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View Diary: How I fell out of love with Halloween (139 comments)

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  •  In 1975 I was 14 and it was my last Halloween. (4+ / 0-)

    I tore up a pink striped sheet (my mom gave me permission) and draped it over myself, to make a candy cane costume.  As I headed out that night I felt too old to be doing it.  Why was I doing this?  Because I'd always done it.  Indeed, back then, that night, some people told me, when I held out my bag asking for candy, that I was too old to be trick or treating.  That I should not be out-- that this was for little kids.  I felt ashamed and headed home early that night.  It was a feeling of disgust and relief, sadness and loss, mixed with something heady-- I was passing through onto what felt like the other side of growing up.

    Nowadays, it's exactly as you say.  There are too many teenagers who come up to the door with pillowcases and shove them toward you and demand candy.  No costumes, no sense of fun.  When you give them candy many don't even say thank you.  They just run off into the night.  And these are people older than 14, I am sure.  

    Sure, there are tons of little kids, and some proud parents bringing around toddlers for their first Halloween.  I celebrate the hope and the magic in it for those kids.  But then you've got the big tough kids muscling up to the door alongside those little dreamers.  What's that about?

    What we've been doing the past two years is turning the lights out and leaving the house and just not being home on Halloween.  I can't bear those big tough kids demanding candy anymore.  

    Our son has gone out trick or treating with friends in another part of town for about five years, but this year he said, unprompted, "I think I'm too old for Halloween anymore."  He is 12. So this year he'll be joining us on Halloween; we'll turn out the lights, leave the house, and all go to a movie together.  

    It's a feeling of sadness for me, but also a feeling of hope to see how he is understanding his own development toward adulthood, and leaving trick or treating and costumes behind.  

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:27:10 AM PDT

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