You know, I don’t give much of a rip that we’ve created an environment where every child wins at everything at all times, or that Donald Trump has been embraced by a larger contingent than should have been afforded to Donald Duck, but it seems as though those numbers are slowing turning southward and that’s why the sacrament of penance is in place.
If I didn’t care about any of this, which I do, it is dwarfed in my disdain for trunk-or-treat. Trunk-or-Treat is touted as the safe alternative to trick-or-treating, and its origins are murky at best, but it seems clear the straw man was deeply involved.
It seems as though churches began the fun-sucking behavior as an alternative to Halloween because they feel that, despite the facts, it is a day with pagan origins. If you want to know more about the actual origins of Halloween, take a listen to this week’s podcast of ‘Critical Mass’, where Tom Breen and Tim Miller discuss this, as well as Ouija boards: http://criticalmass.cc/
Alright, if you’re unaware of the logistics of trunk-or-treat, it is simply the assemblage of dozens of decorated cars in a parking lot, often churches, where people pass out candy to children. This practice has gained steam and has spread to municipalities where fire houses and police stations are throwing events.
I mention these facilities because I want you to think logically as you consider trunk-or- treat. We entrust both the police and fire to keep us safe, unless of course, you’re an anarcho-punk who thinks Crass and The Casualties are the greatest bands ever (they’re not) but I digress. So if we agree that we largely look to these institutions for safety, it seems somewhat counter intuitive to hold such an event on their property. Why? I’m glad you asked;
We went from raising our children, telling them not to go to strangers, and furthermore, not to take candy from strangers. Now we are encouraging it. I mean, think of the absolute lunacy of it all. Not only do we encourage our kids to approach strangers with candy, we encourage them to approach the opened trunks of the strangers luring them with candy. THIS is the safe alternative to walking around your own neighborhood where at least you know some of the people? The headlines write themselves, folks. This is not a learned behavior I want to pass to my children.
So if it’s not safe, surely it’s fun?
No, no it isn’t. Sure, churches and municipalities have increased their budgets to incorporate games and bounce houses and the like to attract the children, and sure, I’ll concede that children probably enjoy themselves, but its a solution to a problem that didn’t exist. I will be walking my children around the neighborhood this year as I have done every year for the past six years, enjoying my monthly limit of Sam Adams Oktoberfest (2) as I walk around, running into other mom’s and dad’s doing the same thing, stopping for small talk as the kids run to the houses for candy. It’s a community event – it should be enjoyed IN the community. When the kids get old enough, I’ll let them run around with their friends in the hopes that I have raised them well enough to be respectful of their community. If not, they’ll act as kids do from time to time and they’ll learn an invaluable lesson on the heels of their actions.
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