NOTE: While this post was originally written last year, it has been getting a lot of hits once again. So with Halloween almost here, and since my opinion remains the same…I thought I’d bring it back up to the top once again. Enjoy!
It seems that when it comes to Halloween and candy, some people feel that being at your home to give it out to trick-or-treaters should be mandatory.
At least this appears to be the case in one area of Oshawa, Ontario where a new homeowner received an annonymous note in the days following Halloween that scolded him for not being home to give out candies to the kiddies.
Tom Ibbitson was not home on Halloween night and as such, was not on hand to give out treats to local ghouls and gobblins. He was quite shocked in the days that followed to receive a note telling him that the woman who previously owned the house used to always make candy apples and they expected the same or similar for him. They even went as far as to suggest he make up for being absent this year by having chocolate bars next time.
Ibbitson was so insensed that he decided to post the letter on Kijiji with a response to those who wrote the letter. To date the add has been viewed almostt 123,000 times!
This letter and the ensuing response from Mr. Ibbitson has generated a lot of attention in the media, and it’s stirring up a huge debate as to whether Halloween is an obligation or not. Some are suggesting that Mr. Ibbitson should participate even if he can’t be home by leaving candy on his front door. They suggest that not participating in Halloween seems wrong and that the kids have a right to be upset.
My opinion is that the kids (or the parent on behalf of the kids) who wrote and posted this letter should be ashamed of themselves.
Let me first say that I enjoy Halloween. I love watching my 4 children get all excited about the day and I enjoy both going out with my kids or staying home and giving out candy. It’s fun for me and my family and we make every effort to participate. However I also believe that Halloween is not mandatory and that those who either can’t participate or chose not to participate should not be condemned.
What really irks me here is the sense of entitlement that oozes from the words on the letter. Even if this was prepared tongue-in-cheek the suggestion that since the previous owner went all out for Halloween, that this guy should too is just plain stupid. Our world can’t stop between say 6 and 8 PM on Halloween night just so that everyone can be at home armed and ready to give out mass quantities of sugar. Given that it was a weeknight, it’s quite likely that Ibbitson was still commuting home and knew he wouldn’t make it back in time.
Frankly though, it doesn’t really matter what his reasons were for the choice as to whether to participate in a traditional event is his and his alone. Until someone decides to make this a mandatory event, then anyone has the right to choose whether or not they either can or want to participate and nobody has the right to complain either way! Frankly as a parent, I have no problem with a house that has nothing to offer since I know the kids will get more than enough sugary junk that I’ll have to police over with just those who do participate. There are more than enough participating houses for my kids and I’m sure that this was the case in this part of Oshawa as well.
Entitlement is a cancer in society. When people go so far as to voice their sense of entitlement to a stranger on Halloween, you know that as a society, we have a lot of work to do. It’s no wonder then that we struggle immensely to deal with much bigger issues like climate change or excersizing democracy, which require immense ownership to solve instead of entitlement to simply pass the buck.
To the authors of this letter – I hope that there is enough condemnation of your actions to make you wake up and realize that you aren’t entitled to candy apples or chocolates or anything of the sort from this guy. Perhaps you should start focusing on what really matters instead of what trivial slights you feel you may have received. If you are so good at writing letters of anger, then perhaps think about directing one next time to government leaders who fail to meet the expectations of society instead of fretting over a little candy slight.
I’d certainly have no complaints about a letter like that.