Last night, while accompanying my little tiger and medium sized cowgirl and full grown sized husband for a short trick-or-treat I decided there is one thing I do like about Halloween--the excuse it provides to knock on your neighbor's door and actually meet them.
Biscuit's primary interest on Halloween is giving OUT candy. She's made it her personal responsibility and she takes it seriously. But she was willing to close up shop for a few minutes to go "see Michelle" (our across the street neighbor) and "a few more houses." We hit about 10 houses total. I was rather disappointed to see that almost all the houses in sight of our house and at least 50% of the houses in our immediate neighborhood were dark. I know several neighbors attend church events and "trunk or treat" events which are billed as "safe" and "community oriented" but, really, what is safer and more community oriented then creating community in your community? (ok, if all your neighbors are crack houses, you can skip my manifesto. If you only have one or two crazy/druggie neighbors just skip those houses).
So, I like the concept of National Night Out (it's a thing--apparently it was in August) but it's a bit contrived. Last night I realized our nation has a national night out. It's called Halloween and, as citizens, we are already obligated to buy ridiculous amounts of sugar and hand it out to strangers. Why not use the opportunity to meet those strangers from down the street?
So, here's my Halloween Manifesto.
- All children (12 and under) shall be encouraged to dress up in whatever costume they can cobble together (or buy) and shall be obligated to trick-or-treat IN THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOOD from 7-8 pm on Halloween.
- All parents of children (12 and under) shall be obligated to tag along with their embarrassed children from 7-8 pm
- All parents shall be required to accompany said children to the door and attempt a casual introduction or small talk with the candy distributor*
- All community members lacking children in the 0-12 age range shall be obligated to purchase candy (or toothbrushes or raisins) and keep their porch light lit from 7-8 pm.
- Community members shall offer candy to each trick or treater and shall try to engage in small talk** with the trick or treater or his or her parent.
That's it. Let's all participate and get to know our neighbors! Are you in for next year? Will you let my neighbors know?
* Suggested talking points for parents:
- Hi, we live over there in the blue house. I'm Melissa by the way (handshake).
- Hi, so nice to finally meet you, I always admire your roses when I walk by.
- Hi, those pumpkins are amazing--did you win a carving contest?
** Suggested talking points for candy distributors
- Hi, Happy Halloween, what are you dressed as?
- Hi, so nice to see some neighbors out this evening--do you live nearby?
- Hi, your children are so adorable/polite/hilarious/spirited--how old are they?
*** The stars don't connect to anything above but just a note that Swistle is right. Glow bracelets are the best for Halloween!