Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Horrors this Halloween

In Canada you can only trick-or-treat until you're about ten, eleven if you are very short for your age. That's it. Then there are a few sad years watching scary movies at home with your friends until high school (grade eight-twelve) when you go to dances and parties. If you tried trick-or treating after ten people would simply tell you you are too old and get off their porch. Ditto if you weren't wearing costume. No costume - no candy!

As each of my boys reached ten we moved them to games at home, community activities etc. Like good Canadians.

Last night we had more trick-or-treaters than ever before. In fact, more than all the years we've lived here combined. I dutifully doled out 4-6 treats per kid, oohed and awed over their costumes and sent them scampering away. Here's my observations:

1. Some kids are appalled with 4-6 treat-sized candies. They stand there after receiving their goodies, bag open, angry entitlement etched all across their face. I counter with a cheerful, " Happy Halloween" dismissal and a look in my eye that says 'leave now if you want off my porch still in possession of all your limbs'.

2. Some kids ask for different candy than what you give them. Oh, please. I bet their moms cook them their own meals to order too. Not in my house or on my porch.

3. The parents that won't speak to us in the neighborhood, still will not speak to us as they send their kids up our walkway to get candy from the heathens. Nice. Recognizing kids that have specifically shunned our boys and are now asking for candy is not fun at all. Those same families also seem fine with the kids trampling our landscaping on their retreat.

4. This one boggles my mind. Seriously. Two MOMS came to our door. Confused, I said "hello" and they said, " Trick or Treat!" Neither was dressed in costumes and they were both in their thirties. I smiled back, wondering what on earth is going on. Noting my confusion (smart girls) the first mom said that she was trick or treating, her kids are, " So lazy they decided to stay in the car but she didn't want them to miss out on the Halloween candy." My jaw hits the floor. The second lady, noting my horror (I didn't hide it well) attempting to back up her friends position interjects, " You think that's bad; my kids are so lazy they stayed home watching TV and sent me out to trick-or-treat for them."

Then they both held their bags up higher in case I didn't get the gist of occasion and needed a context clue.

Yes, I gave them some candy. I felt bad for their kids that they'll have a hard time in life if everything is handed to them, work-free. If this is how these mothers treat Halloween, imagine how they'll manage teenagers. Oh, my.


Elizabeth said...

Their moms... what? *boggles*

Getting shunned by your neighbors EXCEPT on Halloween? Niiiiice.

Mom took me trick-or-treating when I was in high school, but we'd go around to friends of the family and take THEM treats. (Or tricks, if they wanted. But they always opted for treats.)

Terra said...

Oh my gosh, how horrible! A neighbor and very good friend of mine had an experience last year that I will never forget. The parents stood far in the street while their older boys (probably 11, 12? old enough to know better!) trampled through the lawn, shoved smaller trick or treaters, and kicked over a garden edging wall. My neighbor told them to get off the wall, and to wait at the end of the trick or treat line, and the parents actually yelled at him! How dare they! The nerve of some people! I do feel sorry for the children who are growing up in that environmnet, I was raised and raise my own children to show respect for adults!

Now I do have a little bit of a different situation with the age, we were allowed to trick or treat up until we graduated high school. But, we always had to be in costume! I do allow my 16 yo to go also. She so looks forward to Halloween and she is still a kid, no matter how much she and others want to put her in that adult category. I do like the idea of doing some projects at home though and may be incorporating that for her next year :) She enjoys giving out the candy as well.
If older kids come to my door, over 12 or so, I will give them candy but first I tell them "trick" and make them do a trick for me. Some stare blankly and I have to explain "you don't get candy unless you do a trick!" It's so funny to see some of the things they come up with on the spot...singing, dancing, gross noises, etc... But it's all in fun and they had to "earn" their treat- no hand outs!

And those mothers!?!!!? I probably would have closed the door in their face or told them if their kids wanted candy they had to come to the door. I could understand parents trick or treating for their younger toddlers with them in hand, but to have the kids at home?!??!!! Ridiculous!!!! Every year it gets worse and worse, and as much as I love taking my kids out and handing out candy, we may have to find other options soon and just not answer the door.

Evil Brat Child I said...

Wow! Trampling on grass and knocking things over?! Soooo not okay! These enabling parents are the real downfall of society. They're creating entitled monsters!

It was kind of a given to quit going at the end of elementary school where I lived. (About 11 or 12.) Often, you'd get a teenager taking the younger siblings on the rounds, which was considered okay as long as you were costumed.

My best friend and I went on one last lark when we were 17, the last year we were in school. We were bored and thought it'd be funny. We dressed up, but also had to do a lot of "tricks" as Terra mentioned. I think at one neighbor's home we ended up singing "Jingle Bells" for our candy bars. LOL

I think most of our neighbors managed to have as much fun with it as we did. Thanks for bringing up the good memory. :D

MaryC said...

I wouldn't give out candy next year. I'd either hide out or give out pencils and stickers.
And the moms, I totally would have closed the door in their face. Probably would have gotten my house egged but that is ridiculous!!!!

grrlpup said...

