As we venture into the month of October, wholeheartedly known as “the month of Halloween” in my household, I pose the question: why do we police who gets to participate in Halloween’s events, including trick-or-treating, dressing up or benefiting from the kindhearted patrons who buy a ton of overpriced candy just to give it away?
Why is it that adults feel as if policing individuals’ experiences, forcing them away from houses or belittling teenagers on trick-or-treat night benefits anyone but themselves and the few extra toddlers getting what is left in the bottom of the bowl at the end of the night?
Kids will still end up getting candy regardless if it is from your house or not, and the only thing you gain from turning away potential trick-or-treaters that seem “too old” is being known as a not-so-nicely-named individual in the neighborhood.
The history of Halloween stems all the way back to pre-Christian Celtic times in which Celtic children and poor adults would go house to house and beg for food or candy; now, it’s a commercialized holiday that allows Halloween lovers to dress up in costumes and patrol the neighborhood in search of the best candy.
In recent years, I have noticed a decline in the amount of trick-or-treaters in their early-to-late teens out on trick-or-treat night. Perhaps due to the fear of being turned away from houses or laughed at for getting candy.
However, I ask another question: Why do people police who can participate on Halloween, but not on Christmas? Why is it that it is almost an expectation to receive gifts on Christmas, in which adults can also participate?
The same with Thanksgiving — why can everyone eat pumpkin pie and turkey, and not just children?
It is interesting to look at what adults police nowadays, considering all the things teenagers could be doing on trick-or-treat night such as going out and causing mischief, getting in trouble or making bad decisions. Instead, they could be getting as much free candy as their bags can hold; but with the notion that they are not welcomed anymore at that age, they revert to doing other things.
So just think about what you actually gain when you leave your light on trick-or-treat night and a teenager comes to your door, in full costume, asking for candy — will you turn them away, too?