Never read the comments.
I wish I could follow that advice. Wading through the temperamental pool that is social media, one occasionally finds a bright spot in a news story. I thought I found that with an article posted by a local news channel notifying those that aren’t already in the know about the significance of teal pumpkins. It subtly linked to this cool little video:
Simple enough, right?
It’s a brief article explaining the significance and the history of the Teal Pumpkin Project. If you go through to the FARE website, you an even get free activities and advice for non-food treats. We have participated since 2014, and I have written about it before.
Then, I read the comments.
Some people are garbage. I mean, I know that is harsh, and I know what we are supposed to be kind to everyone, but that can be a struggle when people out themselves as disgusting human beings. Did these people not ever watch Mister Rogers?
I had a few replies that still stand.
To some nut job making this political:
Just so I can understand, how do any of the following (totally optional) things ruin your holiday, and just exactly how are they associated with liberals?
1. Putting out a symbol to indicate that your house is safe for food allergies.
2. Providing nut and/or gluten free treats, and maybe even non-food treats in addition to whatever you normally provide.
3. Displaying compassion and empathy to others already afflicted with a life-altering medical condition.
4. Teaching others by example how to be kind to others.
I never did get a direct reply there.
To the uniformed, absolutely resisting this new information:
No one is forcing you to buy a teal pumpkin or to pass out allergen safe treats. The article is just to inform you of the meaning so you don’t buy one as a decoration just because it matches your cold frozen emotionless heart.
Just some more advice:
We have been doing this for years. Having food allergies myself, dining out, social gatherings, and many events can be a harrowing experience.
We have 3 separate bowls… traditional things like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, nut-free stuff like Smarties, and a bowl of totally non-food treats like pencils, stickers, little toys, etc.
We help spread awareness, the toys go as well as the candy, and hopefully we teach a bit of kindness and empathy.
I don’t even have the energy to get into the “it’s been a tradition for hundreds of years” comment. I think candy and trick or treating weren’t a thing until about the 1920’s in the United States… so that’s ONE hundred years ago at best. The push for chocolate was after WWII’s rationing… So, kick it back to 70 or so years. Earlier Celtic/Samhain traditions probably didn’t involve candy, but what do I know?
So please, this year, show a little compassion, empathy, and kindness. Pass the word along to your friends, family, and neighbors. You don’t have to preach about it, but you can lead by example. Also, learn to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction for yourself, your friends, and your community. You may help save someone’s life! That is, if it doesn’t inconvenience you in any way or support the grand liberal agenda.