Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat

Growing up, Halloween was by FAR my favorite holiday.  When else do you get to dress up, run around with your friends for hours on end, and eat tons of candy?  With parent approval!!  Hell yes, this is the best holiday EVER!!!  

I went trick or treating EVERY YEAR until I was 19.  (Ok, so at 18, my attempt was rather futile - people on campus weren't very into it, and the surrounding houses looked at me like a lunatic for walking up to their houses alone, since my friends walked with me, but wouldn't take part - but I still went!)  All through middle school and high school, this was the one night of the year I truly looked forward to.  It was the best night ever!  

So why do some people believe that trick or treating should stop around age 12 or 13?  Because they're "too old" for it?  How the hell do you tell someone they're too old to have fun and eat candy?  Seriously?!

Here are several reasons kids should be not only allowed, but ENCOURAGED to trick or treat as long as possible:
  1. Know what kids who aren't trick or treating do on Halloween night?  No, they don't sit at home and pass out candy.  That's lame.  They go out and look for things to do.  Things like egging and TPing houses, or going to Halloween parties with older kids.  Yeah, that's better than trick or treating... 
  2. Trick or treating sparks creativity!  As you get older and more capable of picking and making your own costumes, your creativity can run free.  You now have MORE control over your costume, so you can make it to YOUR liking.   
  3. What better way is there to encourage recycling and reusing, not to mention the concept of thrift?  With some imagination and an adhesive, you can turn old clothes or household items into costumes and accessories.  What was once a mop is now a pom pom or a wig.  That old shirt you never wear anymore can be turned into something special for Halloween.  You can even wear some of your family's old clothes as retro-inspired costumes!  The sky's the limit!
  4. Exercise.  Seriously, how often can you get kids to run around outside for hours on end without complaints?  Um, the answer is pretty much once a year: Halloween.  Yeah, I know, they're eating candy and that kinda negates the whole point of exercise, but come on...  At least they're getting outside!
Essentially, think of it this way.  If teens are excited about trick or treating, and are willing to put in the effort to make/find a good costume and have a good attitude about it, why would you NOT want to reward that?  Teens are known for being so sullen and distant and wah, wah, wah...  So why take away something that lets them be the fun, playful kid they once were?

And to those of you who STILL think trick or treating should end at 12 or 13...  Be warned: Your houses will get egged.  And you really have no one to blame but yourselves.

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