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Horror Free Hallowe'en!

Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of newspapers in southeastern Ontario. Here's this week's!

Our little corner of the world has seen a lot of horror and grief in the last few weeks, what with the Russell Williams trial, the heartbreaking accounts of depravity, and the media circus. So I think it would be rather fitting if we swore off horror for Halloween. Instead of celebrating ugliness, why not celebrate ballerinas and cowboys and princesses and superheroes, with a few baby bunnies and baby bees thrown in? In fact, I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is, and I’ll announce a chocolate ratio: anyone at my door wearing a happy costume gets three pieces of chocolate. Anything ugly gets only 1.

And if any parent dresses their little girl in something that looks like stripper wear, I’ll still give the kid a mini-chocolate bar, because they’ve already been punished enough by having such a degenerate family. But I’ll be sure to send the evil eye the parents’ way.

I’ve never been that fond of Halloween, ever since my grade three year when I pranced into school in my Wonder Woman costume and all the boys laughed at me. Coming up with a costume that other kids would think was cool was always way too stressful. And as a parent, creating a costume my children wanted to wear but which was also warm enough to protect them in the October slush gave me migraines. I’ve always had that suspicion that Hallowe’en is just a big racket anyway, promoted by candy and costume companies, forcing us to shell out big bucks so our kids can freeze one night and gorge themselves the next.

Thus, I was deliriously happy when my children reached that magical age of twelve, when I proclaimed that trick or treating was now a thing of the past. Hitting up neighbours for candy is cute when one is six; when one is fourteen and can afford an iPod touch, it’s not called cute anymore. It’s called extortion.

What makes it even worse is that often these teens arrive sans costume. Maybe they’ve managed to throw on a wig on or some heavy black eye makeup, but that’s it. Why should I give a teenager a little chocolate bar just for showing up at my door, when they haven’t even put any effort into it?

If teens want to dress up and have a party for Halloween, by all means, go right ahead. But do it inside someone’s house, not out on the street. Get your friends together, pool your money and buy candy on sale, and watch some movies or play some games. Just keep it indoors, not out on the street where you’re scaring four-year-old ballerina princesses to death.

The only teens I don’t mind seeing at my door are those who are supervising younger siblings, so that Mom and Dad can stay at home, listening to their own doorbells and giving out their own candy in peace. Those teens are contributing, they’re not mooching. Interestingly, the teen supervisors almost never ask for candy. But I tend to give it to them anyway, because I appreciate that they’re being generous with their time, too.

Hallowe’en is an upside down night. We let kids go out in the cold without coats; we let them take candy from strangers; we let them eat too much dessert. We’re already big hypocrites. So let’s at least put some parameters on it. No teenage—or adult—trick or treaters. No costumes that sexualize little children. And no costumes that turn rambunctious kids into demons. From one subdivision mom to all the other fed up moms out there, let’s join forces and enforce some decency once again. And maybe then we’d have some chocolate left over to munch on, all by ourselves.

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At 12:38 PM , Blogger TexasNeals said…

oh for everyone to think like you. then we wouldn't have had to abandon halloween in our family. when our sweet little pumpkin was 3 we took her trick or treating and the neighbors kid (12) came by w/ a scream mask that periodically streamed some kind of red liquid down it. it totally traumatized her! she's 8 now and finally ready to ATTEMPT trick or treating in our new neighborhood. we're all for horror free halloweens! i'm right there w/ you! :)


At 6:07 PM , Blogger Tessa said…

You forgot to mention that halloween seems to be the one time of year when Christians forget that witches, goblins, zombies and demons are evil and go against the Bible and our beliefs. Why is it wrong all year long and then all of the sudden it's alright for our kids to be exposed to that? For the sake of candy?


At 6:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

I have 5 kids 14,12,8,7,and2. I take them all trick or treating.I do not allow them to dress scary.I was in tears this weekend because I keep hearing people complaining about these 6 foot tall trick or treaters.My kids are more polite than most the 9,10,and11 year olds I have seen running around unsuppervised and they are a lot of help to me and a lot of fun to be with.I wish people would quit being so judgmental and either be happy that these kids are still enjoying the holiday or turn off your light and don't hand out candy.


At 9:10 PM , Anonymous Rebecca said…

I'm an atheist, so Halloween is not considered an evil time. It should be a time for kids to dress up and pretend to be something they arent for one night out of the year. It's also a great time to socialize also. But I am in agreement with teenagers being too old to trick or treat. If you are older than 12, you really shouldnt be expecting people to give you candy. Not to mention parents who bring kids younger than two who expect to get candy. Babies cant eat candy, come on!! My parents live in an upper middle class neighborhood who gets hit hard with trick or treaters, hundreds of them. And I guarantee over half of them are in the 13-17 age range. Not only do they expect candy, and are rude about it, but they walk around in groups cursing and scaring little kids like my 6 yr old son. If my son was a teenager going door to door for candy, I would be so embarrassed. Some parents are so clueless and some just dont care and encourage all this rude, spoiled behavior. Lol, the point is I agree. I say there should be age limits, or else people will get tired of it and then no one will get to trick or treat. Sorry for rambling, lol.

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Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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