Trunks, tricks, and treats

Halloween is upon us at last! It's been a heck of a year, peeps, and we need Halloween more than ever before.

Have you heard about parents who take their kids "Trunk-or-treating" rather than walking through their neighborhoods and knocking on doors? Trunk-or-treating events are held in parking lots, with trick-or-treaters wandering from car to car, and receiving treats from adults standing next to their open car trunks. Huh. I guess I am a little skeptical of this phenomenon. The last lesson I want to teach kids is that it is OK to receive candy from a random stranger's car and open trunk. Probably the real reason I am not sold on the idea of trunk-or-treating is because, as I say every year, as long as parents allow their children to trick-or-treat, we will continue to find reasons to trust our neighbors. There has never been a greater need for that, at least in my lifetime.

To remind us all why Halloween is the most patriotic holiday of the entire year, here is a snippet from a 2009 post. Happy Halloween! Enjoy your treats, and be sure to admire every witch, princess, and superhero that appears outside your door.

I start to feel giddy waves of patriotism as soon the Jack-O-Lantern candle is lit and I stand anxiously at the front door with an overflowing candy bowl waiting for trick-or-treaters. Trick-or-treating is democracy in action. 
On Halloween children live out the American dream that you can become whatever you want (as long as you work hard and have the necessary resources). On Halloween we open our doors to both strangers and kids we know, and we share what we have.
I hear complaints that teenagers (some without costumes! gasp) ought not to be trick-or-treating. They are welcome on my door stoop.  Teenagers with pillow cases full of candy are harm to no one. I hear about parents who bring their children to church parties or malls rather than trick-or-treating in their own neighborhoods. As long as parents allow their children to trick-or-treat, we will continue to find reasons to trust our neighbors.  And has anyone really ever found poison in their candy?
Last year an elderly Hmong woman (without a costume! gasp) trick-or-treated at my house. She held open her bag and in a thick accent uttered those magic words, "Trick or treat." I gave her extra candy.


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