Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Does anyone else remember the Halloweens of our childhood?
I don't know what it was like for you, but I grew up in a rather small village. Now, the houses weren't all crowded together; far from it, they were greatly spaced apart. On Halloween night, it would take us a good two hours or more to go around the whole town. Our feet would be aching by the end. And we would have about a half a plastic grocery bag to show for it (more than enough!) I remember a school friend who lived on the outskirts of town who would get driven into town so she and her sister could trick or treat with their friends. Otherwise, she wouldn't have any fun where she lived.
Now, I live in a modern subdivision, in a city. On my street, the lots are slightly bigger than adjacent streets' lots. Across from my house and down a little is a crescent. On that street, the houses are rather packed together. And that's the hotspot. Kids come from other subdivisions to trick or treat in ours, because either they feel that their subdivision doesn't have enough houses, or they are too lazy to walk around to the houses spread farther apart.  They do the crescent across from me, and work their way back up our street. Some kids, by the time they get to my house, have told me they are on their second (!!!) pillow case! SECOND?! Really? And they've probably only been out for about a half hour.
When we were little, we gave out one piece of candy to each child. Not two, or three, or a handful. One. And everyone was ok with that and most said, "Thank you." Now, you're considered cheap if you hand out only one or two. This year, everyone is getting one from me. Maybe none if they tell me it's their second pillowcase!
We used to have kindly old neighbours that would bake us treats, or give us homemade caramel apples. Yum. We knew our neighbours. We knew most of the town, well, I guess that's what you get for a small town. But our neighbours would put a small tag on the cookie, or apple, or whatever that would say, "From the Johnsons" or whoever. And yes, we would get apples from some people, and no, we didn't care we actually would eat them! If I did that today, I know it would be a wasted effort, since most people wouldn't know who we were and would just throw it out.
We used to make our own costumes. I see very few kids these days with homemade costumes, and when I do, I am sure to praise them and comment on them. I appreciate the effort, even though we are guilty of the same thing here (store-bought costumes). Actually, the store-bought costumes from my youth weren't that great. They were plastic aprons basically, with fake ugly plastic face masks. You'd feel sorry for the kids that had to wear those. The best costumes were always the homemade ones made by the kids' moms or grandmas. They were the lucky kids. 
My dad used to delight in finding new ways to freak out the kids coming to our house. That was great. Again, we are guilty of not doing anything spooky or creative here, but it seems to be a dying art in general.
The only thing I feel that has actually gotten better about Halloween, is the pumpkin carving. No one in my youth ever had anything as elaborate as this:

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