Sanitized Halloween

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by KristyHall, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. KristyHall

    KristyHall Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 27, 2011
    North Alabama
    I was reading this article and it struck a cord with me. I am seeing a lot of this. After 9/11 the streets were dead empty on Halloween in neighborhoods where they would be full. It was a radical change from throngs of kids roaming form house to house at night, staying out later than usual in search of candy and a good scare, and don't forget all the garage haunted houses parents would set up for kids to go through before grabbing candy.

    then since 9/11, nothing. I keep seeing trunk or treat festivals at churches and always on the weekends before Halloween. Even clubs and parties stopped being on Halloween if it was on a weekday. Kids became non existent and eventually we stopped buying candy because no one came out any more.

    Oh and then there is the issue that comes up around here every Halloween that lands on a Sunday. Entire towns try to change it to Saturday, claiming it is because it is a school night, yet they do nothing about it when Halloween lands on a weekday. Then again, this is a part of the south that only recently allowed panty hose and shavers to be sold on Sundays, consider wine to be hard liquor, and has counties that consider themselves dry because they only sell beer.

    To me this rates up there with why we need the free range parent movement. This is one of the many reasons that returning to giving kids a little more breathing room is better.{ 22:37:28&v=

    Life & Style
    Grownups in Costumes: Have Adults Ruined Halloween?

    By Erika ChristakisOct. 23, 201211 Comments


    American adults now spend significantly more money on their own Halloween costumes than on their children’s. In fact, this year’s holiday is projected to ring up a recession-proof $8 billion in spending, only 13% of which ($1.1 billion) actually goes to kids’ costumes, compared with the 17.5% ($1.4 billion) adults spend on their own Dracula capes and French-maid getups, in addition to the food, alcohol and holiday decor. And let’s not leave the family dog out of the festivities: we spent $370 million on pet costumes in 2011.
    There’s nothing wrong with adults having a good time, needless to say. But you have to wonder why they have co-opted this children’s holiday to such a startling degree and whether they are taking away some of Halloween’s magic in the process.
    Adult Halloween celebrations are well established, with roots in San Francisco’s gay community in the 1970s. Young heterosexuals without children quickly followed, and today the biggest Halloween spenders turn out to be men from the ages of 18 to 34. But it’s not only adult revelers who are edging kids out of the festivities. Overly vigilant parents have played a part too.
    Many communities have gutted trick-or-treating in favor of trunk-or-treating parties, in which kids move around parking lots, grabbing candy out of the cars of parents dressed as Professors McGonagall and Snape. The traditional going-door-to-door experience has been sanitized, conducted in near daylight with curfews, dwindling numbers of children and smothering adult supervision. Even the Halloween candy seems micromanaged by meddling adult hands: the influx of miniature candy bars and yogurt snacks seems a mean-spirited rebuke to a nation’s children whose health problems are surely linked less to Halloween than to the other 364 days of the year.
    Controlling the Halloween environment is meant to keep children safe, of course, but most of our fears are unfounded. There hasn’t been a single documented case of Halloween candy poisoning. Ever. Sexual-predation rates are no different on Halloween than any other night of the year. The one thing we should be worrying about is keeping cars off the roads where children are trick-or-treating, and there are straightforward solutions to that problem.
    Some parents cherish family time on Halloween, of course. But we pay a steep price — and not only a financial one — when we insert ourselves into the one time of year when, traditionally, children could escape the long reach of parental authority without serious consequences.
    When parents exert a lighter touch on Halloween, kids can learn a lot of important lessons: how to look after younger children, how to make a special costume out of almost nothing, how to greet strangers with confidence, how to test their own internal limits. Do they cross the line and egg the neighbor’s house? Shout rude things at the person who gives out apples? Even the freedom to choose when and how to eat one’s stash of sugar teaches consequences (like stomachaches) and discipline. But above all, a child-centered Halloween helps cultivate a child’s imagination, unfiltered by adult eyes and wallets, through the time-tested pleasure of make-believe.
    By stage-directing details that generations of kids managed just fine on their own, today’s parents communicate the message that fun requires large amounts of money and adult input to be meaningful. Really, who wants their child to reach that conclusion?

