This morning I woke up to a yard full of snow. Tonight I will be trick-or-treating with my soon-to-be 4-year-old.
It’s not ideal, but it is tradition. October is an annoying time of year, weather-wise, in many parts of North America. In my town, we just keep calm and put our mittens on, but in other cities across North America parents are engaged in Halloween debate.
With much of the east coast expecting rain and parts of the Midwest already shoveling snow, moms and municipal leaders are wondering if trick-or-treating should be postponed. Montreal’s mayor is asking parents to postpone their Halloween due to rain, but as Chicago is getting it’s earliest winter since the 1980s, some parents are suggesting we all pretend like it’s the 1980s and get on with it.
A Facebook post is going viral, declaring that “rain on Halloween will not kill your child” and asking “What would your mom have done on October 31, 1984?”
“She would have either trailed behind you in the station wagon to stay dry (while possibly smoking with the windows rolled up and sipping on a wine cooler) while you trick-or-treated in the rain, or you would have headed out together with umbrellas,” Brittany Marie Haight notes in her viral post.
As someone who spent a few 1980s and ’90s Halloweens wearing her costume over her snowsuit, I get this mom’s point, but I can also see the appeal of waiting for better weather.
And if it wasn’t the weather we would still be talking about moving Halloween, because we talk about it every year.
There are plenty of parents who dislike tick-or-treating on weeknights and many communities have been wondering if they should just move Halloween to the closest Saturday each year (for safety’s sake).
As CBS reported last year, more than 33,000 parents signed a change.org petition suggesting we move Halloween to the weekend, specifically the last Saturday in October. Parents in favor of the move say the holiday is just not as much fun when it happens on a hectic workday (although it is totally possible to make it work).
It’s not like moving the day around a bit is an unprecedented move. Thanksgiving isn’t on a specific date, but rather the fourth Thursday in November. Likewise, Memorial Day is always the last Monday in May.
But unlike those holidays, Halloween isn’t a “real” holiday in the sense that nobody gets the day off. Businesses aren’t closed. The world is still running, we’re just running it in funny clothes.
In some communities, parents are already making this change on their own, arranging trick-or-treating around the block on the last Saturday of October in order to save themselves the hassle of a weekday Halloween, but if more parents push for the change, we could all do it.
Next year we will get a Halloween on a Saturday. I’m crossing my fingers for good weather.
[A version of this story was first posted on October 31, 2018. It has been updated.]