Halloween is here again. Even though fall is a precursor to winter, which I hate, there are many things to love about autumn. And Halloween is one of them. Who doesn’t love Halloween? Well, there are some who are opposed to it for religious reasons, but other than that, I think most people kind of get a kick out of seeing the kids in costume or going to an adult party themselves. “Kids” of all ages like to dress up and, well, we all like candy.
Halloween has changed a lot since I was a child. I’m a Boomer who grew up in the 60’s. I was raised for the first 10 years of my life in a working class neighborhood not far from the foot of the iconic smelter of the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) in the Texas Panhandle. There were 6 or 8 parallel streets named after southern states. My family lived on North Carolina. But there was Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky….that’s all I can remember. We “trick or treated” on 4 or 5 of those blocks.
We went to just about every house; we went by ourselves. Our parents stayed home to pass out candy to the neighborhood kids. We got all manner of goodies, including homemade popcorn balls. And we ate them. We didn’t worry so much about poison or needles being in them. We trusted our neighbors, even though we didn’t know all the people on the other streets. We knew EVERYONE on N. Carolina. Oh, there were stories of mean, scary people in a house or two that the kids would avoid, but that’s all they were–stories. Probably just folklore that the older kids made up to scare us younger ones.
Somewhere along the way things went haywire and kids couldn’t really go out into neighborhoods by themselves any more. It seemed like for a while house-to-house trick-or-treating was thing of the past. Downtown businesses, malls, churches, and schools took over with all kinds of events for kids to dress up and come fill up their buckets with candy.
I’m not sure when it changed, maybe when the Xers or Millennials started having children, but somewhere along the way, a return to neighborhood canvasing for candy came back with a vengeance. Certain “safer” neighborhoods are popular for families and they come by droves to those neighborhoods. If you live in one of those middle or upper middle class neighborhoods, you know what I mean! Now parents always accompany their children, and they go through the candy with a fine toothed comb before they allow their children to eat any of it. No one would let their child eat a homemade popcorn ball that came from a ‘strangers’ home.
I live in the country and in the 15 years I lived there I’ve not had one “trick or treater” except my own granddaughters. Kids don’t come out into the country. It’s not safe, and it’s not fruitful. You have to go too far between houses!! 😉
Times have changed, but children still enjoy Halloween. I know my girls do. They are excited about it. The 11-year-old is going to be Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad (don’t ask) and the 6-year-old is going to be a vampire. So she says. Last Friday night I took them to Party City just to look. She wanted something “scary.” She picked out a black dress that looked like a cocktail waitress. I said, “You’re going to have to take that up with your mother.” So, I can’t wait to see what she ends up with. She’s notorious for waiting ’til the last minute to choose her costume.
I wish you all a fun, safe, and Happy Halloween. What are your plans for the big weekend? What are your memories of Halloweens from yesteryear?