinking to pass the time or cope. They isolated themselves on a night when we overlook the opportunity to socialize with the people in our community.
Halloween is not fun anymore. People used to care. There was usually a house or two that was dark, but everyone else was passing out candy. It was fun. Some people put out chairs and socialized. Adults dressed up. People chatted.
This year has been pretty terrible and scary for us adults. I cannot imagine how this past year has impacted our kids. It's the one night where you get to stay out late and eat candy. I think our kids need a carefree fun Halloween this year. I also think the adults need it too.
Halloween is just not about being scary and getting candy. Halloween night is about being part of your community and about opening your door to your neighbor's children. I’m suggesting take your kids out this year it doesn’t matter how old they are just let them have fun.
Halloween used to mean something, and now it's just another holiday that seems to have lost its meaning to most people. It used to be such a fun night, and I feel bad for my kids because they will never know how fun trick or treating was in the eighties and nineties.
If this is your first-year trick or treating with your kids or not here are some tips.
- Eat before the kids go out. They are less likely to dig into the candy when they are full.
- Have a plan in case you get separated, or someone needs to go to the restroom. Pick a route near a restaurant or gas station or stick close to home. Pick a safe spot for your kids to go and wait if you get separated until you can get back to them.
- Bring some water. If you put in a spill-proof bottle, it can go right in the treat sack.
- Make sure your visible. Mom and Dad that means you too. Glow in the dark jewelry, glow sticks, flashing necklaces, reflective tape, and flashlights help. I make sure my kids have a glow necklace and stick on their neck. I place extra glow in the dark bracelets on them to make sure they are harder to miss.
- Discuss how to check candy with your kids before leaving and make it clear they should not eat anything until it is inspected and why. This Popsugar article is helpful.
- If it's your kids first year going out alone establish ground rules. Set up a time for them to check in or to call. I have Life 360 on our phones so if the kids don't answer I know where they are. The first year they go out alone can be a little nerve wrecking but thanks to cell phones we can worry less.
Enjoy Halloween this year. Dress up, have some candy, carve pumpkins with your kids, and have some fun. Check out some Halloween themed clothing items in case costumes are not your thing.