August 20, 2017

Remembering Halloweens Past

By Michele Knowlton

It’s almost Halloween (and from the look in some stores Christmas is even closer!)  Halloween is probably the holiday that has changed the most since I was a kid.  

Back in the olden days, Mom got little paper or waxed paper bags and we filled them with loose candy- candy corn, maybe some M&M’s, some chocolate, or maybe small peanut butter cups or lollipops.  Sometimes we even gave out homemade candy apples or popcorn balls.  All of that is just not safe these days.  Now all of the candy given out for Trick or Treat is wrapped and identifiable.

The whole Trick or Treating experience has changed too.  Back in the day there were always a couple of houses where the Trick or Treaters were actually invited into the house.  Those were the ones where they often gave out cider to the adults while the kids looked at a home that had been transformed into an awesome haunted house.  By today’s standards and seeing things more through adult eyes, they probably weren’t all that awesome but that’s how I remember them. 

Part of the whole Trick or Treating experience also included collecting money – usually pennies, nickels and dimes – in cardboard UNICEF boxes.  I wonder why that tradition stopped?  Maybe it stopped because less and less of the money was actually going back to UNICEF. 

The whole costume thing was different then too.  The costumes fell into two categories.  1) They were homemade like ghosts (basically old sheets with eye holes), angels (again usually with an old sheet), or pirate.  Some of the homemade costumes I see today are very elaborate and they’re wonderful.  2) Or the costumes back then were store bought.  The material was thin and cheap.  They had matching masks which smelled funny and didn’t let you see too much.  Now when kids have store bought costumes they are much more intricate. 

The world has changed a lot.  I know kids are safer now because of some of the changes in traditions but at the same time it’s sad that a few really bad eggs have made the changes necessary.  Lots of neighborhoods don’t even have Trick or Treaters because it’s just plain safer to celebrate at a community event or at the mall. 

Do you have Halloween memories that have gone by the wayside?  

Michele is co-founder of FamilyViewed.com, the place where families gather online and kids learn to take responsibility.

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