Halloween - A Frightening Trend

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I love Halloween. And one of my all time favorite "adult" things to do is to hand out Halloween candy, which is really just an excuse to play along with all the kids that come to the door. Tonight, my house is fully decorated, the lights are out, the music is ghoulish (thanks to DJ Wes) and the candy is flowing.

And then I notice a frightening, horrifying trend: many of my neighborhood trick-or-treaters are being DRIVEN from house to house by their parents. Yup, kids come to the door while an SUV sits idling at the curb, like they're some rock star that might be mobbed by paparazzi.

Aside from the obvious reasons this is wrong - the damage to the environment, the price of gas, our dependence on foreign oil - I'm horrified by the thought that 1) parents think the neighborhood is not safe for their children and 2) kids don't get any exercise or learn how to take care of themselves by trick-or-treating.

I always thought trick-or-treating was a rite of passage in America. Going door-to-door while your parents stood patiently at the curb. Remembering to say "please" and "thank you" for the candy your neighbors gave you, and when you were old enough, running through the darkened streets with your friends.

Now the world seems to be a scary place, where people don't know their neighbors (I admit I don't know all of mine), and every two or three houses are dark. Where are my neighbors, and why aren't they handing out candy?

Now I don't mean there are no kids wandering the streets - there are plenty, as well as plenty of parents dressed up to take their kids, pets in costume, and gangs of kids on bikes, scooters, and yes, on foot. But it's no wonder there are so many news stories about obese children when kids are being driven door-to-door to pick up candy.

Parents, get out of the car and walk through the neighborhood with your children. Introduce yourself to your neighbors, and teach your children about exercise, the importance of saying "thank you" and which houses have the best candy. I'll give you extra Kit Kats if you do!


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