When I was little, I remember trick or treating with great joy. I remember the thrill of squirreling away as much loot as possible. I remember seeing neighbours I never saw any other time of year. I remember those little prickly seed things that stuck to my costume when I walked along the road.
It saddens me that for many of today’s children, that experience is falling by the wayside.
Halloween spirit has not seen a drop. If anything, more people than ever dress up. Lots of people decorate with traditional pumpkins… and now, orange mini lights. At the store, you can buy candy and chips galore, far more than the standard boring plain chips of yesteryear.
However, this year, there just weren’t many trick or treaters.
I had eight kids at my door, and it’s a fairly well populated spot in the country.
I was not alone. A lot of people had few kids and lots of candy leftover. Now, for adults, it’s great to have leftover candy and chips… yet it’s sad that there’s so few trick or treaters to take home those little packets of junk food.
I love to dress up, so I had on a costume (well a sari and brown eye shadow all over my face to make me look like I was from New Delhi) and took the time to decorate the covered porch with enough fake spider webbing to induce arachnophobia in even the bravest of kids.
By 8, though, I washed off the makeup, unwrapped the sari, and gave up. I only had to answer the door twice, and for only two groups of kids. It was very disappointing… and I sensed that same disappointment in other people who were reporting low numbers.
Is trick or treating a thing of the past?
As a kid, how glorious it was to fill bags and bags (and sometimes pilllowcases) with goodies. This was back when candy was king. A little money in your pocket? Well it was time to hit the convenience store. And Halloween just meant you could replenish your supplies.
These days, are kids missing out on this night of plenty?
You get a chance to dress up and get candy. Sign me up. I can’t wait to have kids so I can do it all over again. In fact, it’s all I can do to keep from going trick or treating now, even though I’m almost 30.
I’m guessing from this year’s low turnout that I might’ve made off with a lot of great loot, just because people were left holding the bag… or at least a lot of candy.
If the numbers are any indication, trick or treating isn’t the same as it used to be.
As even our rural societies begin to close themselves off more and more from community, neighbours, and local events, the loss of one more thing isolates us all from the ties that bind.
Trick or treating is a great way to get out and see your neighbours, say hello, and get some exercise, even if it’s for the purpose of getting junk food. Plus, you get to live in a fantasy world for one night, when werewolves roam and witches prosper.
Whether this year people were scared away from trick or treating because of the flu, or candy just doesn’t have a place in this obese world, I’m hoping that next year, the little ghouls and goblins will be going door to door again.