Voting to change the date of Halloween: Trick or treat?

Rain is in the forecast for Halloween night, so our neighborhood created a poll. Suddenly, I found I was allowed to vote on which night Halloween would be.

I was a little conflicted. Could we change the night we go trick-or-treating? Is that legitimate? Shouldn’t you just trick-or-treat in whatever ghoulish weather the skies deliver on Oct. 31?

My husband had, perhaps, a more sensible approach. He thought we should vote for Friday so the children would have a better time and avoid getting drenched in the rain. So, we did.

In the end, our neighborhood decided to stick with Oct. 31 as Halloween. But this idea that we can just vote to change days is intriguing—though, perhaps, not entirely new.

I found myself remembering how when I was a child, my parents changed Thanksgiving to the Sunday before the fourth Thursday of November. Then all the extended family could be together that Sunday, and everyone would go to the other sides of their families on the “Thanksgiving” on the calendar. My parents always served spaghetti and meatballs on that Thanksgiving Thursday because we had been eating leftover turkey for five days leading up to it. And that was just fine with us.

Then there was the year my sister Treasa and brother-in-law George decided to get married on our son’s fifth birthday. We simply announced it was his birthday the day before their wedding. He didn’t figure out we had switched days until the next year when their first anniversary was his birthday. Somehow his world is still turning—and I think he might even enjoy that they share that special day.

And, don’t even ask me how many different Christmas celebrations my family has. There are definitely more than 12 days of Christmas the way we do it—or maybe it just feels like it.

So, if we can change the day of major holidays, why can’t we change others? This week, for example. Could we vote for Wednesday to be Friday? Should we make tomorrow your birthday? Could we vote that Monday is Memorial Day so we have a long weekend.

I’m not sure what the limits are here. Maybe we could just vote for a whole week of trick-or-treating. Then my children can wear out their costumes and make their candy-gobbling dreams come true.

P.S. St. Clare of Assisi…St. Medardus…St. Brendan, please intercede for good weather for our trick-or-treaters!

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.