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No Costume, No Candy?

Halloween candy

Want the candy? Do the work.

Young kids don’t always enjoy Halloween the way we think they should. Some get frightened by the scary costumes while others are uncomfortable approaching the front door of an unfamiliar house.  Still others, like Redbook editor Ellen Seidman’s 7-year-old son, Max, find the loud noises and big crowds associated with the holiday to be just too much.

Max, who suffered a brain-damaging stroke at birth, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of four. Up until that time, his mother had tried in vain to help her son enjoy what for many kids is the happiest night of the year.  But after several tear-filled Halloweens, she gave up.  Max wasn’t enjoying it and she saw no reason to continue trying to make it happen.   She and Max started a new tradition, spending a quiet evening at home while dad and sister went trick or treating.

But last year was different.  Max decided he did want to go out and join in the festivities but he didn’t want to wear a costume while he did it.  In a show of solidarity, his sister also opted to trick or treat sans costume.  By Weidman’s account, the night was a success.  In t-shirts and sweatpants, they had a wonderful family Halloween experience.

That should be the happy ending to the story, but it isn’t.  Because apparently, costumes are not optional on Halloween.

After writing in Redbook about her family’s Halloween experience, Weidman got a dressing down from a reader who believes that if a kid won’t wear a costume, then that kid should not be allowed to trick or treat.

I read the piece … you are the adult — let the kids know that if they won’t dress up, they won’t get candy. If they’re too young to understand, just skip going out at all. Just take a poll and see how many people enjoy handing out candy to kids that aren’t in costume. It’s people like you that ruin the spirit of that day. I just hope that folks don’t read your article and all decide to take the easy way out. Best regards!

Wow.  And here I thought Halloween was for children.  I didn’t realize that the point of the holiday was to give a thrill to the adults who hand out candy.

She suggests taking a poll, so let’s.  Do you enjoy handing out candy only to children in costume on Halloween? If a child (not a teenager) appears at your door without a costume, would you get annoyed and assume he’s just taking the easy way out?

Image: inspector_81/Flickr

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