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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Trick-or-Treat!

  • This week in our on-line poll we are asking readers how old is too old to go Trick-or-Treating?
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  • This week in our on-line poll we are asking readers how old is too old to go Trick-or-Treating?
    From my own personal experience, I would say when you reach your teenage years its time to hang up the mask.
    My last year of trick or treating was traumatic. I went door-to-door with my friends and at several houses the adults muttered, "Aren't you a little old to be trick or treating?"
    "I'm only 12," I responded truthfully, but the adults only saw a teenager who had succumbed to puberty earlier than most of my friends.
    That was the year I retired from the sweet endeavor. My mom seemed particularly relieved when I came home after that Halloween and announced my retirement.
    For the most part, the memories of Trick-or-Treating were happy memories. We rarely purchased costumes from the store. Originality was more important to me than a plastic costume that covered my eyes and face, smelled, left me freezing cold and was usually torn to shreds after a visit to the third house.
    The point is, no matter what Halloween costume I was wearing, I was still guaranteed a bag full of candy.
    At our house, as a general rule of thumb, dad confiscated all the Snickers bars. For the longest time I was naive enough to believe him when he said Snickers weren't good for little kids and they were only put in children's bags for moms and dads who didn't go Trick-or-Treating.
    I remember one particular Halloween where I had made a pretty good-sized haul, but was feeling rather sick and tired getting on the bus for school the following morning. As I was complaining about it to my friend her sister leaned over, belched loudly and emptied the contents of her Halloween haul all over my friend.
    All was well until I was about eight years old and the community decided that we would trick or treat for UNICEF. Instead of asking for candy, we were told to ask for money for the United Nations' Children's Fund. After all the money was turned in and counted we had a big party in the school gym.
    I realize this was a nice thing to do, but at that age the philanthropic part of my brain had not yet developed. The party fell far short of a grocery sack filled with candy.
    For this year, plans at my house are still up in the air. My almost 14-year-old son has not stated his intentions, and is on the cusp of being too big to Trick-or-Treat. Last year he followed his sister around making sure she was "safe." He came home with a bulging jacket full of candy. He played the part of big brother well, and was rewarded for his efforts.
    Page 2 of 2 - Eventually all good things must come to an end. And when the gravy train of free candy ends for my kids, I'll miss having their treat bags around to pilfer through like my parents did years ago to me.
    Which still begs the question: How old is too old to Trick-or-Treat?
    Log onto www.sleepyeyenews.com and cast YOUR vote.
    Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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