trick or treat
Every year…like clockwork, parents dress their children up in costumes, and the annual tradition of children roaming the neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and asking for treats…with the threat of tricks, if the “blackmail” is not paid…begins. It’s Halloween, of course. These days, not as many children really understand how the whole thing is supposed to work. They just see it as a day to gather up as much candy as possible. I read somewhere that children consume, on average, 7,000 calories worth of candy…or the equivalent of almost 11 Burger King Whoppers, without cheese, and not the new meatless version, of course. It’s a good thing that most kids are very active, or that many calories could be bad. And that isn’t even considering the sugar high that the parents will have to deal with. Try putting that child to bed after all that, and you’ll find that it’s going to be a long night. The best you can hope for is that the day falls on a Friday, so they don’t have to get up for school the next day…not the case this year, unfortunately.
So, with all the negative aside, the costumes people come up with are usually very cute. I prefer the costumes that don’t focus on the gruesome and horrific, but there are always a few of those. This year, with all my grandchildren grown up, we will only have our little great granddaughter heading out to see what she can come home with. At just 17 months, she will most likely only be going a few places, and since she is so little, she isn’t as totally addicted to candy as she will most likely become in future years. Nevertheless, I’ve never seen her turn down a treat either.
I remember Halloweens past, when my grandchildren were little. They couldn’t wait to get out there, and they really preferred if their parents didn’t stand around and talk. After all, they had rounds to make, and it wasn’t getting any earlier. My grandchildren, Chris Petersen, Shai Royce, Caalab Royce, and Josh Petersen, always had the cutest costumes. I suppose I might be a bit biased, but I don’t care. I’m sure every parent and every grandparent feels the same way about their own little ones. It’s our prerogative!! Our little ones never had any tricks up their sleeves, that I knew of, but I do recall the year when I, as a little kid, was handed a little bar of soap, by my mother, Collene Spencer. It was my “trick” and I was only asked by one person, what trick I had up my sleeve. When I showed him the soap, he let out a great big guffaw!! He had no idea that I would even know what he meant. He said that it made his whole day!! Happy Halloween everyone!! Be safe out there!!
Halloween started out as All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve. Originally, it was to be a time dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed. These days, very few churches still practice it in that way, if at all. Yet, many of the Celtic traditions from Ireland that were there before Christianity came to the area, are still observed. Activities include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into Jack O’Lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. Since I’m totally not a fan of horror movies, and thankfully, my husband, Bob agrees with me on that, we avoid the horror movies at all costs, and are pretty happy when Halloween is over, because then there aren’t so many horror movies on television.
Over the years, the costumes worn by kids and adults alike have changed. Very few people want the traditional costumes anymore. Now it’s things like superheroes, cartoon characters, firefighters, or even period costumes, like Vikings or pirates. These days, anything goes. If it interests you, you can make it a costume. I’ve even seen people dress their little ones up as a Lego block, or a car, complete with the body of the car attached to the child’s waist. The creativity is amazing, and I wish I had thought of some of those things when my girls, Corrie Petersen and Amy Royce were little, because it would have been so cute. I wasn’t very inventive, so the girls were kind of the normal things, but my girls got more creative than I did with their kids…or maybe the costumes just got better.
With the adults getting in on the action, you will see more parties and even people dressing up at work. Some offices even have contests to see who has the best costume. It’s all in the fun of the day, and lots of people spend quite a bit of time getting ready for the activities. My niece, Jenny Spethman and her husband, Steve always have a party. It is something our whole family looks forward to. Unfortunately, this year, Bob and I will have to miss out on the fun, because we have to bowl. We are disappointed, of course, but there is always next year. Happy Halloween everyone!!
Every year on October 31st, kids all over the country take to the streets, knocking on doors to collect a bounty of candy…whether they need it or not. My kids and grandkids are all beyond the trick or treat stage now, but that doesn’t stop some of them from dressing up for work and parties they have been invited to. My nieces and nephews have a great time each year, and the costumes are as varied as the imaginations of the people wearing them. My niece Jenny and her husband Steve always have a party on Halloween, so that all the family can gather and enjoy each other’s company. Jenny and Steve have come up with a variety of costumes over the years…from Indians to cowboy and dance hall girl. And then there’s my niece, Kellie, who uses the workplace to create a costume…I guess writing insurance for Progressive has it’s perks…I should have thought of that, since my daughter Amy and I write for Progressive too. My granddaughter, Shai has told me that she is planning to dress up for work tonight too, at Outback Steakhouse. I think she should go as a Bloomin’ Onion, but I don’t expect her to take my advice.
