We live in a sub-division of relatively nice homes (for our area), where most of the neighbors know one another and interact on a regular basis. Several young children live in our neighborhood, and due to the fact that many of our residents are older and have grandchildren, our community normally has quite a few trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
When we gave out candy a couple of years ago, we had around twenty kids show up. We were all excited about it this year and decided to go to our elderly neighbor’s home, knowing that she would get a kick out of seeing the children in their costumes. We even invited our friend, Kelly, over to enjoy the festivities.
We had less than 10 trick-or-treaters. It was quite depressing.
As we wondered aloud about why the turnout was so small, we figured it couldn’t be the weather (which was fantastic). We finally decided that it must the fault of all the mega-churches that hold alternative Halloween gatherings for kids.
While these churches draw in large crowds with their promises of copious amounts of candy, fun games, and a safe environment, we all know that they have an ulterior motive – getting the parents into their congregations. It’s really a cheap form of advertising.
Those of us who attend smaller churches (and like it that way) only get the leftovers. Not that leftovers are bad (think day-old spaghetti), but it definitely hampers one’s holiday spirit to only have a handful of ghosts and goblins when you’d normally be worrying about running out of candy.
Which got me thinking… perhaps the mega-church is bad for society. The side effect of their promotional events is that small neighborhoods lose some of their interaction, which actually undermines the community.
And little, elderly, housebound women have to be disappointed on Halloween.