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Frustrated with Halloween

I love Halloween. I really do. I make my kids’ costumes as much as they’ll let me, and I have to say my son’s spider-monkey costume came out great this year. Combination spider and monkey costume, and it took some work.

It turns out that our neighborhood is the big place to go for trick or treat. I don’t exactly know why, although a few houses do a really good job of decorating. But it was crazy. I was warned of the crowds by a neighbor, and had what I thought was a lot of candy.

It lasted an hour and a half, maybe 300 kids. My front door was rarely closed for even a minute during that time. The flow of children had barely slowed when I had to shut down for lack of candy.

That’s not what frustrated me. What frustrated me was the number of parents driving their kids for trick or treating or following them in their cars. What happened to walking?

A good number did walk, of course, but I was shocked by the numbers who drove. One family even had their kids getting in and out of the car at each house, driving in between.

This wasn’t all for little kids either. My husband said one car was trailing a group of about 10 girls who looked to be 13 or so. I’d expect a group of kids that big to be just fine without their parents following them, even on foot, never mind in a car.

First of all, the sheer waste of driving a car all around. Most people are quite capable of walking the usual distances for trick or treating. It can’t be good for the car’s engine to go at such low speed for so long, as well as how much idling there would be. What a polluting waste of fuel!

Second, they’re making it less safe for other trick or treaters by driving around. That’s more chance that one will make a mistake and hit someone else’s child. It would be low speed, most likely, but that’s still a risk.

Third, for the kids young enough to need a parent along for trick or treating, you’re missing out on the best part of going trick or treating with your kids, the interaction with them. You don’t have to go to the door with them, especially beyond the age where they’re comfortable doing so on their own.

You also miss out on chatting with other parents going the same way. Get the kids into a group and have fun chatting with the parents you know. More fun for all involved. That’s also good for having a group of kids for your own to go with once they’re old enough they don’t need an adult along.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so I don’t let the frustrations keep me from enjoying it. At the same time, I certainly prefer how it went in our old neighborhood. More fun in general, even though there weren’t nearly as many kids out.

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