Monday, September 22, 2008
I imagine when my dad was a boy there might have been tricks involved on Halloween. My fifth grade teacher Mr. Crane told us of turning out houses over on the door when someone was inside. And when I was a girl there were stories of kids drawing on car windows with soap. The idea of trick or treat I was told meant if you don't give me a treat you will get a trick. My Dad did not want us threatening tricks so he had his children sing at our neighbors front doors "Halloween is coming the geese are getting fat. Please put a penny in the old mans hat, if you haven't got a penny an apple will do. If you haven't got an apple then God bless you." this usually got us a second piece of candy and an occasional penny.
I had an English neighbor of my own religion who told her children that Halloween was evil. She would not let them use orange crayons or orange construction paper and would never let them dress up for the class room party. I told her I didn't think second graders wearing bunny ears and tu tu's eating cup cakes could possible be evil.
I didn't like Halloween as a child. Running across a snow blanketed lawn in Keds always made my feet too cold. And the coat that made it impossible to see my costume is a generational complaint. When you are taller than the kids your age there is always a mean man who will say "aren't you too old for this."
As a mother there was always a mess to pick up. We never bought costumes for the kids. They were very creative and come up with a great costume from what we already had. We do keep a costume box with stuff we have collected that might work and pieces of costume we have been given. One of my kids will tell you about elementary school when the girls would change into costume in one room and the boys in another. She must have been the last to change and before she was ready the school costume parade came through the room while she was undressed.
I didn't like trick or treaters to come when the kids were out with their Dad. For years I was nursing a baby when the bell rang and later I had to go down a flight of stairs to get to the front door. I am in favor of church, school and community parties for children.
I will only wear a little bit of a costume usually glasses with a mustache nose. We once dressed in black tie and tails. With poster board vests and fabric stuffed feline tails hanging from our belts. It was a college ward party at a barn and the Bishop dressed like a dirty old man. He was such a good actor he was scary.
When I lived on the Wasatch Front if Halloween fell on a Sunday it was a well known fact that the trick or treating would take place the night before. In the North Woods there is no such respect for the Sabbath day.
As a child we could only go as far as we could walk. When we lived in the Inland Empire my husband found the retired people one block over gave our children full sized candy bars. Today the elementary grape vine spreds the word about the right neiborhoods to go to. And since you can't send your kids out alone anymore, mom and dad can drive to the right neiborhood.
I always enjoy the memories.