I’m with Mark Jaquith:
Halloween is my least favorite holiday (or rather, holiday eve). At its very best, it can be a celebration of the season and a diverse display of clever costumes. But more often than not, it’s about store-bought licensed character costumes, more candy than a person should ever eat in a year, and the worst of all: trick-or-treating.
Trick-or-treating is a vile concept. Children are taught to impatiently ring the doorbells of their neighbors (or complete strangers), demand candy from them, and threaten violence if they don’t comply. “Give me candy, or I will do something evil to you or your property” is what “trick or treat” means. It’s a protection racket! That kid wearing a New Jersey Mobster outfit isn’t in costume — he’s in uniform.
Okay, okay, so most children aren’t aware of the “trick” portion of their greeting — it is just habit. But what about the entitlement mentality that is being fostered? We’re too busy teaching kids about what color stripes Nemo has, for their costume, and not enough time teaching them to question our silly traditions. “Do you think people have to give you candy on Halloween?” is a much better question than “which Power Ranger do you want to be?” Why aren’t we teaching them to question why a stranger would feel obligated to give them candy one night out of the year?
Better yet, let’s stop calling it “Trick-or-treating” and just call it what it is — organized begging.