Within a few short days children will be dressed up in miscellaneous costumes and turned loose on neighborhoods throughout the United States to beg total strangers for candy. Where is the logic in this practice, and what is it teaching our kids?
Many years ago Halloween actually carried significance but thanks to commercialism has been reduced to yet another excuse to spend, spend, spend. We buy decorations for our home, our yard, our cars and our kids. We spend millions every year on plastic headstones and fake blood, not including all of the candy we buy. We dress up our kids and take them around in a mad dash to collect the most candy from complete strangers while trying to protect them from all of the child molesters and psychopaths out having a field day with all of the readily-available victims and the socially-acceptable ability to travel masked upon this day. Think about it: This is the one day a year where their victims readily come to their door – all they have to do is turn on a light and buy some candy to poison!
We know this so we collectively spend hours inspecting all of this commercially-produced, individually wrapped junk food for abnormalities before asking the local hospital to waste precious time and resources scanning it to make sure there are no razor blades or needles inside! Once this ritual is completed then the ritual of eating begins!
Kids eat piece after piece of almost pure sugar, getting hyper while they try their best to rot every single tooth from their head, and as parents we let them – nay we even encourage them to binge upon this unhealthy garbage, bragging because our kid got more than the rest of the neighborhood!
Who benefits from this annual practice? The children don’t. Not only are they exposed to dangers they normally wouldn’t encounter (don’t we tell them to never take candy from strangers?) they are given an extremely unhealthy amount of calories, sugar and other toxic ingredients and told to munch away! After this their health suffers because they don’t want to eat healthy food, and their systems are out of whack as a result of ingesting all of that garbage! Their body suffers, their teeth suffer and in some cases their life may be endangered if something poisonous gets past our watchful eye!
The parents don’t benefit either. We have to spend valuable money to decorate our homes, taking valuable time away from doing other things to not only put this stuff up, but take it down and store it when the holiday is over. Then we have to spend money to store the junk and move it should we decide to relocate. We have to spend ever-increasing amounts of money to purchase costumes that will be worn once and discarded as our children outgrow them or, more typically, decide they want a different look for the next year. We have to spend a fortune to purchase candy and delegate someone to stay at our homes to give it out while we take our children around to every house in the area to fill up bag upon bag with sugary sweet garbage that we not only have to sort but drag to the hospital to get x-rayed.
The manufacturers benefit however. They are allowed to produce massive amounts of “scary” candies and decorations that will be gobbled up by the hungry populace – they are laughing all the way to the bank along with the stores who profit from our stupidity in grabbing every type of candy and decoration that we can afford. The banks profit as a result of extra interest they can charge on the money we charge to our credit cards, and the gas stations profit because of the extra gasoline we use. Dentists profit from the extra cavities our children get from eating all of that sugar, and doctors from all of the extra injuries that invariably result on Halloween night. Policemen get extra hours on their paycheck, and stores get extra visitors as parents come in to allow their children to collect more candy. Non-celebrants even profit by being able to purchase any desired candy left over from the holiday at rock-bottom clearance prices!
What is this teaching our kids? Is it teaching them to have good moral values, or is it teaching them that it is acceptable to waste money on a stupid, pointless dangerous waste of time? Is it teaching them the benefit of healthy food, or that it is okay to gorge upon unhealthy garbage? Is it teaching them to be cautious of strangers, or to accept what they offer?
I for one refuse to waste my money and risk my daughter on such a ridiculous holiday. I refuse to let the banks and merchants dictate my lifestyle and will instead spend a quiet evening home alone with my daughter instead of spending those hours out among the pedophiles! What do you plan to do?