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October is finally here! A month full of pumpkins, hay, scarecrows and, of course, all the Halloween tropes: witches, bats, vampires and ghosts. Haunted houses are popping up left and right now, and people are beginning their shopping for costumes, candy and Halloween-themed parties.

I remember when I was a kid dressing up to look like a ghost (my mom actually did cut two holes in a bedsheet for me one year, and the sheet kept slipping, so I constantly had to hand my bag of candy to my sisters so I can adjust it), a devil pirate (I simply had horns, a small tail and an eyepatch) and a witch (simply had a hat and wore black).

My sisters and I didn’t just walk around the block, though. We also walked around all the neighboring blocks, drawing up a map and planning the specific route we would take. At the end of our trick-or-treating binge, we lugged our huge bags of candy all the way back home, switching the load from hand to hand (they were quite heavy) until happily setting them on the kitchen table once we got home. Then the sorting and trading commenced.

We each had different tastes for candy: for example, I couldn’t get enough of Skittles, my younger sister loved Kit-Kats and my older sister would eat the Dubble Bubble bubble gum that seemed to be at every house. So naturally, we traded candy as it didn’t make sense for any of us to keep candy we didn’t like when we knew the others liked it and had candy we liked.

As we got older, though, (and by older, I mean entered high school) we didn’t go trick or treating as often and preferred to stay home with our parents, helping hand out candy to all the princes, superheroes and pumpkins that came by our door.

Now, I understand as kids get older they still want to go trick-or-treating and have the fun they remember of Halloween, and I’ve seen online there’s a push to “let them be kids again.” I would argue, though, that teenagers want to go still because they don’t remember having fun on Halloween doing anything else. To them, Halloween is a day to dress up, go out with your friends or family and collect candy. They don’t understand the other fun side of Halloween, though it may be tamer and they’ll probably appreciate it much more as they get older: simply passing the candy to a little kid after they grin and say, “Trick or treat!”

There comes a time to pass the baton, and while it may be nice to stay kids just a while longer, the time must come.

Am I saying it’s inappropriate for high schoolers to go around trick or treating? By no means. I would just like to challenge them to try dressing up for Halloween and instead hand out the candy. It is just as rewarding.

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