Dear Crabby, How Can I Make Halloween Less Scary?

Dear Crabby,

I don’t mean to a spoilsport, but I’m a little nervous about letting my kids go out trick-or-treating this year. Lately there are so many stories on the news about missing children and don’t even get me started on the costume options—especially for young girls. Do you think I’m overreacting?

Thanks! Nervous Nelly

Dear Nervous Nelly,

I may be an old curmudgeon, but I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say Halloween ain’t what it used to be. Back in my day most kids just dressed up in tattered rags or their dad’s old clothes, dirtied their faces, and hit the neighborhood looking for candy. And we couldn’t just get away with saying, ‘Trick-or-Treat.’ Oh no, most people made you recite something. We had to work hard for each piece of candy we put in our pillowcase. By the time I had kids, an adorable outfit and a smile was pretty much all it took to get the goods. Although we did have that phase where we had to comb through the kid’s candy to make sure no one put any sharp objects in there. I was particularly vigilant about the Reese’s peanut butter cups. Of course I told my kids I was only concerned about their safety. It was a couple of years before they realized my true motive and I never saw a peanut butter cup again. DearCrabby

And I hear what you’re saying about costume options. It seems like nearly every costume for a young girl has the word ‘sexy’ in front of it. Really? I thought Halloween was all about looking age appropriate while having fun dressing up. And let’s face it, in Michigan there’s always a greater than 50-percent chance there could be snow on Halloween, so if a ‘sexy’ nurse wants candy with a side of pneumonia, a skimpy outfit would definitely get the job done. Then there are the costumes that are so gory; I have nightmares just looking at them! Whatever happened to wanting to be a superhero? I’d even take a good old-fashion villain over a zombie. As for actually taking your kids door-to-door, I also understand your concern. Some neighborhoods are more crowded than others and the rush to get to the houses with the good candy can stress everyone out and result in at least one meltdown. So, if you’d like to skip all that nonsense, look to see what your city or local churches are offering; most have some activity happening the week before Halloween that allows your child to trick-or-treat in a safe, controlled environment. Check out the Downtown Rochester Farmers’ Market, Saturday, October 25, where kids can trick-or-treat from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. or the Trunk or Treat at Rochester Church of Christ. And my research department (aka Mrs. Crabby and my daughter) tells me some site called Oakland County Moms has a lot of info on this topic.

So, I hope my suggestions help make your Halloween less scary this year. And no matter what you end up doing, stay safe and have fun. I’ll be home hoarding all the Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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About Dear Crabby

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  1. Chris Brooks says

    Hi Crabby!
    Just want to tell you how much I am enjoying your column. Sounds like we grew up in the same golden age. I loved being a kid in the 50’s and a teen in the 60’s. Not many kids had weight problems either; because we danced our rears off on Friday and Saturday nights at the high schools or the Light Guard Armory; and it didn’t cost much either. I didn’t know anyone who did drugs; and if people were having sex, that was a guarded secret too. Seemed like the word “reputation” meant a lot to us. Then again, we feared authority. So, now, us geezers can hold our heads up high, because we made it!

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