among the party poopers
Date: October 09, 2012 12:37PM
I'm in a very mormon Utah neighborhood. Here, trunk or treat has pretty much completely replaced traditional trick-or-treating. I HATE trunk or treat. For one thing, you have to be in church to hear the announcement of when to get down to the church for the very festive plodding around in a circle in a cold parking lot (it's not always on Halloween). Secondly, I don't want to feel like I'm crashing a mormon party if my kids want to celebrate Halloween in their community....I don't want it on church property or sponsored by "the church." Thirdly, although my kids love candy, they have always thought trunk or treat was boring. "Why did we have to go walk in that dumb circle to get our candy?"
When I was a kid, here in very Mormon Utah, Halloween was a lot of fun. Everyone handed out treats from their homes, the homes were often very elaborately decorated, and it was a really fun night...it wasn't really just about collecting as much candy as you possibly could....it was a fun game, a treasure hunt around the community of sorts. Even at church, when primary used to be during the week rather than tacked onto sunday meetings as it is now, we were allowed to wear our costumes into the church and primary for that week wasn't sitting still in your Sunday best listening to people drone on and on about how we need to try to be perfect. Instead, we sang spooky songs that had nothing to do with church, had a parade around the church in our costumes, and had games and treats. It was the best primary of the year!!
If trunk or treat hadn't infested the mindset here, Halloween would still be lots of fun and celebrated full on.....mormons don't seem to have a problem with the concept of celebrating Halloween. It's just that the parents think it's super convenient and you can get it over with and go back to your TV if you cram all the candy collecting into one lame circle in the parking lot. I've even heard parents extolling the virtues of trunk or treat because "you can get tons of candy in a very short time." I thought the idea wasn't just gorging yourself into a sugar coma....I thought it was supposed to be about making childhood memories and, heaven forbid, investing an entire night once a year to do something fun and memorable with your kids? But I'm outvoted where I live. People do trunk or treat and then turn off their porch lights because "everyone who wanted to has already been down to the ward house for their candy." :( Some years my kids don't even want to get a costume.....I still try to have a celebration for them, but if they don't want to walk around a boring parking lot in their costume and no one in our community is participating in trick or treat, they don't bother picking out a costume. Sad since the costumes, I think, had a big part in the richness of my own childhood memories. Halloween is different, and not in a good way, for my kids thanks to trunk or treat being the default choice thanks to lazy and/or "too-busy" parents.