Saturday, November 10, 2007



Halloween has slipped past us as if it were the end of a children’s holiday or maybe it was like the beginning of a holiday. All I know is that is was a weak event here where I live. As I walked my child and her two friends around town I saw very few candy beggars and too many dark houses and when we got home my wife still had a half a bowl left of chocolate treats.
I was saddened by the whole non-event.
I thought I was the only one to feel that this day of childhood pretending and ghostly delights was now a thing of the past. Then I read an editorial by Susan Estrict called Halloween Horrors She too laments its passing.

Just a quick poll: What was it like where you live?

5 comments:

Eric said...

It wasn't good. Lots of beggars, but only about 40% of the houses had their lights on. There are lots of reasons for the black-out, one of which is the rise of single-parent houses.

And other reason: Increasing number of parents who both want to go out with their children. So they both go out begging, turning off their lights and not reciprocating the favor. The gross inconsiderateness shocks me, but I'm seeing more and more of it.

Michelle said...

Ah, join the military and live on post! In our neighborhood of 65 homes, all but a few had their lights on: even some of the evangelicals who won't let their kids beg were nonetheless giving away the stuff.

The weather was good, so those of us passing out candy sat outside chatting with each other while the kiddies ran from door to door.

Took my husband less than 45 minutes to walk our brood through the whole area and they came home with more than enough booty.

We know we have it good. Invited a friend who lives off post to canvass our neighborhood. If we ever have to live off post, I would do the same.

Jon said...

I don't know where you live, but I live in as subdivision in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We were mobbed by the spooky little urchins. My wife ALWAYS runs out of candy, even thought she buys pounds of it. My kids come home with enough loot to last till Easter.

I'd say only 5% of the houses were dark.

Lots of homes have groups of parents who chat and group together to pass out cavity tickets. I make the rounds with several other dad-friends, and there's always at least one dad who doesn't forget us and offers a little liquid dad treat at his house.

Not to worry, Ike is still president and Pius XII still sits on his throne somewhere!

Tim J. said...

We had a very similar experience to Alan's... most houses were dark, and few trick-or-treaters were out, even though there could never - in all of history - have been a better night for it. Overcast, mild and a gusty breeze, driving the fallen leaves along the sidewalk.

I think a great deal of it has to do with things that Susan Estrich touched on in her column.

There is also the fairly new phenomenon of churches and other organizations (like shopping malls... ugh) having "safe" trick-or-treat functions where the little darlings can skip all the tedious adventuring through a real neighborhood and instead - Mom and Dad in tow - drearily trudge through a kind of benign candy distribution center (lots of hay bales and pumpkins, no scary monsters) and get the whole thing done in twenty minutes.

Do we have to make everything into an assembly line? Efficient, safe & sensible? Bah...

Liz said...

We also had the fewest beggars ever this year. Here it is nearly Thanksgiving and we still have Halloween candy left,although our own kids are all grown up! It gets worse every year, although we seem to still buy the amount of candy needed 20 years ago. I've seen the trick or treating in the mall phenomenon for the first time this year. But I've been aware for sometime that neighborhood spirit seems to be lacking around here. The local elementary school declared it "book character dress up day" and said that Halloween was a religious term. I'm not sure what religion they're were speaking of, but it certainly raised some people's hackles.