I can think of so many angry responses to this kind of thing, but none of them are classy like you. Dang.

My parents cut me off at 12, but some of my friends continued through junior high. Last night our cue to turn the porch light off was a visit from teenagers (at nine p.m.) who just seemed way too old for the event.

I suspect there's been treat inflation. We had some kids who were coached to take one candy, and some who got the biggest handful they could. We let the parents handle that, since we weren't in danger of running out.

Those two moms are just mind-boggling.

Carmen said...

Some people are just unbelievable. See I'm one of those people that doesn't think of a really witty put down till I've shut the door.

Luckily, for the past 3 years we have had no trick or treaters. I don't know why - I'm not complaining though. The cute little kids in costumes are in the minority come Halloween here. It's the big teenagers in hoodies with really frightening masks that you see banging on the doors and I always wonder if they would be happy with just a handful of sweets. I also wonder what effect they must have on elderly pensioners though I suspect most just dont anser the door on Halloween. I'd never been trick or treating as a child - my parents said it was begging and we weren't allowed to do it.

Gabby said...

OMG Nicole...what horror...especially the MOMS!!! WTH???

I saw similarities with what happened at your place when I took my kids out. I have raised my kids with respect for ANYTHING that's not theirs so it was EMBARRASSING that my SIL did NOTHING to get her unruly kids from trampling on lawns or knocking stuff down...her kids didn't even say thank you after they get their treat! One lady ran out of candy while her (SIL) kids were in line waiting and offered some stickers...what did the daughter do? She said "I don't want friggin stickers"...and stomped away mad while knocking down her pumpkin off the wall on the entrance. Horrible! My kids happily got their stickers because all in all...they are treats AND said thank you! I swear some people (or shall I say parents)...the nerves.

Now to happily wait for next year right? LOL! HUGS HUN!

Kathi said...

Well, my daughter and her friends trick or treated throughout high school. They'd hang out here and help hand out candy to the little ones and then go off on their own.

Throughout high school my daughter collected money for charity when she collected candy for herself. She carried a can and had flyers from the school telling where the money went, etc.

However, her group was unfailingly polite to my neighbors. In fact, I'd get reports back about them.

I find that the little ones are always polite. They say please and thank you and are so cute and earnest.

I can't believe that the people who shun you and yours for whatever reason have the audacity (and/or big brass ones to Trick or Treat at your house. I'd be tempted to give them candy emblazoned with pentagrams.

I also can't believe that kids are too lazy to Trick or Treat for themselves and their mothers actually do it for them. Half the fun was dressing up and going door to door.


I had 8 bags of candy and threw in some candy canes, which were a huge hit. I have ~6.5 bags of candy left. They're going to work with dh tomorrow!

Lisa L. said...

What you describe is, unfortunately, symptomatic of our society in general. I agree with the others, that these kids are in for a world of hurt when they reach "the real world" because they won't have respect or appreciation for anything.

Just keep teaching your kids to be thankful and grateful for EVERY little thing they have. Because each little thing is truly a gift and can be gone in a second.

Maggi said...

Oh boy, what an experience! I don't feel so bad not giving out candy this year now. lol

Elizabeth R. said...

So just call me shocked!! Huh? I am dumbfounded by these moms. Trick or Treating is about the experience of planning your costume and the excitement of dressing up. Cause let's face it most kids can have candy any darn time they want. My son was so excited to scare people in his bat costume that my mom made him. Because of the rain we only went to about 10 houses and they were much more disappointed in not having people see their costumes than in the lack of candy.

Lisa said...

Wow, Nicole! Your neighbors and those moms?! O...M...G!!! Just awful. :(

I think I may have given the moms candy, too, but just one piece. And maybe said something like, "we'd sure love to see your kids' costumes next year! Happy Halloween!!" Too snarky? ;)

The worst thing for us really was having the rude little kids trying to reach in our "cauldron" to grab their own candy. Eddy was doing the handing out, so he just said "we'll hand *you* the candy...we need to make sure there's enough for all the other kids, too".

Sorry you had to endure all that. Hoping that next year it won't be so bad.

Amy Wing said...

I am such a Halloween scrooge - we turn off our lights and don't participate. Of course, I take my little one out to do her own trick-or-treating. But she's 2 1/2 (3 on 11/20!) - she's easily pleased.

I swear I don't know what I might have done to those two women who came to the door. I might have said, "Well, I'm too lazy to hand you any candy, so we're even." Jehosefat Crush! Have they ever heard of a grocery store? Why not just go there and buy some discounted candy.

Bah! I'll be turning off my lights again next year. Only about 1 in 5 houses in my neighborhood participate (making a long walk for the little one), but I totally understand why. It might have made sense when everyone knew everyone in the neighborhood, but clearly those times have passed...

MaryEllen said...

Wow. Insane. That's a new one to me!

Er, my older two still trick-or-treated. They were members of Organization 13 (Kingdom Hearts). I think the dressing-like-game-characters thing is going to continue for a bit.