It’s Halloween time. I think I can still use the word ‘Halloween’ without offending too many people. There are so many rules about what you can and can’t say that I have trouble keeping everything straight. The bottom line is this…I have a lot of fond memories about my childhood Halloweens. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost interest and only a special treat can change that.
I remember going trick or treating back in the day. It wasn’t just one day-it was several days-and it began before October 31st. My sister and I, along with a few friends, collected treats together. We didn’t go to the same houses each day because that would be greedy. Instead, we visited homes on certain streets on certain days so we didn’t double up. The weather was always cold so we had to wear a coat over or under our costumes to keep us warm while we visited strangers. Actually, our village only had 5 streets so we knew most of the people and stayed away from those who gave out apples or home-baked goods.
I also remember that there was a Halloween protocol. It went like this…You knocked on the door and said “trick or treat” when the treat-giver-outer answered. They tried to guess who you were-by name, and then you removed your mask so they could see if they were right. Only then did you get a treat. You’d say “thank you” and then fall down the steps while hurrying to the next house. There was none of this running up to the door, holding open your pillow case, getting your candy, and running off without saying a word. You had to say “trick or treat” and “thank you” otherwise you were just being rude to the stranger who was giving you candy.
Today, trick or treat is just a few hours on one day. Safety is more of an issue now although it could have been one back then too and we just didn’t know it. If you think about it, hiding your identity in exchange for candy isn’t exactly safe. In fact, it’s kind of odd that we send kids out into the dark neighborhood one day a year and tell them it’s okay to collect candy from strangers. Then we spend the remaining 364 days telling them not to do it again.
Yes, I have a lot of fond memories about my childhood Halloweens. I don’t have much interest in it now because I don’t have to dress-up to get candy. I just go to the store and buy what I want from strangers at Dollar General while wearing my every day clothes. But this year is different. I’m interested because a shiny new Halloweener-well, minus the weener-is supposed to be trick or treating this year. Hopefully, she’ll take after me and her grandmother and start the protocol a few days before the actual holiday. But time is running out so come on little lady, start knocking.