Living Wright: Halloween offers early chance to be charitable
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Thursday, October 25, 2012
10/25/12 at 4:45 AM
Go to Jason Ashley Wright's BlogOriginal Print Headline: Halloween offers an early chance to be charitable
Last night, I was visibly shaken by the sight of Christmas bags and wrapping paper at Walgreens.
The cashier seemed to notice my fright during check-out and backed off a smidge as she told me it had been there about a week.
Yikes, it's here, I thought. Christmas - and I haven't budgeted for gifts, let alone shopped. How am I going to maintain Weight Watchers during the holidays? Where am I spending Christmas, anyway?
Then, as I walked to my car, I had a come-to-Hay-Zeus moment with myself. Forget the gift bags and presents and fudge (yeah, right), and do what you said you'd do every year since turning 30: Focus on charity.
But a benevolent spirit shouldn't be limited to Christmas or even Thanksgiving, and Halloween should be no exception.
A fine example is Tulsa firefighter and Broken Arrow resident Mike Krebs. He's asking trick-or-treaters coming to his house on Fifth Street near Juneau in the Country Lane Estates subdivision to bring canned or dry food items for the Salvation Army.
His is a stellar lead to follow. Kids can still get their candy, and they can be a part of that "give and take," said Stephanie McKinney, a registered dietitian with Nutrition Consultants of Tulsa.
For an upcoming story on trick-or-treating, McKinney had commented on how kids could not only receive candy on Halloween night but also help their parents give it out. Why can't we go a step further and implement a charitable component to trick-or-treating - perhaps, trick-or-trading? In fact, keeping the "trick" threat part of the tradition might make some folks feel more accountable. Just kidding(ish).
I'm not saying the Salvation Army should put a guy in a Satan suit and ring hell's bells outside of Dillard's the week of Halloween, as that may steal some of the shine from our beloved Christmas bell ringers. But maybe stores could offer small discounts on Halloween merchandise next year in exchange for donations of healthy nonperishable food items - stuff you yourself would actually eat - to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
Or maybe apparel stores could keep a list of things the Day Center for the Homeless needs by the cash register, with a small percentage off on those purchases.
And it all starts by being able to accept that the holidays are fast approaching - and, most importantly, choosing to embrace that fact with a glad heart vs. panic over drugstore wrapping paper.
Kettle bell ringers may not make sense for the spooky holiday, but trick-or-treating could incorporate a giving element, like trading food bank donations for candy. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World file