We Won’t Be Handing Out Halloween Candy This Year And I Don’t Feel Bad About It
I’m sure this will be met with sneers but my house will go dark on Halloween this year from dinnertime on. We will shut the lights, close the curtains and hightail it out the door as soon as the sun goes down. My husband and I will trick or treat with our children, ages seven and five, and we will have a blast. For a few very important reasons, we won’t be handing out Halloween candy this year and I won’t lose a moment’s sleep over it.
We tried to go our separate ways last year, my husband and I. I was going to stay home and he was going to trick or treat with our kids, my parents and our good friends. I was all stoic and brave about being left out until that morning when I had a bit of a breakdown over my sadness that I would miss seeing my kids walking around in their costumes chattering excitedly with their friends and gathering all the candy their bag could hold. In that moment, something very sad occurred to me. I really did not have too many memories of my parents trick or treating with me. The reason? I had them with me when I was younger but once I hit maybe eight or nine, I went out on Halloween with a pack of my friends on our own. There were only a few years that my parents came with my brothers and I. I don’t think they took us until at least pre-school so that meant what, a total of four years where they got to see us trick or treating? That is when I started with my oldest child as well. As she is in second grade now and growing more every year, I know our days are numbered- in the very near future, she will not want us going with her and it will break my heart. I was struck last year on Halloween morning by how fleeting these years truly are and I decided our giant bags of candy that we bought to hand out would just have to stay on the shelf in the closet because I didn’t think either of us should have to miss this.
Now, you all are probably labeling me selfish and think that I should have stayed at home. I would like to defend myself and point out that we stayed home for years and handed out candy- before we had kids and then after because as I mentioned, we did not take our kids until my oldest was four. We have put in our dues and we know that when our kids are old enough to go with their friends, we will return dutifully to our post giving out handfuls of candy (I am very generous- none of that one or two pieces crap) and smiling at all the parents out with their sweet little ones. I will understand that this is probably one of the years where no one is at their house to give out candy and that in a few more, they will be back at the candy post too. It’s how it should be- we all know how few “magic” years we have with our kids- where they are old enough to do fun things like trick or treating but young enough to still want and need us there too. I won’t sacrifice these few years and I hope my neighbors and the trick or treaters who see my dark house on Halloween night won’t begrudge me that.
(Image: Monkey Business Images)