When I was a kid, Halloween was pretty much a kids game, and while Dad always took us trick or treating, the night belonged to us. My parents never dressed up, nor did any other adults I knew. We didn’t bother with a little Jack-O-Lantern basket for our candy, because that didn’t hold enough…just take a pillow case. It was sure to be full by the time you got home. Dad was always a good sport, taking us out as long as we could stand it, which was quite a while if the night wasn’t too cold. We didn’t go to places like the mall…we didn’t have one anyway…or other businesses, because there was very little worry about tainted candy. It was just a very different time. These days people must be much more careful, and maybe that is why there are more parties, and less trick or treating.
Halloween will always be a kids game, I suppose, but these days it’s not just for kids, and the people I am around that dress up are not kids…or maybe they are. They say some people never grow up, and it could be that the ones that dress up just have a little bit of a kid still living on the inside of them. Here’s to childhood, and never growing old!! Happy Halloween everyone!!
Sometimes, it hits me that my children are grown and my grandchildren are growing up…very quickly…too quickly. They are almost grown up now. I look at the pictures of them as children, especially on days like Christmas, birthdays, and Halloween. There was such excitement in the air, with the anticipation of the day’s events, that they could barely control themselves. Even the parents were excited, though few of us would admit it then. Looking back at the little kids they were, makes me think of the young adults they are quickly becoming.
They no longer dress up for Halloween, and even might be working that night now, which is something that kind of makes me a little sad. They were so cute in their little costumes. They might be a pirate, or ninja, a mime, or pumpkin, a ladybug, or fireman, Spiderman, or even a lion, but it was not the costume that mattered, because they were our little trick or treaters, and they were the absolute cutest ones ever. They couldn’t wait for the time to arrive to go out and do the one thing Halloween is all about…getting candy. They were practically jumping up and down with anticipation. Dinner simply couldn’t get over fast enough, and in all reality, they didn’t want to fill up on food anyway, even though their parents don’t want them to fill up on candy! You knew there was going to be a huge difference of opinion there. Finally, the time arrived, and you were off.
Today’s, and even in my girl’s day, trick or treating must be more limited. When I was a kid, Dad took us all over the area around our house. We went for blocks and blocks. You didn’t have to worry about the candy you got, or have it x-rayed, in fact no had even heard of such a thing back then. No, we just collected enough candy to last us easily until Christmas…thought it never did. It was a great time.
Sometimes, I wish time did not have to pass so quickly, because those days are gone forever, and now so are the days of my grandchildren trick or treating. I wish I could go back there sometimes. That said, however, as it is with life, the next generation is right around the corner. Before we know it, these kids, now young adults, will be married and having children of their own, and the next generation of the cutest trick or treaters ever will be upon us.
Halloween is here, and all the kids will be out tonight dressed up as whatever their imaginations can come up with. I personally like the cute costumes better than the scary or evil ones. I always have. I was never into horror movies, and I don’t like scary things, so it just stands to reason that I like the cute costumes.
My grandchildren have outgrown…for the most part…the trick or treating part of Halloween, but during their time they have been everything from a pea pod as a baby to a pirate, because it’s not wimpy. Probably my favorite for Chris was the Lion King, for Shai was the Lady Bug, for Josh was Spiderman, and for Caalab was the Pirate. They have been so many things that is really is hard to decide and of course, the years all run together and unless you are looking at the pictures, you may not recall.
One of the cutest costumes I saw that was not my own grandchild, was last year when we had the cutest little pink Lego Block come to our house. She was about 3, and just precious. I had to ask her parents for permission to get her picture. I won’t show it here, because that is not my right, but take my word for it, she was a cutie and her mom had done an excellent job on her costume.
I like talking to the cute little ones and asking who they are…not who they really are, but who they are pretending to be, because sometimes you can’t tell, and sometimes they have an entirely different idea of who they are from what their costume says they are. Halloween can be a fun time for kids to play a little make believe. I hope everyone has a great time this year. As for me…we are going bowling.