The Halloween Grinch.

While doing my usual blog-rounds this week, I've once again found myself completely enthralled listening to spooky stories and special events. We don't celebrate Halloween in Australia, so it's always been a bit of a fascination of mine. I'm living vicariously through your blog entries on the subject, so keep 'em coming!

As much as I love the idea of having a costume party and indulging in horror movies and random thrills, it all seems so bizarre. Perhaps one day I'll throw my own Halloween party, and dress up in a terribly skanky costume... or not. We shall see.

Are you wondering why I've deemed myself the Halloween Grinch? Well, it all comes back to the "We don't celebrate that holiday here" theme, and it revolves about trick-or-treating. Seeing all of the overseas kidlets (and their parents!) dressed up in costumes and heading out for an afternoon of neighbourhood-walking fun is adorable. Having it happen here though? Not so cute.

(Let me just say before I begin, that I am not stereotyping all Australians as mean and nasty Halloween-haters. I'm just speaking for myself. And if I were living in America, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'd be sitting at my door with a bucket full of sugary goodness ready to give out.)

In my suburb, we've gradually started seeing more and more kids attempt to trick-or-treat. I say attempted, because they honestly have made no effort to look the part. Most have simply heard about the ritual of door knocking for free lollies, and have decided to try it themselves. Opening up the front door to see kids I don't know standing in school uniforms and asking for food? It annoys me.

Speaking of opening the door - my next gripe is the doorbell. Having the doorbell rang once is fair enough. Heck, that's what it's there for. But having it rang continuously for five minutes straight? Not on. Some kids have gone as far as walking in our garden to look through the front windows of the house, or opening up the screen door to look inside. Once again, totally uncalled for.

I suppose in all fairness, if parents are supervising the trick-or-treating, it isn't so bad. Most parents here probably realise that not everyone bothers with Halloween, and will expect some people to be uninterested in the whole thing. These are the parents that trail around with their kids, watching them go from house to house. The scary part is when kids are wandering around the streets completely unsupervised. There is no way in the world I would ever let a small child (we're talking as little as five!) go door-knocking without me present. But you'd be surprised, it happens. And it is very worrying.

Also, kids? We don't call it candy. We've never called it candy. It's chocolates or lollies, alright? And if I had chocolates or lollies at this particular time of the month, I'd be feeding them to myself and not to you. No offence. I'm just hormonal.

So there you have it; my reasons for being wary of trick-or-treaters. I am a Grinch. Honestly though, because it's not a cultural thing to do here, it worries me. There are lots of sick and twisted people around who prey on young kids, and having unsupervised children knocking on stranger's doors is ridiculously dangerous.

I swear I'm not an evil Halloween hater though; I'll no doubt scare the pants off myself watching some sort of spooky movie just to get in the spirit of things. And to further prove my point, let's indulge in a little movie montage; Happy Halloween!


26 Comments • Labels:  

26 comments:

kirby said...

A. I refuse to watch that montage. It will only scare me.

And B. As previously mentioned, some teen-momma had her kids out thismorning at 9am, dressed as fairies with one of those fabric shopping bag replacements strapped on the back of her pram for her goodies. Fair enough they try and scab you out of stuff in the arvo, but at 9am? What the hell?
I'm with you on the no-go Halloween thing. I hate kids that try and weasle stuff out of you. If they put the effort in I'd probably smile, apologise and suggest they go to the dentist in about three weeks. When they're kids that make no effort, and are just trying to con lollies off of you. Prepare for me to slam my door in your face.

Mick said...

I took the kids trick-or-treating for the first time ever tonight. They were all decked out. (pictures to come!). It was a bit of fun for them. We did get one door slam and some people who wouldn't open the door, but one girl actually came out and volunteered to give treats and we even got money for one old bloke.

Was fun :)

Kathy said...

I am a grinch too - hate the danger these kids are putting themselves in - strange food, strangers.......... and it is NOT an Aussie custom. Kids don't start celebrating Thanksgiving or Chinese new Year so why do they jump on this > free lollies.
We had some kids come and i told them we are not American so we don't celebrate. good night. They didn't like that BUT I didn't like them !

Katie said...

I'm not watching that movie either - I'm a wuss when it comes to horror! But I agree with everything you said. :)

nancypearlwannabe said...

Hee! Trick or treating is tonight in my neighborhood. I can't wait to see all the little ghosties and baseball players and princesses. Happy Halloween! Hope it was spooktacular. :)

Heather (in Scotland) said...

If you're still in Britain this time next year you can see how Hallowe'en is done here.

And in Scotland it's not trick or treating but guising, where the children not only dress up but have to do a party piece e.g. tell a joke.

Amber said...

I totally am an Evil Halloween Hater, and am just about to write a post on the subject! I hate it for all the reasons you've given - here, it's become more and more common for older kids to just turn up at your door with no costume and their hands out expecting money (note: not candy - money). It all just seems pretty weird to me. For one, it's not safe to allow your children to go and knock on stranger's doors unsupervised, and for two, well, I think there's something a bit off about telling kids to go out and beg strangers for stuff, and play some trick on them if they don't cough up. Yes, total Evil Halloween Hater here, I'm afraid :)

RA said...

