I heard a lot of hubbub over the last major holiday we had, you know, Halloween. Stores were filled with decorations, kids have to have store bought everything and the days of being a punk rocker or a hobo are long gone. There was not a paper bag robot to be seen. Naughty sailor outfits and vampires lined the shelves. Gluten free and peanut free snacks were in every home. Our culture says Merry Christmas with controversy but can dress up like a naughty police officer and celebrate a pagan holiday with no problems. And the hottest question debated was "When is a child to old to trick-er treat?" Seriously?
I have no desire to enter a debate about things. I grew up in a time of homemade costumes and trick-er treating from farm to farm because that was our community. We were not allowed to go in town. We were allowed to go out trick-er treating until we were 12. And our parents let us take a bar of soap and write our names on windows of homes if the people were not home. This is because we knew our neighbours. And a prank was harmless and funny for all involved.
Here is my view of Halloween. We have made it a shopping holiday like all the rest. Extravagant decorations, perfect costumes and not a homemade treat in sight. I live in a small town. I do not believe that the average person that is on the library board with me is going to put a razor blade in my kids treats. I know, I know, in the city we can't trust anyone. Razor blades and horror stories unite! Maybe we should make it a practice to know our neighbours so we don't put our children at risk. Maybe just maybe, if we met our neighbours we could let our children out to play street hockey again.
But alas, I digress. I was going to solve life's problems. Here is how you know if your kid is too old to trick-er treat. When they are smokers. If your child takes a pack of smokes with them when they leave the house, costume or not, they are too old to trick-er treat. Period. I watched a pack of older teens come down the street trick-er treating in the local businesses and one of the girls could not go into our towns bakery because she had a smoke hanging out of her mouth. TOO OLD. PERIOD! And I knew I had solved the only apparent problem of Halloween.