I am of the opinion that parents have enough on their plates this time of year without adding in any complications. Kids are newly back at school and everyone is probably just now figuring out how to deal with the new schedules. And with Halloween around the corner, parents are probably working on choosing costumes and mapping out trick-or-treating routes for their kids as well as girding their loins for the sugar highs that come after. So why make things more complicated by making National Trick or Treat Day official on the calendar?
If you haven't already heard, in 2018 the idea of changing the date for Halloween took hold. A petition was started by the Halloween & Costumes Association to move trick-or-treating to the last Saturday in October rather than sticking with Oct. 31, which of course sometimes falls on a weekday. The Change.org petition, which now sits with over 150,000 signatures, eventually proposed the idea that there could be two days to celebrate Halloween.
"Instead of changing the date that [Americans] celebrate Halloween, we will be adding an additional day of festivities in partnership with Party City and other brands," the petition reads. "National Trick or Treat Day will take place annually on the last Saturday of October so families across the country can participate in community parades, throw neighborhood parties and opt for daytime Trick or Treating."
It appears there was enough momentum for the concept of enjoying two days of trick-or-treating that, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, the National Day Calendar — "the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days" — officially added National Trick or Treat Day on the American calendar. "The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed this spooky celebration to be observed the last Saturday in October, annually," the announcement reads.
So in 2019, Oct. 26 marks the first annual National Trick Or Treat Day.
So here's the deal, parents: National Trick Or Treat Day is the day when you can go ahead and host some spooky Halloween parties for kids or adults, or a combination of both. The idea appears to extend all of the enjoyment of the holiday by dressing up in costumes and take part in community events on the last Saturday in October while continuing to celebrate Halloween on Oct. 31, as is the long-standing tradition.
"Get the whole family dressed up and go trick or treating! Organize a trunk or treat activity with your office, church, or volunteer group. Host costume party," the National Day Calendar suggests. "No matter how you celebrate, extend the life of your costume for the season and make sure more people see your creative ideas. Be sure to take pictures and share them using #TrickOrTreatDay on social media."
If kids want to trick-or-treat during the day on National Trick Or Treat Day, for instance, that's meant to be a good idea, while continuing to go door to door for candy on Halloween as well. Whether or not they will have any luck is anyone's guess, considering National Trick Or Treat Day is still such a new idea that many people might not have even heard of it. Which means parents could end up taking their kids door-to-door on Saturday with no candy available at all.
The original petition cited safety concerns as one of the reasons for an additional day for trick-or-treating. For example, according to a 2018 study by the University of British Columbia, Halloween sees a 43% spike in pedestrian fatalities, especially among children. It can also be a struggle to monitor kids trick-or-treating at night, with parents trying to ensure their kids wear costumes complete with reflective clothing so they can be seen by oncoming vehicles.
On the other hand, Halloween is getting more and more popular as the years go on, with millennials spending lots of money on the spooky holiday, according to a 2018 report from CompareCards. And considering millennials are becoming parents, perhaps two days of celebrations for Halloween might not be the worst idea?
Personally, I sort of feel like parents have enough work on their hands for one Halloween on Oct. 31, but, hey, maybe that's just me.