Halloween always has spooky excitement in store for people of all ages. But for teenagers, they either feel awkward while participating in a festivity that doesn’t suit their age, or they have to create their own fun. Many neighbors criticize or refuse to give candy to anyone at their door who looks over twelve years old, and wild costume parties that older people have would be irresponsible behavior for a teenager. Because throwing eggs and wrapping toilet paper around someone’s house is considered immature as well, teenagers are left confused on Halloween. Since trick-or-treat-ing remains on adolescent’s minds when this holiday grows near, I strongly believe that it should be normal and expected for everyone under eighteen to trick-or-treat on Halloween night.
There was nothing that could ruin my holiday fun more than grumpy old adults commenting on my age at each house I stopped at. One old man especially caused me to feel unworthy when he almost didn’t drop the piece of candy he was holding into my bag and said, “Aren’t you going to save this for the kids?” At age thirteen, I was an extremely innocent, fun-loving girl. I was completely crushed after this event with my grouchy neighbor had occurred and went home solemnly. He had thoroughly convinced me that I had reached the age where no more Halloween candy would be received from trick-or-treating for every year to come. I would have to find other ways to celebrate my favorite Holiday. But what was more fun than dressing up as whatever you wanted and collecting candy on a special night?
When I was fourteen, I stayed home on my favorite night of the year and handed out candy to visitors. I was very sad that I didn’t get to go out and have fun like they did, but I was also happy for them. It sure did look like they were having great, traditional fun. A pang of jealousy hit me every time I dropped candy in a bag that was being held by a teenager who was older than me. I eventually asked myself why I hadn’t gone out, and decided that I was very silly not to. That old man who altered my perspective the Halloween before was just one opinion of many. He probably went through the same emotional wringer he put me through when he was my age. No one deserves to be deprived of candy-receiving fun when he/she is still a kid…or a teenager, which should be considered equivalent a “kid” on this holiday. I knew I didn’t have much time left to go and enjoy my favorite annual holiday like a young person should.
Two years later, I made my glorious comeback to trick-or-treat-ing. No matter what my neighbors might say, I’ll feel comfortable going out on Halloween night for the rest of my teenage years. After I turn eighteen, I’ll make sure I’ll have just as much fun as I would trick-or-treat-ing on my favorite holiday.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.