I remember being a post-grad, living back home with my parents and handing out candy to kids on Halloween. From the sidewalk, I could see parents pulling a wagon that didn’t have any kids in it, but rather, a cooler full of alcohol. I had never seen such a thing as a kid, but I thought it looked pretty fun and hoped to do the same when I was a parent.
Confession time: when my husband and I take our daughter trick-or-treating, we do indulge in an adult beverage or two with our friends as the kids dawdle along ahead of us. No one is getting sloshed on the spooky holiday, and we’re definitely more discrete, but yes, we do drink alcohol as the kids trick-or-treat.
One mom on TikTok is confused about this concept, wondering if that kind of behavior in parents has always been a thing or a product of what she calls “mommy wine culture.”
“This morning, I'm listening to parents at the school drop-off area talk about how they will be bringing a keg onto their golf carts when they do the trick-or-treating rounds with their kids this year,” Celeste Yvonne says in her viral video.
Yvonne is an award-winning writer covering parenting, mental health and sobriety. She is also founding host of the Sober Mom Squad and an advocate for mothers who struggle with addiction.
She continues, “I'm not shaming them, but my question is: when did trick-or-treating become a beer crawl or pub crawl for adults? This is a newer phenomenon, isn't it? Or have parents always done this and they're just being more public about it now?”
She then notes that trick-or-treating has expanded to candy for the kids and booze for the adults.
“I mean, even now you can go up to a house doorway, and they will have candy for the kids or adult drinks for the adults. I never saw that growing up trick-or-treating,” she notes.
“Is this a newer phenomenon as a result of mommy wine culture or just the normalization of alcohol in general?”
Several TikTok users weighed in with their theories and own experiences trick-or-treating as kids, explaining why Yvonne might not remember parents throwing them back while the kids raked in candy.
A couple people commented that the reason she doesn’t recall parents doing this is because parents didn’t go with their kids to trick-or-treat.
“Cause parents never took kids trick or treating.. our older siblings/cousins did 😂😂,” one user said.
“My parents would just be at a party and we would go trick or treating alone, so did all my friends,” another echoed.
“As a kid of the 80’s, we were sent out on our own! My kids are 18 and 21- but when we took them trick or treating when they were young, I had wine in my coffee cup 🤣,” one user said.
Others commented that they definitely recall parents drinking on Halloween.
“Always…. I’m 51 and my dad had a bag that said ‘I’ll take beer, candy rots my teeth,’” one user wrote.
Another said, “A long time ago! Trick or treating with cocktails. It’s cold out there.”
Some other TikTok users agreed with Yvonne that the trend of parents enjoying adult beverages while accompanying their kids trick-or-treating was a newer trend.
“Yep I noticed in the last couple of years the groups that come to my house all have drinks,” one user wrote.
“I feel like in our area it started about 5 or 6 years ago. It started with a couple of houses but now lots of houses give drinks,” another said.
While the trend of parents drinking on Halloween might not be a new thing to some but not others, there are some out there that don’t necessarily encourage the act.
“Parents bear a great burden on Halloween,” warned Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, an organization that focuses on eliminating drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision making regarding alcohol. “Kids are out after dark, often wearing costumes that hinder walking and eyesight, and are approaching the homes of strangers.”
He added, “The memes and gifs about drinking on Halloween are worth a chuckle, sure, but they certainly don’t depict responsible behavior and aren’t a practice we want our kids to emulate.”