It's time to separate Trick-O-Treat from Halloween

Two years ago,  I wrote about my well documented desire to move Halloween to a potentially better weather day in October.  I've argued that it is time to embrace the practicality of celebrating this holiday on a day other than the last day of October because it is almost always too cold in most parts of the country for an enjoyable celebration.  And any historical or religious associations with Halloween are vestigial at best, at least in this country.

When I was a kid, I recall the majority of Halloweens growing up as being cold, dark and rainy. Think how disappointing it is to a kid being told that you cannot go trick-or-treating because it's freezing cold outside or raining cats and witches.  Fun fact: the advanced forecast for Halloween 2019 in Chicago is Snow!

And as Susan over at Looking for the Good pointed out that until recently, it was dark out every year because they did the time change before Halloween back then, which might be good for scares but not good for kids who are Trick-O-Treating.

Over the years, there have been petitions to move Halloween to the Last Saturday of the month.  So far none have gained the necessary traction.  People just don't like extreme change.   So maybe the compromise is to decouple Trick-O-Treating from Halloween proper.

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Recently, the Halloween & Costume Association, the group that petitioned to move Halloween to the last Saturday of Octoberproposed a new holiday: National Trick or Treat Day. It would fall on the last Saturday of October and thereby extend the official Halloween celebration, rather than moving it.

This takes the kid portion of Halloween and moves it to a more parent-friendly timeslot while letting Halloween purists still enjoy the true meaning of the holiday: hooking with people at costume parties!

It definitely will help alleviate some unintended consequences that parents of school-aged children face.  If Halloween falls outside of the weekend, parents still have to go to work the next day.  What if you have an important meeting the next day?  Do you really want to be out on the streets until 9 am begging for candy?   Or trying to get your kid out of bed for school the next day is even harder when they are sugar-drunk.  Teachers don't appreciate having to deal with students who are recovering from a chocolate bar bender either.

If you think about it, many communities already do this unofficially.  They will have special Trunk-or-Treat events, Family-friendly parades or weekend block parties to substitute for going out on Halloween night.  Look, the traditions we associate with Halloween didn't arrive all at once or from day one.  They evolved over time.  There is no reason we cannot continue to fine-tune Halloween and make it more modern while still honoring the traditional aspects.   

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