Written and Illustrated by Koriander Bullard
Every year, I am reminded that adults behave worse than the little, ankle biting trick or treaters the very instant Halloween rolls around. And I’m not talking the recent wave of creepy clown sightings. Adult tantrums, spreading false facts as truths, and the incessant whining in stores has taken all of the fun out of the holiday for children, to the point where most children just stop trying before the age of ten. And yet all of this idiocy is allegedly done “for” the children. Well as long as we’re so concerned about the little ankle biters, let’s discuss this list of things we can all get over.
1. Nobody is giving your kid drugs on Halloween.
One parent, one time only, poisoned his children the week of Halloween back in the 1970’s. And ever since then, people have been spreading this myth that 30% of all Halloween candy is poisoned. And when we’re not hearing about poison, we’re hearing about razor blades.
The new-age rumor is that people are actually giving children ecstasy.
Really? Are we that gullible?
First of all, every year, there are zero reports in the news of children being given drugged candy. Every year, responsible parents check the bags, and every year, nothing happens.
Second, do you have any idea how much street drugs cost? The amount of money it would take to poison a batch of trick or treaters with Molly could very easily pay for two new PlayStation consoles. Realistically, no drug addict is reckless enough to distribute potent drugs to a gang of kindergarteners.
When it comes to Halloween poisons, you have a better chance of your kid bringing home a candy he’s allergic to than you do seeing him bring home a Quaalude. It’s time we put this tired old wives’ tale to bed. Check the bags before you let them eat, let the kids know not to eat anything already opened, but don’t spoil their fun.
2. Keep your drama out of their costumes.
While we can all agree that nobody beneath the age of 16 should be caught dead in any costume labeled as “sexy” and nobody should be wearing any racially demeaning costume, but let’s face facts, the drama has to stop.
Does Sarah want to dress up to be a princess?
Does Jeffery want to be a Power Ranger?
Does Tiffany want to be a Pirate?
Does Alexander want to be Elsa?
Then let them. Know why you should?
Because they are children. And you are an adult. Act like it.
Your kid isn’t going to grow up to be psychologically scarred over that sparkly, sheer tutu, anymore than they’re likely to become a drug addict over wearing that piece of fabric with the gold trim. It’s Halloween. We don’t need your political stances, your conservative or liberal prejudices, we just need you to hold their hand and not flip out because for one day, they decided to dress up as something you object to. There is no such thing as a costume that makes you Gay, anti-God, sexist or a rapist.
You’re not going to get too many of these where they even want to dress up, and it’s likely that whatever they’re into right now will be a distant memory come next Halloween. Whatever costume they picked is a one time only affair. Trick or Treating lasts less than three hours. It’s not a lifetime. If they’re mature enough to pick an outfit that has more material on it than a bathing suit, then you are mature enough to deal with whatever they picked out for three, measly hours.
3. Keep your drama out of their candy.
Halloween is once a year.
Your kid isn’t going to get “fat” because he ate a few bite size pieces of chocolate.
Your kid isn’t going to mutate because he had an M&M made with GMO’s.
Your kid doesn’t need to worry about how much sustainable energy the Mars factory used up to make his fun size bag of candy, or the long term effects from having his annual binge of mellow cremes.
Unless your kid has a legit allergy, and just drank an entire vat of Red number 40, I don’t think he’s going to be all that different from having a handful of Reese’s Pieces.
I will say this again. Halloween is once a year. He has 364 other days in the year to be force fed your lawn ornament vegetables, grass clipping kale juice and adult-friendly low carb pita wraps. 364 days of you trying to convince yourself first and your child second that a handful of raisins is the same as having a snack size Kit Kat, and 364 days of flavorless, gluten free seaweed chips and tofurkey dogs.
Let him have a little candy. He’ll live. We can send him back to nature on All Saints Day, macrame bracelet and all.
4. Keep the drama to yourself.
We get it. Teachers are unfair. Maybe they didn’t give you a 30 day heads up before asking for a truckload of candy corn cupcakes. Maybe your child’s birthday was just in the wrong month. Whatever the reason, we don’t need to see you throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of Target, and whining about how unfair it is that you have to spend “so much money” on your child’s costume and party decorations.
More importantly, your child doesn’t need to see it.
The purpose of the modern holiday is to give us something fresh. Children on a whole have four days a year to look forward to:
1. Their birthday
2. Christmas (Unless they aren’t Christian.)
3. Easter (See Christmas)
After that, your child has more than 360 days to deal with the stress at school, dealing with siblings they didn’t ask for, doing chores because you want to goof off on Facebook, doing piles of homework that I promise will not mean anything to them after they graduate high school, dealing with peer pressure, dealing with your judgmental relatives you keep insisting they should spend time with, and dealing with you, your stresses and your public meltdown in the baking aisle. 360 wasted days of a very short childhood. And all they ask for is that you indulge them for a few, short hours, once a year.
Childhood is only from the ages of 5 to 9. After that, it’s puberty and hormones, and I promise, you will be missing these years when they’re all over.
Scale back the drama, and let them enjoy this holiday.
5. Keep politics and religion out of Halloween.
Your kid isn’t going to turn evil because of Halloween.
Black cats are not evil.
We don’t need to be guilted into adopting black cats.
Nobody is turning your kid pagan.
The Church of Satan does not want your kid.
Your kid isn’t Gay because he wants to wear something sparkly.
Children like bright colors and sparkly things.
Your kid isn’t a rapist because he likes pirates.
Your kid doesn’t support fracking or war because he likes G.I. Joe.
Your kid isn’t a racist because he wants to be a cop.
Your kid isn’t a lesbian because she doesn’t want to be a princess.
Your kid isn’t anti-feminist because she wants to be a princess.
Jesus doesn’t hate trick or treaters.
Hell is full of many people. Trick or treaters are not on the list.
Your kid isn’t supporting Monsanto because he ate an M&M willingly.
We’re not anti-autism because we ask your kid to say please and thank you. It’s called minding your manners. It’s not meant to attack their auditory issues.
Teenagers enjoy trick or treating for the same reason five year olds do. If they’re in costume and they’re not trying to rob you, toss ‘em a piece of candy. The world won’t end.
Some children are too poor for proper costumes. Spare the jokes and give them candy.
You shouldn’t have to be reminded of these things every year. It’s Halloween. Live a little.
Koriander Bullard is an author, cartoonist and human rights advocate. Keep up with her on Facebook!