Thursday, October 22, 2009

To Treat or Not to Treat?

A question I have seen asked repeatedly this Halloween season is what to do with trick or treaters who, for whatever reason, either do not have a costume or have long ago entered adulthood. Opinions and passions on this issue run high.

A number of haunters seem to believe in refusing any treat-- giving not a piece of candy-- for trick or treaters who do not have a costume. These people feel that the nature of the idea must be adhered to strictly; no trick (or costume), no treat.

I'm going to come down on the other side of the issue. I would never deny a trick or treater candy; that's not the season, that is not Halloween. Who am I to say that having a costume is the only trick a treater may have? The trick may be on me, who would think to not give candy to a child who wants to experience Halloween, the ritual of civily begging for candy-- a child, who, very well, may not be able to afford any costume, or even have anything so expendable around the house to use for an impromptu ghost, witch or zombie? And, to me, older trick or treaters get points for bravery, in refusing to let go of this holiday ritual. On a more practical side, I would not want to refuse any treater candy simply because I would like for them not to have any reason to come back and vandalize my house or steal any piece of my display.

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