LETTER: Halloween is less fun when kids visit shops instead of houses

Dear editor:

Halloween in Edgemont Village in the past: Little kids made scary-excited by the dark, by not being able to see all their neighbours’ familiar houses clearly, joining with other kids in their neighborhood, forming shrieking happy gangs. Dads, and sometimes moms standing on the road with a coffee, talking to neighbours they seldom got to talk to, watching their little ones go up to doors, shouting “trick-or-treat,” seeing their children’s joy as a neighbour tried to guess who they were, the moms telling them how pretty, or scary, or great their costume was and dropping candy into their outstretched pillow cases or bags. The kids saw how nice, and how friendly their neighbours were.

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There was usually a fireworks display when it was almost time for the little ones to go home. But they were allowed to go to the fireworks to have their little minds dazzled by the thrill of beautiful explosions of light in the night. Now the moms could join the dads with the kids, and there’d be more coffee, and pop, and snacks. And talking and laughing.

About five years ago, I noticed fewer and fewer children trick-or-treating, until now there are none.

Today I went to the village and had to walk on the road because of the crowds. I think there were at least 500 people, maybe more. There was no visiting with your neighbour, no trick-or-treating, no neighbour trying to guess who you were, no neighbour praising your costume. No scary night sky, no magical fireworks. Just hundreds of children, getting candy just for being there.

I asked one dad if he would be taking his little ones out trick-or-treating later, and he said no.

The children were happy, but they don’t know that Halloween can be a hundred times more fun. The parents must remember what Halloween was to them, but obviously they care more for the convenience of just going around the Edgemont Village stores than they do about giving their kids a real Halloween.

Mary Walkem
North Vancouver

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