Halloween for all

By DAWN BOOTH, Managing Editor of Connect Weekly


Halloween is to be celebrated – by all. We have been dressing up, knocking on doors, throwing costume parties and watching frightening flicks for decades on October 31.

Obviously, the most traditional form to celebrate Halloween is playing Trick-or-Treat.

Now today, we’ve seen a few revelations take place in festivities and they are kicking the traditional Trick-or-Treating methods to the curb. I’m talking about the revelations of the teal pumpkin and the no-age restrictions.

It seems the parents-of-today have been tagged as being too over-protective and cautious. (Yes, the parents-of-yesterday were too… to a degree, my parents did check my candy for holes and threw our anything that looked tampered with.)

But these new methods have been creating awareness and giving others (so-called helicopter parents… a terrible term, in my opinion) a platform to share their side of the story. With the Teal Pumpkin Project, they are able to highlight their side of the story on food issues. And, parents have reasons to be protective, as for some children, food is a life-threatening health issue.

The project was introduced last year by the FARE (Food Allergy & Research Education) to raise awareness of food allergies and to promote inclusion of all trick-or-treaters. Now, it’s a national campaign. The trick to the special treat is to paint a pumpkin with the colour teal and place it on your doorstep. This will indicate that you have non-food items available.

The other revelation is taking the pledge to give Halloween handouts to everyone with no age restrictions.
Now, this one is a little bit of a hot topic because it has people debating on whether they think teenagers are too old to give treats to.

I learned more after reading a blog on The Huffington Post titled: “What you need to know about the 6-foot Trick-or-Treaters”. It’s a story about a mother who watches her teenaged son head out for some good Halloween fun, and “was reminded that parents are not the only ones who regret the passing years.”

If we decide to hand out for Halloween, why should we be putting restrictions on our handouts? The teal pumpkin is a great indicator for ones with food allergies. And, will be read as well as the indicators as staying away from homes with their lights off: teal pumpkin, knock on – lights off, keep away.

But to make a judgement call on age? This leaves me muffled. Should we paint another pumpkin red or maroon to indicate we are welcoming Trick-or-Treaters of all ages? (I’m kidding… kind of). I just think if someone is willing to come knocking on my door to say Trick-or-Treat, then why should I refuse? How is it fair?

Now, if I reverse the situation… would you give candy to a baby? Yes, you will and parents do this all the time with their babies. They take them out for their first Halloween, knowing they are too young to eat the candy, but they go anyway. And who eats the candy? The parent does. I’m guilty. I’ve done it and will do it again.

There should be no difference. Because like the teenager, I was going out with my children to join in the fun with everyone else. So, I’m asking you to remove the restrictions. Together, let’s build the spirit of Halloween in our community by welcoming all to celebrate.

The Teal Project website has free resources available to help people make the most of this year. For free downloads, visit www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project

– Connect Weekly –