Okay, just to be clear, I’m not bragging for myself when I say that our neighbourhood has to be one of the best in the world for celebrating Halloween, because I have little or nothing to do with it. On the other hand, as a member of that community in lots of other capacities, I confess to being more than a little bit proud.
I don’t know how many neighbourhoods have an outdoor street party each year with live music and dancing and family costumes. I don’t know how many take over an empty lot and turn it into a top notch haunted house to raise money for the local hospital. I don’t know how many still have some homemade goodies to be found (including at my place) or where the parents generally know each other well enough to get away with that. I don’t know how many have regular stops where parents can get a little nip of the good stuff if they bring their own cups.
What I’m saying is that Halloween (and other holidays too) are way better when they’re community events rather than just soulless commercial events. I know there’s a big push to send kids to do “safe” trick-or-treating in malls and whatnot, and I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that. I realize that door to door trick-or-treating isn’t much more community oriented than a mall walk in many places. They both basically involve kids in mass produced costumes getting mass produced candy from people they don’t really know.
There are other options though. It’s possible to do things together as a neighbourhood, to make Halloween more fun, more friendly, and more community centred. It doesn’t have to be big. Maybe a few next door neighbours get together and jointly decorate their houses (some neighbours down the street made a great Stranger Things set this year). Maybe a bunch of families make a scavenger hunt that sends kids to collect clues from each house to get a prize (which some friends of mine in a small town did a few years back). Maybe some parents in costume go around and hand out prizes to kids with great creative costumes. Maybe a whole school class gets together and trick-or-treats as a huge group.
You get the idea. It would make our holidays a whole lot more fun if we would take the time and the energy to make them personal and neighbourly again, rather than just going through the motions that don’t really serve anybody but the candy companies. There are options. Try some out. Give your neighbourhood something to boast about too.