This article was written for Daily Hive by Anya Zoledziowski. You can follow Anya on Twitter at @anyazoledz.
When I was a kid, I relished in the opportunity to go trick-or-treating. My mom, a self-proclaimed “health freak,” rarely afforded me the opportunity to swim in Reese’s Pieces and Starbursts. On Halloween however, no one and nothing could stop my quest for cavities.
As fruitful as my Halloween nights were, my trick-or-treating expeditions came to an end when I was 15. I was 15, trying to be 25 and I didn’t think that gathering candy door-to-door was compatible with sophisticated adulthood. So, I left the world of trick-or-treating behind and never looked back.
Last month, an Italian friend – who has never had the opportunity to trick-or-treat back home – looked me dead in the face and said, “we are going trick-or-treating, right?” Hardly capable of hiding my bewilderment, I choked out a “why not.”
At first, the thought of walking alongside young children in Kitsilano yelling “trick or treat!” made me quite uncomfortable. I mean, when you’re past your teens you can go out and party, so why would you dress up and go door-to-door with a bunch of kids in costumes?
But is the notion of going trick-or-treating really that absurd if you’re a little bit older?
I realize that, for all intents and purposes, I am an adult. I have a credit card, I pay rent, I am capable of buying my own candy, and I am legally allowed to do “adult” things, like go on a Halloween pub crawl or attend a licensed costume party. The justifications for going trick-or-treating at this age seem few and far between.
But trick-or-treating is more than just an excuse to binge eat your favourite sweets and throw away the healthy snacks – it’s a cultural practice. No, really!
After all, while we might be used to going over the top on October 31, people from other countries – where the holiday is less prevalent – have never experienced our idea of a Halloween holiday. So can we in good conscience deny these people the pleasures we enjoyed as a kid, just because they didn’t grow up in Canada?
If you ask me we shouldn’t be overthinking the cut-off age for trick-or-treating.
No matter how old you are, putting yourself out there and getting rewarded with a bounty of free candy is a guaranteed mood-booster. And in this day and age, perhaps we could all do with a little bit more of that.
My only suggestion is that if you do go out trick-or-treating as an adult that you practice safe spooking.
That means that you don’t dress up in a terrifying costume if you’re over the age of 12: a kid dressed in a Jason mask is cute, a 22-year-old wearing one is a walking nightmare.
And you should probably be prepared to explain to homeowners why you are knocking on their doors, and don’t get offended if you’re denied candy. Everyone has their comfort levels and you can’t force people to be okay with your choice to go trick-or-treating.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t hog all the candy. Make sure you go trick-or-treating a little later so that children have first dibs on the best candy. You’re old, you’ve had your fun when you were a kid and you can no doubt afford to go out and buy a large chocolate bar on November 1 if your haul was a little light.
So, whether you decide to stay home on Halloween, go to a party, or trick-or-treat, I hope you’re looking forward to the spooky holiday as much as I am. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be on your doorstep on October 31 yelling “trick-or-treat!”
The question is, will you give me candy?