What do kiddie parks, certain games and trick-or-treating all have in common? An age limit!
It makes sense that once you reach a certain age some carnival rides are no longer accessible to you, for safety reasons. Likewise, a group of 20-year-old adults playing Ring Around the Rosie in the park might look pretty silly.
However, those who still want to trick-or-treat should be able to whether they are eight or 80!
We all know the lesson from Peter Pan: eventually everyone has to grow up and take on adult responsibilities. The reality is, our parents told us, at a certain point we become too old for childish things.
When it comes to Halloween, the festive fun doesn’t stop when you “grow up.” Instead it becomes more socially acceptable to go to a party, get absolutely hammered, and spend the next day trying to recall the events of the previous night. Why is it that this is more acceptable to our society than a 20-year-old dressing up, walking door to door, and asking for candy?
The number of drunken teenagers you see on Halloween night is astounding. You can bet most are not even legal drinking age, and the only people I would blame for this is their parents. Sure, their friend held their legs while they did a keg stand, and their other friend helped funnel beer down their throat, but mom and dad said he was too old to trick-or-treat.
“Grow up, act your age…” When little Billy or Clara comes home at 2:00 a.m. drunk and stumbling around the house, just remember this is what you deemed a more age appropriate way to spend their night!
It’s not that parents are telling their underage kids to go get blackout drunk. But when you tell your teenager they are too old for trick-or-treating they interpret this to mean they are old enough for something else.
According to a survey of the United States, three quarters of 12th graders, two thirds of 10th graders, and two in every five 8th graders consume alcohol Halloween night alone. The scary fact is that when adolescents drink they tend to overdo it, not knowing their limits or the effects.
When you couple this with the fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that three times as many people are killed as a result of drunk driving on Halloween, the night ends up being scary for the wrong reasons.
I admit that I don’t trick-or-treat anymore, but its only because I’d rather stay at home and give the candy out to the little goblins and ghouls who come calling! Seeing the excitement in their eyes, and watching them become totally immersed in their characters is more of a joy for me.
However, my rule of thumb has always been that as long as you are dressed up in a creative costume you will receive candy. People showing up in their normal clothes stating something such as, “I’m me from the past” or “I’m dressed like my friend” will receive nothing from “me from the present”.
If you haven’t put thought or care into your costume then I will not be handing out candy to you.
I’m not suggesting everyone participate in trick-or-treat, or even that all parents should encourage their teens to go collect candy. I am simply stating that trick-or-treating has no age limit.
Stop trying to tell people what you deem an appropriate way to act in their respective age group. There’s no harm in an older person going trick-or-treating so let them revel in youthful activities as long as they want to.