When I was kid, Halloween and trick-or-treating was a huge ordeal for residents in my neighborhood. Everyone seemed to participate: those with children and those without, younger families and older families, even the grumpy old man who lived next door (sure we were scared to ring his doorbell, but who's going to pass up an opportunity to get even more candy?)
Over the last decade, I've noticed trick-or-treating has started to dwindle. Different organizations such as churches and malls have taken it upon themselves to provide Halloween parties, fall festivals, or trick-or-treating within their own parking lot, calling it trunk-or-treat. I understand parents wanting to provide safe Halloween celebrations for their children. But one advantage to trick-or-treating within your own neighborhood is conversing with your neighbors, hopefully getting to know them a little bit better.
As we took our own two children out for trick-or-treating, it saddened me to see so many dark houses. This year, I'm guessing maybe only 20 percent of the residents in our neighborhood participated in this Halloween tradition. It was also sad to see so few children out trick-or-treating.
Do I need to change with the times and find some alternative Halloween celebration? I hope not. The few neighbors we do know, really got a kick out of seeing the kids in their costumes. And for a few moments, we conversed and giggled together. I guess our little family will continue this tradition until we're the only ones left with a brightly lit porch light.