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My First Rant – Halloween Trick-or-Treating

October 28th, 2008 · No Comments · Random Stuff

I warned you in my “About the Trade Show Guru” page that this blog may also contain an occasional rant… well, here’s my first rant. Why isn’t Halloween trick-or-treating like it was when I was a kid?

Caution – for non-American readers, this post may not make sense. To explain, in America, on Halloween night, kids dress up in costume and go door to door in their neighborhoods to get candy. They walk up to a door, ring the bell, and say “trick or treat” when someone opens the door. While it sounds like there are two responses possible to the kids’ request, only one is really acceptable, and the person answering the door should say “what great/cute/neat costumes!” and then give the kids candy. Unfortunately for the kids, this deal only works on the evening of October 31.

Anyway, when I was a kid (many years ago), come nightfall on Halloween, the streets would begin to swarm with costumed urchins in search of candy! My brothers and I would don our costumes, grab out pillow sacks, and head out to gather our loot. Once our pillow sacks were full, we’d return home, dump the contents, and head back out. If we’d hit all the neighborhood houses already, we’d switch costumes and go back out. We would keep at it until nobody would open their doors anymore. Ah, those were the days…

But these days it just seems that very few kids go trick-or-treating anymore. Where we used to live a few years ago, we wouldn’t get ANY kids on Halloween, and we’d end up with a full bag of candy at the end of the night to dispose of (that’s why I only buy good candy and not the cheap stuff that some other households hand out…) We moved not too long ago to a new neighborhood, and now we at least get a few kids. We also now have two little kids of our own that my wife takes out. It seems like about a third of the houses around here give out candy. I guess the good news is that people know that not many kids will be coming by so they really dump the candy on those kids that do.

But enough of my ranting. This year my kids have some cool Halloween costumes. My son is going to be a pirate (he also has a firefighter costume and a vampire costume in case he changes his mind) and my daughter is going to be a black cat (her backup is a princess costume). My wife read about halloween costumes for couples and thinks we should dress up together in matching or coordinated costumes. She suggested dressing up as Bill and Hillary (yes, kinda dated), and I countered with Hef and a bunny, or suggested like a couple at a Halloween party we went to last year, let’s just both put on fake crazy silver disco wigs and be done with it. Somehow, I don’t think we’ll be dressing up as a couple, but that’s fine with me. I’m content to help carve the pumpkin and hand out the candy. If I did dress up, it would be as a crotchety old man

November 1st UPDATE: Perhaps this crotchety old man was a bit quick to rant. We had some friends over Halloween night. They also have little kids. When it started to get dark, we all went over to a nearby neighborhood that had had several houses decorated for Halloween for weeks. The houses were amazing. When we got there, the area was alive with costumed kids running around and laughing, and at least half of the houses had lights on and were giving out candy. Our kids were a little hesitant at first (“daddy, will you ring the doorbell for me?”), but after a few houses soon got the idea and were running ahead of us adults. We got back to our own house about an hour and a half later, and according to our neighbor, missed the handful of kids that came by here, but based on what we saw at this other neighborhood, trick-or-treating may be making a comeback. It will probably never live up to my (probably inflated) childhood memories, but few things do.


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