Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, although I was never into the fright night aspect of it. (I don’t like being afraid.) As a kid, Halloween was more about becoming Princess Leia for a day and having an excuse to roam the neighborhood after dark with my friends. I looked forward to making popcorn balls and caramel apples and roasting the seeds I’d scooped out of my pumpkin.
Our house smelled like sugar, butter, and apple cider. Outside, the earthy scents of hay and decaying leaves filled the air. Condensation gathered on windows, and candlelight danced inside jack-o-lanterns. Halloween was a magical night for me, especially since it meant loading my treat bag with as many wax lips, Charleston Chews, and Tootsie Rolls as it could hold.
I don’t know whether or not my kids will have any magical Halloween memories, but they certainly put a lot of thought into their costumes, and trick-or-treating gets almost as much consideration. The plundering mentality is alive and strong in their generation. My eldest even has a strategy for gathering as much candy as possible:
- Go to the rich people’s houses. They have better candy.
- Use a pillowcase for trick-or-treating because you can get more candy in it.
- If people leave a bowl of candy by the door, you can take as much as you want.
- If there’s a sign by the bowl that says, “Take one,” just hide the sign. Then you can take as much as you want.
It’s probably a good thing Thanksgiving is right around the corner. After all the plundering that takes place on Halloween night, we could use a holiday that focuses on giving rather than getting.
©2012 Kim Vandel