When I was a freshman in high school, my friends and I got dressed up to go trick-or-treating, just like we had every year since we were little. I decided to go as a goth cheerleader that year  . . . a sadly symbolic representation of my inner turmoil over whether I wanted to identify as preppy or alternative. Ah, youth. Anyway, as we made the rounds of the neighborhood, gleeful about the candy we were going to collect, we were met with many a neighbor who questioned our right to be trick-or-treating. “Aren’t you a little too old for this?” we heard, over and over. A few people even turned us away. It was disappointing – and embarrassing. Sure, we were past puberty . . . but we were still in a stage where trick-or-treating was good, clean fun, and we were excited to dress up and revel in this tradition. We weren’t quite grown-up . . . yet.

Because of this memory, I always have some empathy for the older kids who knock on my door on Halloween . . . even the ones who seem a little too-cool-for-school about the whole thing.  It might be one of the last rituals of their youth that they are still engaging in, and I don’t begrudge it.

What do you think about teenagers trick-or-treating? What’s the age cap on Halloween? And speaking of . . . will you be wearing a costume as well?

  P.S. Apparently I had a lot to say about Halloween on Babble this month. Here’s a little round-up:

chimp-mintsDid you know that most commercial chocolate companies are relying on child labor to source their cocoa?  The low-down is here . . . but in a nutshell a BBC documentary revealed that child labor and even child trafficking is rampant in chocolate production, and that chocolate from most mainstream candy companies can be traced back to farms MORE »   Best Coordinated Costumes For The Whole Family best group costumesEvery year, I try to convince my kids to go with a coordinated theme for Halloween, and every year they defy me by choosing random costumes that have nothing to do with each other. This year, I’ve finally rallied the troupes and we are all going as Star Wars characters. It can be a challenge MORE »   How to Avoid Being Racist this Halloween mexican-costumeIt seems like something that we shouldn’t even need to talk about, but every year it seems that racism rears it’s ugly head around Halloween. And it may not look like bullying or name-calling . . . it’s a more covert form of racism involving appropriation and stereotypes in costume choices. Since these kinds of MORE »   Halloween Hall of Shame: Too-Sexy Costumes for Little Girls sexy-costumes-childrenHalloween costumes for little girls—princesses, cheerleaders, etc.—are becoming increasingly sexy. From the poses of preteen models to the costume designs themselves, costume companies are taking it way too far.     8 Mom-Approved Ways to Survive Halloween candyKids love Halloween. I have mixed feelings about it, but we live in a Halloweeny culture, so I can’t just hide under a rock and pretend it’s not something that exists. So I’ve come up with a few ways to survive Halloween, as a parent, without losing my sanity. These tips help me. I hope they help you, too.   16 Awkward Adult Halloween Costumes plug-and-socket1You know what’s the best thing about being a grown-up on October 31? Not having to find a Halloween costume and dress up for this thing any longer. Here are some of the most awkward costumes on adults.