Doing something good while doing something fun

November 5, 2011 at 8:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I love Halloween, I love getting dressed up, running around for one night, going door to door and getting comments on my outfits and just seeing what all the kids are dressed up as. Now I realize that at 29 I’m a little too old to be going around getting candy.

I realized this back when I was 14, my Mother has a rule, if you are taller than her (she’s 5’1″) you either don’t get candy or you only get a sucker, while the chips and chocolate go to the wee ones. I remember one time coming around the corner and seeing a teenager trying to argue with my Mom that he was actually just the same height as her, at which point she stepped out of the doorway and down onto the front porch, showing he was actually a few inches taller.

My Mom’s nicer than my Grandparents, who all year long collect mints from restaurants and give those to the bigger kids (I’m amazed their house doesn’t get egged).

So at 14 I started taking the kids I babysat out trick or treating, which was fun! And because they got to go with me, rather than their parents and younger siblings, they got to go out further and get a bigger haul. However eventually they grew old enough to go out on their own, and take their siblings along too, which left me unable to go out again.

I tried playing around at my house, I dress up as a Cat from CATS the musical most often and would run around on my front yard and play with the kids. That was fun, but not as great as getting to go out and see everything.

So I went to my friend’s house for a party once, and they let me hand out the candy. At first I followed my Mom’s rule (but I’m 5’6″ so I basically judged how old they looked), however I really had a hard time giving out candy to those who didn’t even put effort in. There was one girl in particular that I remember, I asked her what she was supposed to be, and she gave me an annoyed look and said “Just got out of bed” and you know, if she’d stop at that I would have said it was a neat concept, but she continued “I hit my head in volleyball, had a nap, and I want candy” she shrugged and glared at me holding out her bag. Sorry, but I don’t give candy to people looking for a free grab.

My friends all started calling me the Candy Nazi. Then I thought, you know what, when I was a kid I loved to have people ask me to do something for my candy, I usually had a little something to go along with my costume, and it was the best when I got to do it. So I started asking the bigger kids for a “Trick”. At first people were confused, but I told them it was as simple as telling me a joke, or singing me a little song.

One group of teens were awesome! Some of them rolled their eyes and continued on, but one girl did a back handspring, another two told me a scary story, I got a joke, and then the smallest of the group who was dressed like the scream killer came up, leaned forward, and made a noise while dropping a fake hand into the candy bowl.

This kid had been carrying this fake hand around with him all night, and probably hadn’t really been able to use it till I gave him the chance. Some of the teens that came around after I started asking for a trick just walked away, but the ones who participated actually had a bunch of fun with it, and it probably made their Halloween a bit more fun.

However, my friends never let me hand out candy again. They still call me the Candy Nazi and have taken mercy on the teens in my neighbourhood, because I’m not allowed to hand out candy at my own house!

Anyway, I still wanted to get to go out and Trick or Treat, but I wasn’t really interested in the candy. That’s when I found out about Trick or Canning for the Food Drive.

This was something I could get behind. The first year we did this we had 7 people, hit 3 streets and got 330 lbs of food.

This year, I ran the food drive at my work, we had about 15 people, hit about half our neighbourhood, and managed to get 503 lbs of food!!!

The food bank loved it, they couldn’t believe how much we’d raised. Some of the people with us were from our life group at church and they were a bit hesitant, coming from stricter backgrounds where they weren’t really able to Trick or Treat. One couple that was the most nervous came back at the end saying it was awesome, and this was their new tradition!

I just think it’s great! I get to go out Trick or Treating, do something good for the food bank, and have fun with my friends. We even had a couple kids this year. The father wasn’t sure if the 6 year old son would be up for it, he didn’t want to take the fun out of Halloween. So the mom went up with the little guy so he could get the candy while she got the cans. After the first three houses, the son looked at his mom and said “Mom, I got this” and did every house from then on all by himself. Each time he got a can or box, he came running back to the wagon shouting “YES!!!”

So it’s not just doing something good right now, it’s getting a future group in the swing of things to continue when we decide we’ve had enough.

It’s just doing something good while I’m doing something fun!

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