Halloween is alive and kicking here, but JG and I decided not to hand out candy. There are just too many non-kid trick or treaters out there and it is so annoying. This is not a holiday (and I use that term loosely) for parents, infants, or teens. And then, the kids are kind of demanding. If you hand them Smarties, they peer into your basket and go, "Ooh, I want a Twix!" Ugh.

JG teaches high school (14-18 year olds) and the kids get a freaking HALF DAY today. So ridiculous.

Katie said...

I can totally understand getting annoyed at a constant stream of trick-or-treaters ringing your doorbell when you're not handing out candy (or chocolates or lollys!). Here, if your porch light is on, it means that you are giving out candy; if it's off, it means, don't touch that doorbell! I also get annoyed at the teenage trick-or-treaters who are about a foot taller than me and barely make an effort to dress up. And I agree...it's totally irresponsible to let wee little ones go out on their own. Hope you have a happy Halloween!

Laurel said...

Don't worry, I'm a Halloween grinch right here in America... I've been totally over Halloween since college, even though most of my friends still dress up and enjoy! What can I say... bah humbug!

Jamie said...

The doorbell gets so annoying, especially the kids who think its awesome to ring your doorbell at 10PM still wanting candy!

Noelle said...

The worst thing for you not having Halloween is you not having candy corn. When I was in Australia during Halloween '01, my sister and her Uni friends all got into a fight over what order the colors go in. Some were chanting "White, Orange, Yellow!" and some "White, Yellow, Orange!" Either way, it was sad that we couldn't find any to settle the argument.

Jennie said...

Kids walking around with no parents? Not good! Regardless of where you are. And, trust me, there are plenty of annoying little kids who knock on the door here in their REGULAR CLOTHES and demand candy. Some with no smiles. I do blame the parents but it causes those who are totally used to the tradition to be annoyed as well.

Also, the older I get, the more I wish I could just keep the candy for myself, as well.

Kristie said...

I cannot watch scary movies! Even the previews freak me out.

And, a 5 year old walking around without a parent?! Absurd!

janet said...

begging kidlets SHOULD have costumes, you're right. I hope I don't encounter too many of those tonight! If so, I'll shut off the lights and eat all the damn candy myself!

cady said...

what kind of parents would let their young kids go trick-or-treating by themselves?? i've always liked halloween, but we've hardly had any kids come by in the last couple of years.

Leslie said...

Okay, here goes...
1) In my neighborhood, NO child is unattended. Parents politely wait at the bottom of the steps or in the driveway if it's nearby.
2) No one rings the doorbell either. We have upwards of 80 trick-or-treaters and we are at the ready on the porch for them.
3) All children are very polite and really put a lot of effort into their costumes. Very rarely do we get a freeloader that doesn't dress up.
4) Over here, if you don't want trick-or-treaters, turn out all outside lights and everyone respects that you aren't passing out CANDY that night.
(Just joking about "candy" being in all caps! I'm thinking we mainly say candy over here because it covers a broader range of treats.)
I'm with you about being grinchy though. I refused to go Trick-or-Treating as a child. I felt like I was some poor orphan and had to beg for food. It seemed rather silly to go around to peoples houses for candy when I could get all the candy I wanted at home anytime. I get tired of it some years and don't pass out any candy.

Stephanie said...

I totally sound like an ass here, but I did not realize that Halloween was only an American Holiday. I am actually ba hum bugging too but only because I am 5 hours away from my own home and they don't trick or treat at hotels. My house is very all fall though.

Erin said...

All right all you Halloween haters....I'll give you a reason to celebrate: It's my birthday today! :) Screw the kids...give ME the candy!

nancypearlwannabe said...

Hmm. I just had some RUDE trick or treaters. I was all excited for them and they were rude. Whatevs, Halloween.

kerrianne said...

I love that you answered my question that I just emailed you in your post. I still maintain you are no true Grinch. You are far too much fun.

Next Halloween you should come here and spend it with Iggy Chris and I, just so I can have an excuse to dress Iggy in multiple costumes to entertain you. What else are little dogs for? I mean, beyond snuggling and napping, of course. ; )

Sephyroth said...

Stalking your house to see if anyone is there? That's definitely going too far. Even here in the States, if someone isn't taking part in it, they'd usually turn the lights off or put a sign in the door saying not to approach them for trick or treat.

Of course, the fact that y'all are on Daylight Saving now might throw off the idea of the porch light... ;)

Sephyroth

Britt said...

I didn't know that there is not Halloween in Australia. So.... do you guys have any super fun holidays that I'm missing out on by living in America?

Dugi said...

For goodness sakes, let's not try to be American some other way too. Thank Goodness we don't have a Halloween craze here in Aus.
I'm happy to dress up and go to a party sometime. But I'm not ready for the shopping centres being decorated in Halloween, trick or treating and utter stupidity.
It makes me nervous about sending kids out door to door asking for lollies...and shouldn't there be a rule against unwrapped lollies?

heidikins said...

I always went trick-or-treating without my parents. Granted, I lived in a teeny neighborhood with piles of old people that I always referred to as "Grandma and Grandpa" even though they had absolutely no relation to me... as a matter of fact, I still call these people Grandma and Grandpa. :o)

xox

Lindsey said...

WAIT NEVERMIND! LOL This answers my question. I'm so dumb!





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