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Happy Halloween; be safe, have fun

As the witching hour of Halloween approaches, I am reminded that trick-or-treating is one of the best times of year to be a child.

Dressing up as your favorite superhero, villain, goblin or character is always fun and the experience can teach children that make believe can make life more fun.

Regardless of age, however, everyone can join in the fun.

Handing out the candy is almost as fun as receiving it, and many creative older Halloween revelers enjoy going all out to make the experience spooky fun for the children by popping out of the bushes in scary costumes or other elaborate theatrics.

Many area churches have even joined in the fun with trunk-or-treating events or fall festivals to prove that just because you are a Christian does not mean you cannot have fun, as one pastor told The Natchez Democrat in a recent newspaper story.

The point is an important one.

Don’t take life too seriously, and while you’re at it, make it fun and interesting.

I recently ran across a meme on social media that poked a little fun at us old folks based on the treats we dole out to the trick -or-treaters.

A picture showed several groups of items given out to trick -or-treaters with captions beneath them that purported to be what the trick-or-treaters thought of the person who handed out the items.

* “Old-Timer” was the description beneath a picture of Bits o’ Honey and licorice

* “The Spaz” was the label beneath a picture of coins and fortune cookies (items that appeared to be pulled out of a drawer at random).

* “The Party Pooper” was the label beneath a picture of apples, raisins and bananas.

* “The Legend” was the description below a picture of Snickers bars, M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Whether you plan to be a Party Pooper or The Legend on Wednesday night participating is better than drawing the curtains, turning off the lights and not participating.

To each his own, however, and hopefully the young ones won’t play any tricks on you.

Regardless of what you give to the trick-or-treaters, if you do join the fun, make sure you provide a safe environment for the revelers.

* Provide adequate lighting around your doorstep and don’t make the experience too spooky for the young ones.

* If you’re a trick-or- treater, make sure your costume is easily visible at night with reflective material and keep your eyes out for cars and vehicles.

* Look both ways before you cross the street and don’t wear masks that limit your range of vision.

* Pay attention to your surroundings.

* If you’re a parent or guardian, make sure little ones are accompanied by adults to help keep them safe throughout the night.

* Consider attending one of the many organized events at various locations Wednesday night that might be the best alternative to going door-to-door on public streets.

* Above all, however, if you are on the road Wednesday night, driving through neighborhoods, city streets or highways, keep your eyes peeled for the young ones, drive safely and please do not interact with your smartphones while driving.

One slipup could make the difference between the best night of a person’s life and the worst night of a person’s life.

And, that’s the scariest fright of all.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Scott Hawkins is editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at 601-445-3540 or scott.hawkins@natchezdemocrat.com.

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