It's almost time to dress the kiddies up in their Halloween costumes, get their treat bags ready, teach them to say "Trick or Treat", and take them to the mall.
What? Huh? The mall? What for? Are we eating there before we go trick or treating???? I'm confused.
When I was a child, most of the costumes I ever had consisted of a plastic mask that was secured to your head with a rubber band, a highly flammable plastic cape or dress depending on what you were gonna be, and a round orange plastic pumpkin to store all your loot in. The plastic mask had 2 eye holes, 2 small nostril holes and a little slit in the mouth. Have you ever gotten your tongue stuck in one of those masks? Anyone? Please tell me I wasn't the only one with a shredded tongue from one of those things. And God help you if that rubber band got snapped against your head somehow. You saw stars for quite awhile after that.
For the actual trick or treating, we were let loose in a neighborhood and got to go to people's actual houses. And we ate the candy in the back seat of the car on the way home with no worries of it being messed with in some way. And please don't forget that wonderful stomach ache later on that night.
Those were the days.
I feel sorry for kids nowadays. Granted, I'm sure there are still neighborhoods around that you can trick or treat in. I am hoping to go to one of those this year with Bean. But for a while now, the trend has been to take the kids to a mall or a store and let them trick or treat there because "it's safer". Our town also used to have an amazing Halloween carnival at the elementary school. I don't even think it's still called a "Halloween Carnival". I think to be politically correct, they've changed the name of it to Fall Festival or Harvest Celebration, or some stupid crap like that. Some churches have gotten into the act, too, and started their own Fall Festivals to compete against Halloween since it's the devil's day. You know, I dressed up in plenty of costumes and celebrated plenty of Halloweens, and ate plenty candy and I'm pretty sure I'm still a Christian. I don't have any worries there. I don't think I'm going to hell because I dressed up as Plastic Princess Leia one year. I just think it's sad that kids can't enjoy Halloween like we used to. You have to worry about people doing things to the candy that they give out. You have to worry about crime and people way scarier than any boogeyman we ever made up stories about.
It's just sad. Now, I will admit that I do not miss those costumes. But I do miss the free spirit (no pun intended) of the old Halloweens. It's just a shame that this world has changed so much that our kids probably will never know how much fun Halloween used to be.
*Picture courtesy of http://www.beckyhiggins.com