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?