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No Trick, No Treat, No Thanks

According to a story in The New York Times, Halloween has lately become important in the UK:

Halloween is big business here now. According to The Observer of London, Britons spend an estimated $228 million a year on Halloween-related items, a tenfold increase from five years ago.
But apparently many Britons aren't fond of the holiday:
This withering away of homegrown tradition makes people hate Halloween all the more. What could be more unattractive, they argue, than a bunch of rapacious, acquisitive children traipsing around the streets, demanding candy in exchange for nothing?

"Trick or treat? I don't know about you, but my answer to this question, if I'm honest, would be unprintable in a family newspaper," the critic A. N. Wilson wrote recently in The Daily Mail. "Let's say it's stronger than 'push off.' Yet the little beggars will soon be round, banging and ringing at our doors with this irritating refrain."

No Trick, No Treat, No Thanks

Fifty-eight percent of homeowners in a recent survey by the Norwich Union insurance company said they had hidden in the back of their houses and turned off all the lights on Halloween, pretending that no one was home.

What fun would childhood be without a yearly ritual of rapaciously and acquisitively traipsing around the streets, demanding candy in exchange for nothing? And what's the Halloween equivalent of "Bah, humbug!"?


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My parents are visiting from England right now - they really enjoy the American style of Halloween which is clearly aimed more at younger children.

I think the oldest child visiting our house last night was probably 11 or 12. However in England it seems as though there are a lot more teenagers and they tend to emphasise the trick part of the question, even when given a treat, if they think the treat is 'below expectations'.

Though I do enjoy England very much, I have to say, as the country that seems to lead the world in sports hooliganism, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that its version of Halloween is quite a bit rougher around the edges than ours.

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