Are you celebrating Halloween? It seems to be bringing up some controversy this year. I've written about it before, from the Jewish side of the holiday, but I've also been reading the Dear Prudence letter everywhere, and I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed with the responses.
I don't believe in leaving your neighborhood for Halloween. Now, this is nothing to say about me not wanting to give out candy to anyone who comes to the door. And where I live, we get a lot of kids from a neighboring area that isn't as affluent (aka Lawndale and Inglewood). It makes no difference to me if they were from Hermosa Beach or Hawthorne. My issues are with the fact that Halloween is a neighborhood thing. Yes, there are reasons to leave your neighborhood, but there aren't that many in my mind.
1. Visiting family or friends. You, as well as everyone else, is entitled to visit anyone you want to over the holiday. Sometimes that means Grandpa's neighborhood, or a friends. Sure, come along. Makes perfect sense.
2. You live by a college. This can totally stink for little kiddos when the neighborhood is made up mostly of college students. They don't really do Halloween, and your kid might be all alone. Totally get that- and not something you can change by talking to your neighbors.
3. You live in an apartment complex. Some of these are great. Others, not so much. Usually people don't trick or treat inside of an apartment complex, and if you live in a neighborhood of only apartment complexes (especially those with long hallways) it can be rough.
4. You live really rural. I mean, farm country. It's to hard to drive 4 miles away to each house. That would take forever. Then, by all means, go the nearest neighborhood.
5. You are visiting an area known for it's festivity. There was a guy a few blocks from my childhood home who had a full on haunted house. Just like at X-mas where there are 'lite-up neighborhoods' the same thing happens with Halloween. If you are headed to one of these places, that makes sense.
Reasons not to leave your neighborhood:
1. They have better candy elsewhere. Dude- buy better candy. If you set the bar high, they will follow.
2. It's not safe. You are a part of your neighborhood. It would be wise to change your neighborhood, rather than abandoning it to it's difficulties. It's just sort of backwards in my mind to abandon your own place, rather than make it better.
To me, the dangers of these additional kids in my neighborhood seem to outweigh their need for better candy. They drive in, have their cars in idle in front of my house, then keep on driving. I just worry about the safety, since there really isn't a need for anyone to drive during the holiday.
If someone is really worried about the safety in their own neighborhood- why not take advantage of one of these programs:
Riviera Village Trick or Treating 4-6pm
Wilson Park/Torrance Recreation 4-8pm
City of El Segundo Halloween Frolic- 4-7pm
Lomita Park Halloween- 6pm
There are all public, no cost events that have tons of candy, invite all parties and can be really enjoyable. So, hate me if you will, but I don't really think you should go somewhere else...
Anyways- HAPPY HALLOWEEN: