halloween candy venn diagram

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I was 30 the last time I went trick-or-treating by myself. Seriously.

I’m talking ring the doorbell, ask for candy, not escorting children, old fashioned trick-or-treating. I did that when I was 30. It was a bit for my morning radio program. My co-host and I went and rang bells to see if people would give us candy – and guess what?

They did.

The early years are awesome. My sons are in utter amazement that people give them candy for ringing their bell. They don’t even like candy, but they’ll go door-to-door-to-door to try and fill their bucket as much as possible.

The high school years are an odd one. The effort in costuming seems to decline in direct proportion with the desire to fill numerous pillow cases with candy.

My dad used to have fun with the 17yr old in a black hoodie and plastic wolf mask. He’d make them perform tricks to get that treat. He knew they were running door to door and their time was valuable, so he’d delay them. It was a subtle way to say “kid, you’re too old for this game, save it for the little ones.” So he’d make them sing, dance, tell a joke, or do a trick in order to get that tiny little candy bar.

They’d eventually oblige and, miraculously, our house escaped getting egged.

One Connecticut woman has no problem with older teens that try and wear costume, but the ones who just put on a lame mask end up with ramen, shampoo samples, or teabags in their bag. Another suggests old kids trick or treating is a lot better than many alternatives.

The other end of the spectrum are the parents who trudge their 8 month old around the neighborhood dressed like a jalapeno, sausage, or whatever.

Cmon, we all know the candy is for you and not the kid. Why not just stay home and enjoy the visitors?

So let’s talk: When do you draw the line at trick or treating? What do you do when the kids are too old?

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