Perhaps it is the product of change and the progression of social evolution, or maybe it's nostalgia viewed the polyanish eyes, but it seems to me that Halloween was once a much more social event. Granted allot of that is dependant on the parents, for sure. Our preparation for the holiday, such as it is is limited to dressing, adorning, and making up the children for a once through the neighborhood, then returning to the house, safeguarding the candy for gradual distribution, and shuffling the ghouls entering into a sugar induced coma to bed.
But I remember a time when it wasn't like that.
As I've mentioned before, I grew up in a SMALL NewHampshire town. Where the beauty of autumn is in abundance. The leaves changing silently ushered in the excitement of the Holiday season, and Halloween was the opening salvo. Yes, I can remember in my youth, the Norman Rockwell traditions in abundance in our home. Dad, coveting the knives, produced some incredible pumpkin carvings, while my sister and I had the gross, yet COOL chore of "scooping out the guts"! Mom would bake (yes this was back when moms "baked" in an oven....from SCRATCH! She made the AWESOME cookies with icing that were to DIE for!) The house it self was not decked out in any holiday trappings, but the neighborhood was. Some families would open their homes up, decorated in "haunted mansion" style, and whilst trick or treating the children and parents alike were invited in to experience the chills! There were neighborhood parties with haunted hay rides. Yes. REAL hayrides! You sat in the back of a horse drawn cart, blanketed in loose hay, huddled in warm quilts, where the driver, versed in "true" local lore would expertly regale you with macabre tales and upon reaching the pinnacle of his tale someone or some-"thing" would pop out behind a tree, or rush the cart and scare the begeebuz out of you! There was bobbing for apples. Yes, truly as archaic as that sounds, we did these things as kids. Blindfolded, you'd place your hands through a false wall, where a selection of items (such as spaghetti, chopped tomatoes...whatever) were placed and upon running your hands through it they tell you they were maggot's or Mrs. Finnalys brains...whatever!
Trick or treating itself was a major social event. Like every neighborhood, we had the one house where the crazy old spinster woman lived, rumor had it she was a witch, which should you approach her house she would turn you into a black cat, or toad and keep you as a demonic pet. ( Truth be told, this "Crazy Witch" turned out to be a VERY sweet retired lady, who did actually live at the bottom of a long heavily tree lined dirt driveway in the woods adjacent to our house. After my father brought me there (in the daytime) as he was helping put an addition on her home, and introduced me, I found her to be a surrogate grandma whom I spent many days playing cards and boardgames with. Hence my love of Scrabble. PLUS she ALWAYS had a full bowl of those little candy bars waiting for me when i would visit) But all the kids in full regalia would be out. And we, after a certain age could go out on our own, with our friends and would bring back a HUGE bag FULL of candy!
But, as I said, things have changed. Few homes are decorated, even fewer engage in the holiday. What little collection of costumed kids there are, are unfamiliar. Usually it's a large group swooping through, having been brought in in the back of someones pickup as they prowl neighborhood to neighborhood. In the end, it's sad to see the demise of a youthful institution, and even worse is the apathy we ourselves feel regarding the loss.
Well, at least there's Christmas.
So here are our little ones in their regalia!
|Izzy, Momma's little princess!|
|Rozy, the Cats Meow~!|
|Logan, in search of the Mach 5|
|Kaleb. A teenager...with a mask...in search of candy.|
|Elijah. With a mask sent from London, England. Which he desided not to wear anyway.|