As you all probably know by now, Halloween is my very favorite holiday. My first year at seminary, I made cards and gave out candy to all the ladies in my hall and I was really looking forward to the Halloween party in one of the other dorms. One day, I said as much to my friend Becca, and asked what she was dressing up as. She said she wasn’t.
What??? I got very indignant and was about to accuse her of having no sense of fun or whimsy or creativity, but then she told me a story.
When she was six years old, Becca was diagnosed with diabetes. All of her memories of Halloween as a kid involve seeing everyone else having a great time while she wasn’t allowed to participate and if she did, all her candy was taken away.
There’s nothing inherently mean-spirited about Halloween, but it breaks my heart to think of all the little kids who grew up to resent my favorite holiday because grown-ups couldn’t be bothered to find ways to include them.
Whenever I pass out Halloween candy, I always participate in The Teal Pumpkin Project, which means that parents know I’m giving out non-food options that are safe for tiny diabetics or little kids with food allergies. I fill my plastic cauldron with glow sticks and mini Play-doh cups (as well as Oreo packs and fruit snacks).
The way that we celebrate Halloween will have to be modified a bit this year, but I love that for one night a year, neighbors open their door to anyone who knocks and treats are shared without condition. It’s what I wish communities looked like all year long.
This year, I’m hoping that masks can be incorporated into Halloween costumes. I’m not sure how many families will be out trick or treating next week, but I think my plan is to put my goodies into individual bags and set them out in between my luminary bags on my front lawn (if it’s not raining) rather than hand them out from up close.
However you plan to spend this October 31, whether it’s dancing under the full moon, staying in to watch a vampire movie, catapulting chocolate at passers-by from your porch, carving a pumpkin, eating candy corn (blech), or trying to convince your pet to wear a costume, I hope that your Halloween has more treats than tricks.