Date for Trick-or-Treating could use a little tweaking

ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.

Every now and then someone comes up with an idea that is worth discussion at the very least, or perhaps even a change for the better.

That someone this week was former Pine Street Elementary Principal David Britten, who retired not long ago as superintendent of the Wyoming Godfrey Lee school system.

Noting the issue of having Halloween on a Sunday night, Britten wrote:

“Halloween should be moved to the last Saturday of October every year. End confusion over trick-or-treating on Saturday or Sunday when Oct 31 is a Sunday.

“Some news organizations state that Cutlerville trick-or-treating is tonight (Saturday), along with the City of Kentwood, but the Gaines Township website says they don’t regulate which night. Guess you’ll have to try both nights.”

I support Britten’s suggestion for several reasons. Closer to home, Martin had its trick-or-treating on Saturday night, but most other municipalities chose the traditional date, even though it was a Sunday.

So the suggestion that all Halloween activities be uniform has terrific merit, avoiding confusion for parents and children as to when to dress up and go out in the neighborhood.

Another consideration is that many school districts don’t like to have Halloween on nights in which the kids have to go back to the classrooms the next day. The theory is that the kids get wigged out on sugar buzzes, but then crash the next day. Many teachers I know agree with this assessment.

Perhaps that’s why Martin and Wayland have decided to have a professional development day Monday, Nov. 1. Not a bad idea at all.

On another front, some folks and churches are uncomfortable with having Halloween on a Sunday when they have special programs at the same time.

So insisting that Halloween be celebrated on the last Saturday of October is probably a good idea. It gives the kids an extra day to recuperate from the sugar buzz. And it eliminates the kind of confusion too many parents and children had to endure this year.

We have changed Memorial Day’s date from May 30 to the last Monday in May. We have combined Presidents’ Day from Feb. 12 and 22 to one Monday in February.

So let’s at least give Mr. Britten’s suggestion the attention it deserves. The only argument I can think of on the other side is the classic, “We’ve always done it this way.”

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