Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trunk-or-Treat: A Safe Alternative

We all grew up hearing the horror story of our cousin's best friend's, uncle's, ex-girlfriend's step brother who chomped into a juicy red apple only to have his tongue completely severed by the razor blade that rested just beneath the peel. And as we got older, we all heard about the Satan worshipers who killed heads of cattle and adopted black cats from animal shelters only to sacrifice them at the stroke of midnight on Halloween.

While most of us have come to realize that these horror stories are just that, the average parent (no matter how cool he believes himself to be) is a little nervous about sending his child out on Halloween. We spend 364 days out of the year telling our children not to talk to nor take candy from strangers and then we throw caution to the wind and actually encourage them to do just that on Halloween.

Don't get us wrong, we love Halloween! It's our business, our livelihood, and our bread and butter. But having said that, we also know that it can be a stressful time for parents. So, while we want you to dress for the occasion and embrace the most fun holiday of the year, we also want you to do it all safely. After all, how can we sell you a Halloween costume next year if you don't play it safe this year?

So, as you think about your options for trick-or-treating this year, we wanted to suggest a fun alternative that you may find a bit less hazardous. Many non-profit organizations (churches and schools) offer a safe and fun alternative to keep your kids safe and out of the street on Halloween.

Trunk-or-treating is becoming popular all over the country. It's safe and fun for the kids and requires a little less walking on the behalf of the designated trick-or-treating safety officer. The premise is simple: You go to a church or school parking lot, park your car, walk the long line of cars, stop at each one, fill your child's trick-or-treating pail with candy and move on to the next trunk-or-treat festivity.

While most churches will require that you register before they hand over the goods, most of them won't bombard you with unwanted phone calls or home visits and they're some of the nicest people you'll meet. And don't think that because they're religious that they don't know how to have a good time on Halloween. In fact, many of the participants dress in scary or outlandish Halloween costumes and even decorate the trunks of their cars with spooky symbols to attract little ghosts and goblins.

Trunk-or-treating is a great way to let your kids have a good time on Halloween, and keep them safe all at the same time.

***Always inspect your child's candy stash and remove any opened pieces, choking hazards, and delicious milk chocolate. ****