In many neighborhoods across the nation, Halloween trick or treating is long gone and has been replaced by "super-safe" school or community events. Now I understand this in neighborhoods where safety has become a real factor, but those are the neighborhoods where safety is a factor every day of the week.
What I'm seeing, however, is a ludicrous cancellation of treat or treating in good neighborhoods, based on unrealistic fears -- many of those fears being about one's fellow neighbors.
Simply put, it's just not neighborly to feel or act this way. And it's not going to make your community any better in the long run.
I understand that the media loves to instill crazy fears into us as parents. Every day there's another recall, another study to prove we're doing it all wrong, and another child that goes missing.
However, call me crazy, but I just refuse to stop living because of it. I won't buy into the fear. And frankly, I believe in my neighborhood enough to believe it's a good place to enjoy this festive and neighborly holiday.
This Halloween, I will dress up my boys in their Halloween costumes and head out into the neighborhood with our friends who also live here. We'll go door to door, watch our kids say "Trick or Treat!" to our neighbors, and remind them to say "thank you."
We'll chat with our neighbors who open their door or have their kids out too, the ones we know and don't know. We'll enjoy the jack o' lanterns, the scary decorations, and all the other neighbor kids in creative costumes. We'll have an extraordinary time until the kids tire out (or we do).
I will not give into fear about perverts or poisoned candy or scary strangers. I will not. My neighborhood is friendly and nice, and I'm going to take my kids out and be a part of that. When we contribute to and participate in our neighborhoods, we make community. That's why I say long live trick or treating!
Do you skip trick or treating with your kids? Why or why not?
Image via Free Flower/Flickr