Saturday, December 4, 2021

It Will be a Little Different Again This Year, But Halloween is Upon Us

Halloween is on our doorstep. This weekend youngsters will carry on the tradition of knocking on doors and collecting candy. As with everything else during the far too many months of this pandemic, many will be doing things a little differently this year.

Throughout this pandemic, one of the issues that can never be given too much attention is the impact of this frustrating ordeal on our children. Like we adults, children have had to adjust to new rules and protocols, and if adults think these past two years have been confusing, imagine it through the eyes of a child.

Not only have our kids been in and out of the classroom, they have experienced learning virtually from home, they have seen their school sports and other extracurricular activities cancelled, along with school dances and other events that make memories for students that often last a lifetime.

I think it is important that we spend some time reflecting on how this pandemic has impacted us as adults, and to have conversations with kids, open conversations in which adults share their own fears and frustrations and how we have coped so that our kids know that it is perfectly okay to feel confused, or to feel angry or sad.

For many kids Halloween is a fun event that allows for many ways to express oneself in costume, to enjoy the spooky side of life for a moment or two, and to collect a haul of candy along the way.

Given the past couple of years, I think we need to let the kids be kids for Halloween, and it has been uplifting to see some in the community responding with thoughtful ideas.

I have seen some organizing happening on Facebook, particularly on the Meaford Open Discussion Forum page where a ‘contact-less candy route’ is being organized. Residents have had the opportunity to sign up and get their location on a map that will be shared with the community for those wishing for a contact-less experience for their kids this year.

Those organizing the event have been busy communicating with the community through Facebook, and the map should be available shortly, so be sure to check the local Facebook groups for updates as Halloween approaches. Efforts like this are part of what makes a thriving small town community so valuable, and my hat is off to all involved in working to make this Halloween a fun and safe event for our kids and adults alike.

Another special initiative this year comes from Georgian Bay Community School, where 25 students have organized and will collect non-perishable food items as they knock on doors this Halloween, and the collected items will be donated to local charities and food banks.

The GBCS students will be knocking on doors in both Meaford and Thornbury in their quest to do some good for their community while enjoying the magic of Halloween.

I am always uplifted when I see our youth in action, working toward the common good, as opposed to all of the antics that we often suspect our youth might be up to. There is no age limit on caring, and Grade 10 students are just as dialed in to life’s realities as many adults, and to see a group of students come together with a plan to help others and strengthen their community is both heartwarming and encouraging.

Whatever your plans this Halloween, be safe, and be kind. We have had enough friction in our midst over the past two years to last a lifetime, so I am hoping that all of us adults can set aside our pent-up frustrations long enough to let the kids have some well deserved, and long overdue fun for the sake of fun.

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