Trick or Treat – It’s Halloween

images_025The Halloween’s from my childhood have disappeared. No more neighborhood travels to homes with empty brown-paper bags. No more tricks for the people, who opened their doors without fear and laughed as we sang, tap-danced, twirled or acted out our homemade costumes. An old shirt from dad made the transition to an old man, or the threadbare pillow case over our heads with holes cut out for eyes and the mouth made us ghosts. Then what about the old rag rolled up and stuck under the door to keep the cold from coming inside. This pinned to a backside for a cat look, and don’t forget the cowboy outfits with a big belt, sometimes wrapped around the waist twice, and the plastic toy water gun, minus the water.

Treats were not just thrown into our open bags, but handed to us wrapped in foil from the kitchen. The small of fresh, baked cookies slipped out some of the foil and our mouths could taste the chocolate chips or spices from oatmeal cookies. Sometimes, we lucked out and got an apple or a pear. We always said ‘thank you’ before scurrying of to the next neighbor. There was no fear in walking with our friends around or neighborhood or the thought of something in our treats to hurt us. The excitement of staying up past bedtime to count our goodies, with parents watching when we got home.

Simple pleasures. Simple treasures.

Fast forward to the present and a different Halloween. Costumes are bought from a store, weeks in advance, and can range from aliens from out space to creatures from the dark side. Brown paper bags no longer exist. Instead, orange pumpkin-like buckets are held up for what is handed out and still wait for more. Sometimes, the ‘thank you’ is forgotten.

No longer is it safe to walk, even in groups, from one place to another. Parents drive a group of kids to places they believe to be safe and fun for their children. Schools hold Halloween parties, churches invite Halloween participants into the recreation areas to have safe fun and no tainted treats. Tricks have turned into more than fun and sometimes dangerous. Treats are from the grocery store, not the oven.

Yer, we all get a little excited about Halloween. It is a fun time, rather is should be a fun time to be remembered later in life. Sharing this special Haunted Day with your children and your friends will add memories to your lives. Make a Special Halloween this year for your family, and do not forget to say, ‘Thank you.’

I would love to hear back from you about your Halloween Haunts from your childhood or your children’s  view of their Halloween. If you agree, I’ll post the different answers. I promise, no name, but you will recognize your own stories. However, you may include a state, as some areas are so different.