Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I think maybe it’s because the leaves have started turning and the cooler weather is setting in. No need to run the air conditioner, and most of the time you can leave your front door wide open without freezing. Maybe it’s just because fall is my favorite time of year and Halloween is the first fall holiday.
This year we had more trick-or-treaters than we have had since we moved into our current house 8 years ago. Still, we don’t get near the volume as Broadway does and since there aren’t many young kids in the neighborhood our numbers are pretty modest—usually around 25.
But that’s okay. It means I get to talk to all of the kids and look at their costumes and hand out stuff besides candy. Yes, I don’t usually hand out candy for Halloween. This is my last year to have a trick-or-treater of my own and I’ve had at least one trick-or-treater in my house for the past 17 years or so. That means there is already plenty of candy and I don’t really want leftovers. So we’ve handed out slime, popcorn on the cob, Smencils, gliders, magic wands, microwave popcorn and the like. Since we don’t get a ton of trick-or-treaters, I get to spend a little more per ghoul than I would otherwise.
Nothing is more endearing than seeing a child’s eyes the first few years of trick-or-treating—the excitement...the fear. After all, it’s the only time of year you can take candy from a stranger and your parents won’t complain.
After this year, though, I decided to make a policy on who will be eligible for treats at our house.
In all the years we have had trick-or-treaters, we have had maybe a handful of high school age kids coming to our door. I would give treats to them, even if they weren’t in costume, I mean, it is kind of a kid’s holiday. So go out and have fun...provided you don’t do anything destructive or harass the younger kids. Heck it’s even better if you take your little brother. But this year, I had something happen that has never happened before.
This year I had two grown women (not in costume) come to my door trick-or-treating; one with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, both with bags for collecting goodies. Apparently one of the women’s “grand-daughter” had fallen asleep half an hour before and the other woman’s “daughter” had done the same thing, so they were trick-or-treating for them. I was totally stunned. Why would you do that? If you just want to make sure they get plenty of candy, buy the clearance stuff on November 1. Halloween is supposed to be about the experience and the excitement, not about how much candy and stuff you can get. Besides, if I’m going to spend my evening handing out treats, I want to at least get the enjoyment of seeing kids in costume!
So starting next year, if you stop by my house looking for Halloween goodies, you had better be school-aged or have your child/grandchild with you. If not, your time will be better spent elsewhere.