I found it quite sad when turning on my TV this morning to see there was a debate about Halloween and whether or not Trick or Treating should be banned. So many people moan about PC policies gone mad or about sour puss's trying to spoil everyone's fun yet they seem to be the people who want to ban anything they don't agree with or want to take part in.
I am not daft and completely understand that for some this evening may seem daunting. An elderly person who lives alone may not be looking forward to the array of ghoulish masks that will flock down their street and bombard their front door looking for sweet treats. It doesn't even have to be an elderly person come to think of it. Some people find they end up the butt of horrible 'Tricks' without even being asked whether it be eggs and flour on the windows or even something through the letter box. Sadly, no matter what we do there will always be people who want to take advantage and spoil things for everyone else. There will be people who knock on a neighbours door not dressed up but wanting sweets and there will be horrible little oiks who see it as an opportunity to cause more trouble than they already do, just the same as there will be innocent children who along with their parents, knock on a neighbours door and get a rude response for their troubles. It isn't just on Halloween this happens, it is Christmas, Guy Fawkes night...the list is endless.
My question is, what happened to peoples sense of fun? We live in bleak times in some respects what with high bills, high unemployment, low wages....I won't go on but you get the picture! So why are so many people quick to whinge about a bit of harmless, cheap, old fashioned fun? All those that were whinging this morning were not even people affected by it! They weren't people who felt intimidated or threatened they were just the scrooges of Halloween. So many children love it! They love the idea of dressing up and playing around with their friends, they love the idea of getting sweets at the end too! One persons point on TV this morning was that we tell our children all year not to take sweets from strangers but then happily take them to strangers doorsteps for them to take their sweets on Halloween. REALLY?! Yes that is the same, a responsible parent taking their children to a neighbour or relatives house (their own private building that they reside in) is the same as a child taking sweets from a complete stranger in a park while unsupervised. I ASK YOU. Another point was that we tell our kids to eat healthy and not gorge on junk food and sweets but then happily plough it down their throats come Halloween night. Again, REALLY? If you are saying your children can NEVER ever have treats then that is fine, so long as you are NEVER having treats either, that includes your glass of wine or evening hot chocolate, even your morning latte. Most healthy children are taught that everything is fine in moderation and I am pretty sure that if just for their sake of their sanity (and ears) alone, parents do not let their children eat all of the sweets they acquire in one night.
So, what do I think makes the perfect Halloween experience for everyone?
Put a pumpkin outside your front door if you welcome trick or treaters so those who do not wish to participate can be left in peace. This seems to be becoming a common rule now and I think it is great! It's fun to carve a pumpkin for those who enjoy it and a great way to establish the houses that do not wish to take part.
Children only - teenagers and young adults you should NOT be going trick or treating, it is not cool. You just look stupid.
Children should be accompanied by their parents or an adult they know and trust at all times of course!
Actual, proper fancy dress outfits too, no half hearted silly efforts. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece but when a child just has a cape or mask on over their everyday clothes or school uniform, you as the sweet distributor do feel a bit cheated.
Respect a dark house that looks as if nobody is home. They either genuinely are out or do not wish to be disturbed. Just walk by and move onto the next house.
Don't perform any tricks that could be taken in the wrong way. A simple magic trick or even little sketch with your fellow trick or treaters is fine. Most people prefer just to hand out sweets as it is anyway!
Like there is for fireworks, there should be a curfew as to what time you can trick or treat till so those who really feel uncomfortable with it all know it doesn't go on too late. Many people don't g out late anyway because they go with young children but just in case you were planning on gong after the soaps, I suggest you rethink!
Most of all, to all you grumps out there, just enjoy it! It is one night for a couple of hours once a year. My husband hates it and is a grumpy chops sometimes but he is the first of us two (I'm a big kid and love it all, I'd dress up the house if I could!) to buy a tub of sweets and answer the door to the trick or treaters. He understands the kids love it and that's what is important and who it is really aimed at. Yes, there are some out there who spoil it for the others, I had my flat egged a couple of years ago so have been on the receiving end of the dark side too but if we ban it or moan about then it lets them win doesn't it?
*Photo sourced from Google