Saturday, October 31, 2009
Halloween isn't fun anymore. Time was when my family would go to great lengths to decorate and make it a fun time. The girls would dress up and usually Dad would take them out for their trick-or-treating after our usual rushed Halloween supper of hot dogs. I would stay at the house and give out the candy to the children that came to the door. I enjoyed it. I loved seeing the costumes of especially the little trick-or-treaters. The girls would get home with their bags, usually heavier than they could carry on their own. They'd be allowed to empty out all their bounty and after inspection, they could eat everything they wanted until it was time to get cleaned up and ready for bed. Once they finished for the night, everything that was left over got put up and rationed out over the next months.
I don't know when things changed but I started to fear for the safety of my children as they were out going around the neighborhood. Even when they got older we made sure that there was an adult with them....at least accompanying them from driveway to driveway. They weren't allowed to eat anything from their bags until they got it back home and each and every piece was checked. Anything that wasn't wrapped up was thrown out, which was a shame 'cause as a kid I always loved home-made popcorn balls.
And eventually the trick-or-treaters stopped being so cute. When teenage kids came to my door looking like they just stepped off the school bus and onto my front door, I started thinking about how much longer things could continue as they had. When older kids were being transported into our neighborhood from others and started taking the fun from the smaller children, it really stopped being fun. When older kids started complaining about the treats that were being handed out, I said, "That's it!"
Since that time the world as a whole has realized that things just weren't the same. I'm glad to see that the whole Halloween thing is being monitored more closely. Parents are getting more involved. Churches and schools are making it safer and more fun for the kids. Even some Emergency Rooms are offering to x-ray bags of candy for foreign object. I wouldn't take anything for the years of trick-or-treating that my brother and I had. Or for the years that my own kids had. But I'm glad that I can just turn out my front porch light and not have to deal with it anymore.