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Trick-or-Treating: Family Affair or Friends’ Night Out?

Trick-or-Treating: Family Affair or Friends’ Night Out?

I love almost everything about Halloween. I’m not into the gore or gruesomeness of zombies and ghouls, but I love trick-or-treating with the kids and I love handing out candy to the costumed kids who come to the door. I like everything about pumpkins, from picking them to carving them to eating them. And on top of it all, we have the BEST neighborhood for trick-or-treating. It is flat, well-lit and the houses are just close enough together to be convenient and yet still require the kids to work for their reward.

Penguin Halloween costume for childAnd yet every year we are faced with the same dilemma: Do we take our kids, our second grader in particular, to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood, or do we join friends in theirs? You see, the one downside to our neighborhood is that the nearest friends are a good four blocks away. Not too far, but far enough that we’d be forgoing our neighbors, our nice flat streets, our working lamp posts, in order to join friends. I’ve tried inviting others to join us, but apparently, I’m not the only one who wants to trick-or-treat in her own neighborhood. One year we joined friends in their neck of the woods, where the hilly streets required 18 steps to each front door, and so many girls tripped over their princess dresses, landing in a puddle of tears and strewn chocolate bars, that I vowed never again! The next year I invited that crew to make their way down the hill to the relative ease of our little oasis. I even offered a pizza dinner before we hit the road. I was thanked, but rebuffed. My sister-in-law (whose own kids are all grown) joined us for the evening and we made it a family affair, but I still felt like we were missing some of the social nature of the holiday.

I hate to over-think what should be a simple night, but I’ll admit here and now it’s these simple little things that stress me out. I’m trying to encourage my daughter to invite some friends to join her at our house for the evening – the kid-led initiatives seem to gain more momentum these days – but my daughter tends not to be the inviting type. One way or another, I’m sure we’ll end up with happy kids and more than enough candy to go around.

But just curious, am I alone in my friends vs. family Halloween debate? What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments area below.

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