Don’t knock on my door

We take a break from the normal post of self woe and heartbreak so I can metaphorically pee on your Halloween bonfire!

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat- just me?
Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat- just me?

From my opening statement it won’t surprise you to learn that the I don’t “do” Halloween. Never really have, you see my parents don’t agree with it. So we didn’t really do the parties, dressing up or trick or treating and as a child I used to wish we did. I can even remember thinking it was thrilling to watch all the other children dressed up, and I would lift up the corner of the curtain to watch everyone else go past in their costumes – although I never saw very much really.

My dad and I were out walking Mity the other night, which has become something of an evening routine, and we took a break from the normal what am I going to do, I miss him so much (yes, you aren’t the only people having to put up with it!) to discuss his dislike of Halloween. I have never really seen the harm with it, as far as I could see it was a bit of fun. however dad’s argument against it got me thinking:

1. Taking candy from a stranger. As children how many times are we told… don’t talk to strangers…… never except candy from strangers….. don’t go and knock on the door of a stranger and take whatever they give you. So maybe we don’t get the other one very often, but as kids we are taught these key rules of safety. Yet for one night these rules are off, and you are actively encouraged to go around taking candy from strangers. Ok, I know that generally speaking people go around to pre-arrange family and friends but still I am sure many people just go up to that stranger.

2. Trick or treat – roughly translated do something nice for me or else….. I have to see my dad’s side with this one. In this day and age, when I daily turn on my computer and read about animal abuse, a man kicked to death for telling kids to stop messing around near his house, computer games causing children to loose a grasp on reality, do we really want to encourage them to go around and get treats by menace?

3. Trick – so you go out with your children, the door isn’t opened and candy isn’t distributed what do you do? Egg the house? through toiled paper over the garden? Tie the gates together with string? Something much worse? Our house was once egged (although not on Halloween) and as a young child this upset me – I thought someone had purposefully targeted my parents and disliked them. The feeling unsettled me. What if the door that isn’t answered belong to an elderly person to afraid/frail to open the door on Halloween, how do they go about cleaning up the mess?

I was going to end the post saying that my mind wasn’t made, that I would still go to Halloween parties if invited, and when/if one day I have children of my own then I would give it some deep thought but probably take them. However, you see the point up there – number 3? Well that wasn’t one of my dads, that was mine and it has only just come to me as I type. The idea of an elderly vulnerable person being scared and having to clean up a mess, knowing how I felt after my house was egged.. I think I am joining the no to Halloween side of the fence!

What do you think? Do you celebrate? Am I over-analysis a bit of fun?

P.s if you don’t want trick or treaters a quick Google search will bring up a number of posters that you can download to display in your window. Please if you see a poster, respect it and stay safe!

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5 thoughts on “Don’t knock on my door

  1. I grew up in NYC, we could ask for candies mainly at local businesses where they were ready for it. I can’t remember ever knocking on people’s door.
    I guess most kids wouldn’t vandalize a house if they don’t get candies, there are isolated cases but nothing to be too concern. Same with strangers putting “stuff” on candies, there are sick minds out there but it isn’t the norm.
    I think respect it’s the key.

  2. I understand your ambivalence and I share it.

    When I lived in Philadelphia, I was sad that I didn’t see more trick or treaters. Why? Because kids went out before it got dark for safety reasons.

    Now I live in a smaller city and i’m deluged with kids. We usually see 600+ kids come by. The numbers are quite overwhelming. We have so many that we sit on the porch the entire time. There’s no time to go indoors when we have 20 kids on the porch, 20 on the steps, and 20 on the sidewalk waiting to come up.

    It frustrates me that people drive their kids to our neighborhood so they can fill pillowcases with candy. When I lived in a rural area as a kid, I had to be happy with visiting 4 or 5 houses.

    I love the spirit kids put into their costumes and the sense of fun. We don’t see vandalism or mischief.

    But I hate spending so much of my money on crappy candy made by huge corporations damaging the environment with their massive use of corn syrup, palm oil, etc.

    I thought that in my small, safe neighborhood I could give out treats that meet my values. But because so many kids come from all around the county, i can’t afford to give out cookies or gift certificates.

    In recent years, I’ve held a party on halloween. I invite friends who live in rural areas that don’t get kids at their door. I make a big pot of chili and they contribute candy. It’s been a good compromise for me.

    But this year, I have a cold and have opted out. We’ll have to hide in the house with all the lights off and we’ll still have the doorbell ringing all night.

    So I guess we’re both being curmudgeons this year. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in questioning Halloween. But next year, I’ll probably be back out on my porch with my friends. 🙂

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