The Pros – Jaclyn Stief

As a child, trick-or-treating was what made Halloween “Halloween” – to have a bag or pillowcase of candy, chips and chocolate bars at the end of the night. My mom would try to limit me two or three treats a day, yet when she was not looking, I would always have a couple more.

Trick-or-treating is a Halloween night tradition; it is something that our great grandparents, grandparents, and parents have done without question or fear. So why are parents opting for removing the fun of Halloween by not allowing their kids to go out?

The real issue is the lack of parental support; many parents no longer want to take their kids out. More and more houses are leaving bowls outside with the note “take one” or turning the lights out before the night even begins.

What happened to the traditions we all had as kids? I want the current and future generations to experience the fun memories I had, ones that you cannot have by replacing trick-or-treating with supposed safer or quicker activities.

Trick-or-treating allows families to celebrate, create memories and bring local communities together to provide a night of fun.

Halloween is a way for children to develop their sense of creativity by picking out or designing their costume. For kids, trick-or-treating is all about being who you want to be just for a night, whether a princess or a superhero; it helps them fulfill their dreams, even if it is just temporary.

Trick-or-treating is now moving from a more candy-filled night to one that supports charity.

More and more kids are asking for canned food items to give to their local food bank or a monetary donation for their favourite charity. This combines the fun of traditional trick-or-treating and the modern sense of giving. Halloween and trick-or-treating isn’t just for kids either; many older students participate for charity or relive their childhood by taking younger siblings.

When I think of Halloween, I reflect on my memories of trick-or-treating. It is a shame to think today’s society is throwing a key aspect of this spooky night aside. I hope that kids this year and in the years to come will continue to knock on neighbours’ doors and ask “trick-or-treat?”

The Cons – Laura Sedgwick

Halloween is a 3000-year-old tradition stemming from pagan religions. The colours, black and orange, symbolize the end of the harvest season. It was believed that on this night, the dead would come back to haunt the living. Villagers would leave tempting treats far away from their village in hopes to lure the evil spirits away from their homes. Meanwhile, fairies would enter the village and play tricks on its inhabitants. From these events arose the Western tradition of trick-or-treating.

From this illustration, it is clear how much the modern conception of Halloween differs from the traditional celebration. Halloween has gone from picking gourds and living myths to overloading on candy as a kid and dressing in slutty costumes once we’ve outgrown trick-or-treating. That’s progress for you.

It isn’t all bad. The important aspects of Halloween are still maintained: creativity, informative, imaginative and fun. Eliminate the unhealthy and potentially dangerous activity of trick-or-treating and Halloween can further progress for the better.

Although trick-or-treating was likely a positive experience for the majority of you, it is not without its risks. Children, who are high on sugar, are encouraged to run around the streets at night. This increases the risk of injury. Weak argument, I would drop, unless you have some sort of stat or finding that sugar infused children are getting hit by cars more on Halloween than any other night.

Trick-or-treating glorifies the notion of free candy. Granted, this may demonstrate generosity, but for many spoiled children, Halloween is just another night of the year that encourages their greed to an even greater degree. Do I even need to mention the health risks? There is an ongoing increase of childhood obesity and type two diabetes. Overloading on candy, thanks to trick-or-treating, certainly isn’t going to help this situation.

Furthermore, there are more beneficial activities that could take the place of trick-or-treating. These activities include Halloween fun fairs, haunted houses and telling tales of urban legends.

Yes, it’s true that these activities take place around Halloween anyway, but somehow trick-or-treating always seems to be the main event. Contrarily, for the reasons mentioned previously, a fun, safe (and not unhealthy) activity that educates us on the true meaning of Halloween ought to take the cake.

Regardless of whatever it is that you decide to do on this ghostly Halloween, stay safe and happy haunting.

Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.