I have been neutral on this subject, but this year I helped Dad pass out Halloween candy since Mum’s out of town. My mother is an eminently practical and sensible soul, and allowed enough for the number of kids they’ve gotten in the past. This year, there were more. A lot more. The original plan was to give out one bag of potato chips and one Kit Kat bar per kid. That got changed to either-or. When I was down to one lonely Kit Kat bar, we raided the refrigerator for spare cans of pop. When we got down to one of those, we closed down, shut out the lights, and hoped for the best. A neighbor of theirs who stopped by said she’d noticed the same thing. By the way, this is the first year my parents have run out of candy, and they’ve been living in the same house for over 30 years.
To me, there is a slight difference between going trick or treating with a friend you’re visiting who lives in the neighborhood and visiting a neighborhood solely to trick or treat. If I can channel Ms. Manners for a moment, I’d say what makes the difference is the implication that one’s own neighbors are not good enough for one to associate with. On the other hand, I was a mercenary child with mercenary siblings who grew up in a great neighborhood for trick or treating and who knew exactly which houses had the best and worst stuff.