Of Greed & ChocolateNovember 1, 2010
Then [Jesus] said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” (Luke 12:15, NLT)
For the past five or six years, we have gathered up our friends on Halloween and gone trick or treating en masse. Dan lets the teenage boys sit in the back of his pickup, while younger kids and moms ride on a trailer. Dads either ride on the trailer or walk behind with flash lights. Our neighbors get a kick of seeing us all loaded up on the trailer, and brace themselves for the flurry of activity when we pull up at their house. This year one neighbor was waiting for us with his camera, and took a picture of us. Another neighbor, who had moved to a different street in our neighborhood, asked us to come by his new house.
In the past couple of years, the group has expanded from just our friends to friends of our friends. It’s gotten much bigger and, as a result, more unruly. This year we had 34 people in our group. Thirty-four!
For one of the families, our trick-or-treating ride through the neighborhood was their THIRD trip. Friday night they had gone to a trick-or-treating event. Saturday night they had gone to collect candy in a neighboring town. Sunday night they came with us. Their middle child, who is approximately 6 years old, boasted about how she had gone to one house (before the official start time of 6:00) and had nearly emptied out the bowl of candy that was left out for trick-or-treaters.
Our last stop for the night was at another neighbor’s. He stopped by while walking his dog yesterday and told Dan that he would be leaving out a bowl of candy. He said if we came by at the end of our trick-or-treating route, we could take whatever candy was left. So when we stopped there, the mom of the aforementioned family yelled to her daughter (already sprinting toward the porch), “Go, [name], get all that candy! Don’t leave any for anyone else!”
I wanted to turn to her and say, “Really? Why? Because she hasn’t already gotten enough?” It was just ridiculous. I realize there isn’t any sort of “higher purpose” for trick-or-treating, but when I was a kid we went around our neighborhood and that was it. You finished your rounds and came home. It was never a crazy free-for-all where the kids tried to get every piece of candy in the known universe.
And that’s the way it should stay, IMHO. Maybe next year we will forego the trailer and just go out by ourselves.