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Picking up on Libby's comment from Thursday about the age cut-off for trick-or-treaters, we've got a 15-year-old Hallo-Tween in our house. She is probably too old for the candy routine, but she still rues the fact that a school dance has been scheduled tonight, conflicting with trick-or-treat time.

Our teen spends the other 364 days a year trying to act her age and older. But when the one day rolls around in which kids can dress in costume and go door-to-door for candy, suddenly she's not ready to put away childish things and get tricked out of treats.

Some of them try to play it cool with a minimalist costume, like wearing their regular clothes and throwing on a bandanna or a peace sign necklace.  Just like refusing to wear a warm coat to school in the cold, they won't flat out commit to wearing a real costume.

It can be intimidating to answer your doorbell and find a pack of barely costumed Hallo-Tweeners there in an obvious candy grab attempt. If you don't know the kids you feel pressure to produce a premium candy product (Sweet Tarts don't get it done), or risk having them perpetrate a trick that gets reported in the newspaper police blotter.

Does anyone still wrap toilet paper in the trees, or has TPing given way to blatant property destruction?

It's surprising that in our corner of New York, a state that is so heavily regulated, we do so much free-styling when it comes to Halloween, with no designated hours, age ranges or warnings about giving out candy that contains trace elements of peanut products.  It's probably a good thing that Big Government doesn't stick its hand into our goodie bags!


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