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    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  2. AlexMalix

    AlexMalix Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 9, 2011
    Yeah, I miss the days when we took kids trick or treating, and as a kid, I loved the scary houses. I hope my new home in oregon is more kid friendly when it comes to that, and we'll have trick or treaters over.
  3. Matthew3590

    Matthew3590 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    Middle, TN
    More than likely the kids grew up in your neighborhood. Long after 9/11 my area trick or treated but now all the kids are grown up.
  4. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    I remember when I moved into my first house in a real neighborhood (I had always lived in the country where little trick or treating went on), and I was so excited about being able to give out candy, and it turned out that almost no kids came to the house! Downtown had a trick or treat even where kids went from storefront to storefront to get "safe" treats.... ERRRRRGGGG!!!!! As an adult I was sad that my attempt to participate (decorating poorch, wearing witch costume, bowl of candy in hand) was a waste of time.
  5. dascountry

    dascountry Chillin' With My Peeps

    My grandsons town is having trick or treating on Saturday. Which I think is wrong. But our small town here is having it on Halloween night between 5:30 and 7:30. I know when we were small and went out the streets were covered with us kids going house to house. We didn't have a time limit and we went for blocks. I can understand the time limit, but when a porch light wasn't on you just didn't go to that house. It meant they were out of candy or just done for the night.
  6. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    I live in kiddie central, and are downtown in a city at that. We had one trick-or-treater last year, none the year before that, and two the year before that. Granted, this may have more to do with the micro-culture we are in, which tends to...literally keep kids in strollers at the age of eight for instance.... Always got plenty of kids in VA, well after 9/11. I'm not sure that is really the connection there.
  7. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are still some of us out there (perhaps we are few and far between) who absolutely abhor the holiday and everything it stands for. Halloween is not a "children's holiday"; it is anything but that for anyone who has actually studied it in any sort of depth. I for one am beyond appalled at the outpouring of 'Christian' churches out there who hold events on this day and call it "Fall Festival" or something similar. I neither condone nor support that. Quite frankly, I'm elated that the numbers have practically dwindled down to nothing in regard to the throngs of trick-or-treaters scouring the streets...and hope it continues.

    I don't believe September 11th caused the ultimate decline of Halloween-induced trick-or-treating. It's been on the decline for ages now (9/11 added to it - but not for the reasons people would think to be obvious). I believe a lot of it has to do with factors that people do not take into consideration because of "political incorrectness" and thus sweep things under the rug and deem them non-existent. As time goes on there are more and more mothers who work outside of the home. Most (not all) mothers are no longer able to be "Donna Reed" for their husbands and children, sadly. Many mothers simply do not have the time to sew their children's Halloween costumes or make cookies, popcorn balls and lavish dishes for a festive Halloween party. The word "normalcy" in regard to family dynamics has done a complete tailspin as time passes. That's a conversation of another variety though - so I'll leave it at that (the part that is relative to the discussion). The world is changing, simple as that. I don't think adults are at fault for "ruining Halloween" for kids. I don't believe anyone has "scared people off" from trick-or-treating due to the tampering of Halloween candy. Put simply - if one were to go trick-or-treating that would be a LOT of time spent away from the computer, television set, Playstation, Wii, X-box or whatever other entertainment magnet may be in the home. Trick-or-treating was cheap entertainment for a very long time, and as technology advances along with the human mind, there are simply more things to do that are far more appealing to kids. I believe the main reason that adults are spending so much money on Halloween is because those adults ARE the generational children who adored trick-or-treating and are thus attempting to relive their youth one day a harm in that in my opinion.

    In regard to the massive monetary spending on this holiday, it really is none of my business what people choose to spend their money on (including Halloween costumes and finances set aside for All Hollow's Eve festivities). Do I think their money could be better spent elsewhere? Yes. Then again - the magnitude of what my husband and myself spend each year on our entertainment preferences would make someone else cringe in bewilderment as well.

    ...and that's my 2 cents (or 3 or 4) I probably won't be visiting this thread again, because I have a tendency to get far too involved in debates and discussions that really have no bearing on anything other than my blood pressure.

    Once again though - well written post and article.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  8. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    You are sooo right - it's not a childrens holiday at all. I love it because it encompasses so much of the human experience, the harvest, birth, death and the honoring of the dead. I think thats whats so great about it, you can have children enjoying the trick or treat aspects of the holiday (as it has come to be celebrated here), and adults can have fun too. Halloween has it's roots in the rituals and celebrations of my ancestors who sadly were forced to give up a lot of their rich heritage and religious beliefs, but at least Halloween and Easter still bring with them some of the old ways. In fact, Halloween is really an example of the melting pot of different cultures and traditions here in america.
  9. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    Where I live, I am more likely to get "trick or treaters" who drove here by themselves and stop by around 11pm.....

    I just leave a bowl in front of the door early-it is usually empty by the second kiddie group, about 7:30 I pull the remnants in the house, shut the curtains, turn off the lights and watch tv in my bedroom. The big kids drive better cars than I do, their parents can probably afford better candy too
  10. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    We usually stay home on that night eating candy and watching movies,but the kids want to go out this year.We did the mall thing one or 2 times and the lines were horrid right along with the worst' candy ever! My moms neighborhood is perfect for T/T,but she says maybe out of 100 houses only 20 to 30 have a light on.Not drving an hour for that.

    My mom left candy out one year.They took all of it AND her favoirte bowl,lol.

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