Dr. Frankenstein or: how I learned to stop worrying and hate trunk-or-treat

Is it just me or do Mormons have a thing for Halloween? I’ve heard people from out of state remark that we are pretty out of control, in a good way, when it comes to Halloween. We have haunted houses every other block, we buy candy like it is…candy, we go nuts with our homemaking costumes/decorations, and there are sincere pumpkin patches as far as the eye can see. I don’t know why we like Halloween so much. My hunch is we are so straight-laced and upright 364 days a year that Halloween is the one night we feel we can ‘legally’ let our hair down. Plus, Halloween is the most social of the holidays and I heard a rumor Mormons are kind of social.

Personally, I do think Halloween is the best holiday of the year. I’ve gone on record saying so here. It’s the Chuck Norris of holidays (Halloween can slam a revolving door; Halloween once counted to infinity…twice; tornadoes don’t exist, Halloween just hates trailer parks, etc.) I’m such a sucker for Halloween that I put out all my decorations on Labor Day. I don’t care if the neighbors laugh at me. I know the score.

I loved Halloween before I was even born. I’m pretty sure I dressed up as Harry Callahan for Halloween during my mom’s third trimester. When I was old enough for trick-or-treating I was introduced to the ways of the world and I loved it. I could go out and earn my candy like a man instead of sitting around on the dole during Christmas, relying on the imaginary beneficence of some red-suited fatty. How demeaning.

As great as Utah is for Halloween, I’ve noticed a cultural creep taking place that could rock the very foundations of the holiday. This invidious practice started small but is unfortunately gaining traction. What is it you ask? What poses a threat that, if left unchecked, will fundamentally transform Halloween? Three words: trunk-or-treating.

Imagine if your mom came to you on December first and said that this Christmas there was going to be no snow, no decorations, no tree, no wrapping paper or bows. Further, she explains that Christmas morning you will follow her out to the car parked in the street, whereupon you will be handed an unwrapped present from the dirty trunk. Merry Christmas!

This, my friends, is trunk-or-treating. Sounds great doesn’t it? For the life of me I don’t know how this Jar Jar Binks of an idea even got off the launching pad. The nano-second someone even attempted to float this turd they should have been laughed out of the padded room. How much do I dislike trunk-or-treating?  I would rather be strapped into a chair with my eyes toothpicked open while all seven seasons of the Golden Girls ran on a continuous loop. I would rather get a vasectomy on Halloween, jog home, throw on some Crocs and a mullet wig, head out into the rain to trick-or-treat for six hours, and get nothing but raisins and toothbrushes from busybody health nuts self-righteous dentists. I would rather…well, you get the idea.

I’m sorry for the rant but I need your help. Please stand with me to stop the spread of this treacherous secret combination. The next time someone in your ward or neighborhood suggests that this would be a fun idea, just say no. Nothing good can come from trunk-or-treating and we owe it to our kids to stop this nonsense.

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  • Chris says:

    My guess as to why trunk-or-treat has taken hold is because parents believe their kids might get tainted candy, which has never happened:


    or they’re too lazy to take their kids around the neighborhood.

    To solve problem one, which really isn’t a problem, just go to homes of people you know or carefully inspect the candy before your kids eat it and only eat factory wrapped stuff.

    To solve problem two, suck it up and be a real parent.

    This last piece of advice is a bit off topic, but you did bring up losers that hand out raisins/pennies/religious tracts/toothbrushes instead of candy. To you folks that hand out non-candy: this holiday isn’t for you, sit it out. Turn off your lights so everyone knows you’re not home and go to dinner or a movie. Let the rest of us enjoy the holiday.

  • Couldn’t agree more. Definitely pet peeve #9409234 of mine and wish we could just go back to regular Trick or Treating.

  • Emily says:

    Seriously! Truck-or-treat is the worst. I’m happy to have a ward Halloween party, but why take over the Halloween tradition of roaming the neighborhood. Also, you can’t take Halloween away from the other neighborhood kids that are not LDS and don’t participate in the truck-or-treat.
    Honestly, what is the point of it? Are people saying that our streets are too dangerous now?

  • richard says:

    Very funny. Very insightful. Very true. Stop the liberals before they strike again!

  • Rachael Grover says:

    I also love Halloween! I can proudly say that I have never participated in a Trunk-or-treat.

  • Interesting. I never thought of it from a Mormon perspective. I’m born and raised Mormon and I thought I was nuts over it because I’m weird and artsy. I’m also nuts over it because it’s a holiday you don’t have to worry about balancing with “true meaning” like Christmas. With Christmas, we can get carried away, but then there are the lessons of remembering what it’s really about that make it hard to balance sometimes. Another reason I love Halloween is because my mom HATED it when I was growing up and I’m still rebelling. But then there was an ultra-orthodox Stake President one year that came down on members for celebrating Halloween over attending the Saturday adult session of Stake Conference one year. It took place on October 31st! Sorry – but that’s when you schedule Stake Conference for a week earlier or later. But he was a real killjoy. He also came down on 18-19 year old youths who left their home wards for singles wards. He said “you’re supposed o be with your families.” Yeah, he had some things a little nuts himself, and not in the fun way. But I digress.

  • Nanette says:

    Sorry – I love the Trunk or Treat… Our ward(s) (we’ve lived in several over the past 24 years) have NEVER held them on Halloween so it’s just another chance to dress up and re-use those over-priced costumes. Plus, even if it is held on Halloween, why can’t you just do both? I think the haters just need to lighten up!

  • Or you can just do what we do, go to both! We love truck or treat because we get to get together with all our LDS friends. We aren’t as densely populated in California. And invite our non-member friends.

    Then a few days later we get to do it again! This time as a way yo reintroduce ourselves to our neighbors. Plus we really limit our kids’ candy intake (especially the diabetic one) so the left over come to me and the wife!

    It doesn’t replace Christmas, it’s like Christmas eve!