As the keeper of the candy on Halloween night, you get the best view of the annual crop of trick-or-treaters. You can see what’s trendy, like the year 32 Elsas came to your door. You can see which kids eagerly shout “trick or treat!” and which kids shyly cower next to their parents and just hope you throw some candy in their baskets. You see several first Halloweens with costumed babies carried in their parents’ arms and your ovaries nearly burst at their sight of their cuteness.
Then, inevitably, you see the kids who… aren’t as cute. They may be tall enough to tower over you. Their costumes are haphazardly thrown together or they may not be wearing a costume at all. They don’t have monogrammed Halloween bags from Pottery Barn, they have plastic sacks from the grocery down the street. When they say “trick or treat”, their husky voices reveal they’re a couple years past puberty. You may even glance behind them to see if they drove there.
In trick-or-treating years, they’re practically geriatric.
Many will greet these older trick-or-treaters grumpily and state the obvious—that they’re too old for trick-or-treating. They may shake their heads and begrudgingly give them a small piece of candy. They may just tell them to get off their porch as if they were selling vacuums.
This Halloween, I urge you not to do that.
Don’t act like you’re Anderson Cooper with a breaking news alert that they’re too old to trick-or-treat. They know they’re older. They know neighbors won’t pinch their cheeks and tell them they’re the sweetest little angels they’ve ever seen. For these kids, it’s likely the last Halloween they’ll spend going door to door asking for treats. They know their childhood of Halloweens spent trick or treating is fleeting and they’re trying to stretch it out one more year.
You may think they’re too old, but there’s no actual age limit. You remember the new parents with the sweet newborn that came to your door? Well, spoiler alert-- that kid didn’t even have teeth. Those parents are going to be the ones eating that candy you dropped in the bag. But you were too love struck with the cute baby they used as a diversion to piece together their diabolical plan.
At their age, there’s an unlimited amount of mischief they could be doing, especially on Halloween night. Would it more appropriate if they acted their age and threw toilet paper all over your house? Instead, they have the decency to knock and simply ask for a Kit-Kat.
The idea of what a teenager could possibly be doing on Snapchat is much more frightening than any Stephen King reboot. A teenager coming to your door on Halloween is refreshingly wholesome.
These kids really deserve the most credit, but instead get the most judgment. You’re probably just jealous it’s no longer acceptable for you to walk around the neighborhood asking for candy. (Or maybe for someone to pay your student loans while you’re asking for things). I know I personally would love to end a night shuffling through a heavy bag of candy.
These kids taking advantage of being on the tail end of the socially acceptable trick-or-treating age are really just being smart by getting that sugary goodness while they can.
If you catch yourself about to scold or roll your eyes at a teenager trick-or-treating this year, just stop. Don’t take on the role of Halloween Party Pooper enforcing arbitrary age limits on trick-or-treating fun.
Instead, dig deep into your candy bowl and give them the good stuff.