Oct 25, 2010

An apple? You gotta be kidding me.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I think it's because it's the day before my birthday. It used to seem as though all the Halloween festivities were in my honor. Almost like I was sharing my birthday with all the other kids in the world. "Here have some candy, but tomorrow the presents are all mine." My mother would sew me awesome costumes, a pilgrim or a princess, and I'd join the throngs of neighborhood kids as we went "begging" from door to door. When I came home my Dad didn't bother with the pretext of "inspecting" my candy.   He just collected his "Dad Candy Tax", Milk Duds, Butterfinger and Better Made Chips. The next day I'd insist on wearing my costume to my birthday party. All very self centered of me, but in my defense, don't most kids think the world revolves around them?  Then we wake up to the cold, hard truth that not only isn't it always about us, its' rarely about us.

Halloween these days is lame. We rarely get any kids showing up on Halloween anymore. Back when I was trick or treating there were so many kids we had to wait in line sometimes to get to the door. You never see that anymore. Trick or treating has been replaced by lame "parties" at community centers or schools. As a kid I hated those things. You only got about one tenth the amount of candy you could get out there on the streets. At a "Halloween Party" you were lucky to get a handful of tootsie rolls, some smarties, a few suckers and some lame-ass stickers. Which led me to believe that adults were NEVER kids, if they had been they would have known better. Strategic mapping of the neighborhood and you could fill up a pillowcase in no time. Pillowcases were much better than plastic pumpkins that get filled up with the first bag of chips. It was all about maximum candy haul.   Trick or treat until there were no more lights on anywhere.

Is it our increased paranoia about the safety of our kids that has killed trick or treating? Are there fewer kids? We seem to have turned Halloween into a Holiday for adults instead of kids, with elaborate decorations and adult parties. This year I won't be passing out candy. I am headed to DC for Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity. By the time I get back at 8pm on Halloween it will all be over. Normally I would feel guilty about not turning on the light and passing out some Snicker's bars, but I don't think our light will be missed. So sad. I still might wear a costume on my birthday though.


  1. I loved Halloween as a kid.....no special costume just old stuff of my dad's.....I looked like a truck driver. I sure could put away the candy....this was all before razors and drugs in the stuff. Now, no kids at all out here in the woods. We did let the kids that used to live next door go through our forest on the trails for a party. Steve and one of the dad's put on sheets and scared those kids to near death.

  2. When my kids were growing up there were 42 children living on our block. Today there are 4 children on our block. We get about a dozen trick or treaters now instead of the hundreds of a generation ago.

    My daughters and many of my friends will be at the rally Saturday. wish I could go too, but in the name of sanity and a bum foot I will just watch it on TV.

  3. We get an average of 150 kids each year. A couple of years ago, we had about 200. Every year there is at least one kid, or parent who reminds us that "the lady who used to live in your house used to give us hot donuts." what the hell?

  4. Yes, I agree that Halloween is becoming lame these days...parents are just way too overprotective of their kids.

    You should totally wear a costume to Jon Stewart's Rally...I would say that a Sarah Palin costume would freak everyone there out. *hee hee*

  5. It's a lovely American tradition, shame that it's kind of dying out in the old fashioned way.
    They try to do it here but it's just not Aussie. It'd be like you guys wanting to swim on Christmas Day.
    Great post and have a happy birthday.

  6. Halloween is still going strong here, strongest in the planned communities with houses close together and actual sidewalks to walk on. We’ve definitely had to wait for other kids to clear a doorway before walking up. Our immediate neighborhood, on the other hand, is dark and lonely. No one in their right mind would venture down the street in hopes of finding candy. Not sure what you would find, actually. I don’t inquire too closely. But there are definitely neighborhoods with active trick-or-treating. People carpool to the best ones.

    On the other hand, no one lets their kids go by themselves.

  7. Halloween is not an Australian thing but in latter years the shops have been pushing it all they can - for most Australians it has no meaning at all. I think the different beginnings of both colonies made the difference - The US featured the Puritans and other protestant minorities trying to make a go of it and religion seems to feature more - whereas we began with a convict colony - mainly people from Scotland and Ireland as the convicts - as well as a few Pommies - but they were the establishment - we didn't have things like the Salem witches and all of that - so the only meaning it has for us is commercial and how to get lollies.
    We almost speak the same English - with some glaring differences but the cultural background is so different

  8. Halloween is my husband and my FAVOURITE holiday. My blog today has pics from our spooktacular weekend... xo

  9. Rosemary - One year my husband sat on a chair on the porch with a mask on. Kids thought he was a "dummy" until he jumped up and screamed as they came to the door. I think he made a couple of them pee their pants.

    Mom - Maybe it's just demographics of certain areas changing. I've read some people's FB updates that they had tons of kids. The rally was awesome.

    Pat - Donuts? Now that's dedication. Bet she got repeat trick or treaters.

    MHP - Not many costumes at the rally but a lot of really great signs. My favorite was "Paved Roads = Socialism"

    Foxy - Thanks for the birthday wishes. As MC says it must come from out Puritanical background here in the US. Ready to believe that ghosts and goblins and eternal damnation lurk around every corner.

    Alice - I remember being driven to the "nicer" neighborhoods as a kid, the ones that passed out full size candy bars.

    MC - When I was in Norway we had a very nice dinner, hosted by a Norwegian family. It was out in their yard, overlooking a fjord. A beautiful day. Their 3 year old daughter peeled off her clothes and was running around. The mother quickly told her to get dressed then looked at us and said "I know Americans are uncomfortable with nudity." Prudishness, yet another legacy of our pilgrim forefathers.

    Dawn - Makes sense, knowing how much you like masks and disguises. :-)