I love Halloween. I love to decorate with all things spooky, bake all things creepy and eat all things chocolatey while dressed for trick-or-treating. I love pulling out the wigs and costumes and capes and shoes and eyelashes and grease paint in order to create whatever creature, (silly or frightening), each of my family members choose to be. I love it when friends and neighbors call and ask for help with assembling their own costumes. I love carving pumpkins and getting all goey with pumpkin guts while separating them from the seeds for baking. Most of all, I love handing out he goodies to all the children that come knocking on my door asking for candy treats.
Therein lies the problem; as much as I want to have bazillions of tiny spidermen, princesses, spongebobs and grim reapers begging for goodies at my door, I will probably only be visited by a handful or two. Why? Let me tell you why. It’s that ridiculous thing started by the local church called, "Trunk-or-Treat". What a concept. Organized and endorsed by the ‘M’ contingent, the idea is this: cars line up in the church parking lot, lights on, in order to allow unaccompanied kids to present themselves (bags open) for a treat. No shouting out, "TRICK-OR-TREAT!" oh, no. There is no need for that ho-hum activity. Nope. This is one streamlined activity meant to keep the kiddies moving along in an orderly line that proceeds about as smoothly as a game of musical chairs. Kids don’t have time to stop and chat, let alone utter a thank you. Probably due to the strategically placed adults whose assignment it is to repeat that nauseous mantra: "Keep it moving, keep it moving, keep it moving". Thank goodness, otherwise all chaos might ensue.
Do I sound bitter? Perhaps. I believe that Halloween is a time of neighborliness, an opportunity to say hello to those people whom we live among but may not see very often. SO what happened? Apparently someone decided that there are just too many hazards to be had if kids are allowed to run rough-shod through their own neighborhoods. Hmmm, sounds strange that the same places we live and play are suddenly ripe for kidnappings and murder, and, >gulp< poisoned candy! Yes, I am bitter. I am bitter that there are people that call themselves "Christians" yet feel it is okay to discriminate and invite only those people that grace their churchly hallways on Sunday. I am bitter that as I look out my window, the majority of the houses are dark. I am bitter that when I do get a visitor screaming out "Trick-or-Treat" they are so grateful to find someone home. It makes me sad to see the children being punished for a decision that adults have made. I am bitter that these God-fearing-good Christians can’t host their little shin-dig on another night so that everyone can be included in the house to house quest for goodies. What would it hurt? Is it that terrible to have to actually accompany your little goblin house to house? I don’t think so. Isn’t that just one way in which we show our love of family? of community? You know who else is left out? The elderly folks. Yes, the elderly. My neighbors come in all ages and abilities. The elderly folks, those with grandkids traversing the neighborhood, those with no one, they are the ones that are home. They delight in seeing the children. They aren’t going to be found sitting in a cold parking lot while greedy kids parade past with nary a glance their way. Yep! I am a bitter party of one today. But, I will NOT let the decision of the predominant faith ruin my favorite night of spooks. Nope, after a hearty dinner in a pumpkin, I will be here, bags of candy aplenty, greeting those children and their parents that believe as I do …the fun of Halloween is the opportunity to spend time with friends and neighbors venturing door to door yelling loudly and thanking kindly for all the treats the night has in store.
Have a safe and wonderful Halloween!