When you’ve got more than 300 ghosts and goblins ringing your doorbell, one is just thankful not to live in the busy part of the neighborhood! That being said, the numbers alone would suggest this time-honored tradition is out of control.
For the last five years we’ve been invited back to the neighborhood we used to live in. Our host’s house is in the 400 beggar area, about 200 princesses shy of the busy street. If you live in the area with up to 600 trick-or-treaters, probably not a good idea to hand out king-size candy bars. Even with the bite-size version, one needs five to six warehouse-size bags of candy. With such high numbers you only give out one piece and there’s no time to let them choose!
If you’re old enough to babysit or plan to go to prom, aren’t you too old to trick-or-treat? If you have a child of your own, you’re definitely too old to hold out your own bag. If you’re carrying an infant with no teeth, don’t expect anyone to believe the candy is for the baby. Finally, if you’re begging for treats, you must be in costume.
I swore no kid of mine would trick-or-treat past the age of 12, but when my oldest was 13 I needed her to go out with her sister who was 11 (better her than me). Past the magic age, she could dress up, but couldn’t hold out a bag for candy, so sister would just have to share her loot.
The following year about half way through the neighborhood, they called to ask if she couldn’t please have her own bag. Because her 14 year-old friend (and all the teens) who live in the neighborhood are still practicing beggars, I gave in. I figured since I always donated a Sam’s size bag of candy to the cause, in reality, they were actually just trading our candy for the other anyway.
This year they’re 13 and nearly 16 and the oldest wanted to go to a Halloween party. While I totally trust her (really, I do) I also realize a party presents more situations that test her ability to make responsible choices. She may be ready, but I’m not sure if I am.
Trick-or-treating is suddenly seeming just fine for older teens and I promise, next year we’ll have them hand out the candy!