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How old is too old for trick-or-treating?

By Brennan Martinez and Victor Mei

Halloween is the one day of the year when anyone can become anything without being judged. While Halloween started as a Celtic celebration, it has become one of the most dominant holidays in the Western and Latin world.

But is trick-or-treating a tradition that all ages should participate in?

While there are adult sized costumes, Halloween is most popular with a younger audience. But even so, as kids grow older, the holiday has less of an impact them. Should teenagers still be going out and relishing in the Halloween spirit, or is that better left to our younger generation?

The rates of trick-or-treating have been steadily declining in teenager age groups due to the fact that, as teens get older, they tend to find an activity or hobby that outweighs that of trick or treating in terms of interest and enjoyment. There’s also the inner mental complex that trick-or-treating at an older age in comparison to a younger generation makes you seem less mature than one would like to think they are. Another variable to this is that as you get older, you are just inherently more busy with life due to your advancement in courses and the pressures of finding your way in life high-school brings you.

As a result of this, many teens might find themselves wanting to commit this time to studying or celebrating the holiday at a party rather than going out dressed in a flashy costume.

Trick-or-treating, however, does allows for social interaction with people you may never have otherwise met. There is no other time of year where you can simply walk up to a neighbor’s home and introduce yourself without any awkward tension. It is also a tool to use to explore your neighborhood and to see neighbors you normally do not greet often.

Bringing a younger sibling and trick-or-treating with them is a great way to spend quality bonding time that would otherwise be used to stay home. Halloween isn’t only a time for scares and candy but also a time of social interaction with people you never thought you might associate your time with.

While it can be argued trick-or-treating provides a sort of outlet to relax and let yourself out of your comfort zone, trick or treating can also be a stressful situation for some teenagers and even children. Having to find the right costume, going up to strangers’ houses in the dark and the fact that anyone could snatch you up makes trick or treating an even less attractive activity to partake in.

Trick-or-treating is also a massive waste of time. You could be running out with friends in costumes, grabbing free candy from creepy people in houses…or, could be doing something productive such as investing time in your studies, doing chores around the house, or caring for your grandparents. There are so many better things you could be doing with your time that you might as well just buy a discounted bag of candy at Walgreens and study at home.          

As a child, trick-or-treating is quite common. However, the magic often wears away when someone grows older. Trick or treating is more of a personal preference when one gets older and it becomes a decision whether or not it is worth it. Productivity during Halloween may not be present, but having a great time with friends and neighbors one time of year will not hurt too much.

So, should teenagers  trick-or-treat or not?  This is ultimately subjective to the person in question. If one feels they are at the age to where they’re too old to be out trick-or-treating, then so be it. If it doesn’t bother them in the slightest and they are just fine with trick-or-treating, then go for it. However, considering the amount of time a busy teenager has in their day, it would be an unnecessary decision to run around in the night with a costume one night of the year.

Halloween is a holiday that is based around kids and that should be the audience that should be going instead of teenagers.

AHS Journalism
The Oak Leaf, a product of the journalism class, is a vehicle of student expression and a public forum for the Alameda High School community.