I just read a really stupid article that touched a nerve. The topic: At what age should kids stop trick-or-treating?The comments were actually more poignant than the article itself. Some parents recommended age twelve, the confirmation year. The year that kids are ‘supposed’ to transition into mini-adults. Others suggested the ritual cease be at the same time parents disclose that there is…wait for it… no Santa Claus. What???
A few said age fifteen. Some stopped after high school. Some weened their kids off slowly while others quit cold turkey. I kept reading. Waiting for someone to back me up on my answer. Which nobody did.
Yep, I believe that kids should NEVER stop trick-or-treating. Take this silly little custom away from them and you strip them of an opportunity to have (hopefully) good, clean fun for as long as humanly possible. Dressing up. Walking outside. Getting candy. Seriously? I’m almost three times twice the the age of…well, that’s not important. But according to this article, I’m clearly someone who should have stopped trick-or-treating a few decades ago. Instead, I’m downing a mini Snickers and looking online at costumes from Party City for myself. Here’s a coupon. Go ahead, get your own. Waste time much? That’s not the point.
Here’s the point. We spend our entire lives over-programming our kids. We push them to do homework and soccer and piano and drama club and math tutoring and other stuff that’s supposed to make them well-rounded but really just makes them anxious. And then we dare take away the one night when they can toss all of that stuff aside, dress up and eat candy? Even if that night falls on a MONDAY (oh, man).
Life’s too short. We grow up too fast. And then we impose that on our kids. So what would happen if instead of stopping the fun, we actually joined in on it? Dressed up and ate candy instead of dinner? Sat in the pumpkin patch like Linus and waited for The Great Pumpkin?
Maybe we’d realize that being a grown up ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe we’d forget our to-do lists for one night. Maybe we’d get the full sized candy bars. Maybe we’d get a rock. Who cares? It’s Halloween! And I’m trick-or-treating ’til I’m 80. Bring on the full-sized candy bars.