5 Saddest Things I Discovered Trick or Treating This Year

Categories: Random Ephemera

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Pily's Place Childcare
The Kid in a Mummy Wrapping Race
The Kid With One F is now four, which means that she's entering the actual people phase of her life. That makes little things like going trick or treating a, well, treat because now she's more than just a prop I use to extort candy from strangers. She has her own costume ideas, knows how to interact with people, and can actually walk instead of being rolled along like a big dolly.

As much fun as I find the holiday and the ritual, though, this was also the year I started noticing things while out trick or treating that make me a little sad. The're just little changes in the grand scheme of things, really, but it's enough to add a little bitterness to the 3 Musketeers I steal from the girl-spawn's Cinderella magic carriage basket after she goes to bed.

5. Halloween Doesn't Seem to Be a Community Thing Anymore: Now, we live in an apartment complex and my proposal to management that we have a sign-up sheet where people in the complex could sign up for trick or treaters to come by was shot down on insurance concerns. Luckily, there's one of those little planned communities across the street and that's where we went.

There are plenty of people that embrace Halloween, either with elaborate yard displays or just an open door. We met lots of wonderful folks, but for every house that stood wide open and welcoming was at least two more that were clearly not. I can understand if Halloween is on a Saturday or something you'd see more people not at home (Though in my childhood someone was always supposed to stay home and hand out candy even if the rest were going out), but Halloween was on a Thursday this year. That means that most folks just turned off their lights and didn't bother. It's like no one feels any obligation to be a part of the community ideal anymore, only if they "feel" like it.

4. People Are Still Pretty Racist: One thing that doesn't change much is racism, apparently. It's good that we've decided as a society to mostly stop openly advocating the inferiority of other skin colors, but that just seems to drive the sentiments underground.

It's a pretty nice little community where we went. All the houses probably cost more than both homes I lived in growing up combined. We tailed behind another group of kids who were primarily black, and so as to not swarm houses I made my daughter hang back until after they were through with their own trick or treating. I was also scouting out what goodies they were handing out in the baskets of the kids that were walking away from the door. It wasn't a majority of people by far, but there were several times I noticed my fellow Caucasians giving distinctly less candy to the black kids than my own little blond-haired Spider-Girl.

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17 comments
bjornrothraussen
bjornrothraussen

Is there any actual evidence to support the theory that blacks are equal to whites?

1rightguy
1rightguy

Good read except number four. You hung back from the black kids (not racist though) yet you were close enough to see that some of the rich homeowners are so racist that they give white kids more candy than they give black kids?

Amanda Howe
Amanda Howe

I noticed all of these things as well, and it makes me equally sad. Halloween and trick or treat was a sacrosanct affair when I was growing up. Participation was all but mandatory and if you couldn't participate, you turned off ALL your lights and maaaaybe you wouldn't get egged. My family hands out candy every year and makes an effort with our decorations. We have fewer and fewer every year. I'm astonished at the diminishing participation of adults in this holiday, unless it is to wear a sexy costume and go bar hop the last Saturday of the month. The kid's portion of Halloween seems to be dying, and they are the ones being robbed of the memories, not the 30 somethings that paid a babysitter $20 so they could black out in their sexy (insert whatever) bagged costume from Party Boy.

Loona_c
Loona_c

I don't mind (much) out of neighborhood kids/parents coming into our neighborhood for trick or treating.  But do PARK THE CAR somewhere and walk in and around  It's not an occassional car you have to worry about, but sometimes the stream of cars.

Liby Messler
Liby Messler

My new neighborhood is a ranch, so there's no trick or treating, unless you count the deer. My old neighborhood was full of the merry sound of children's laughter, and the less merry sound of the carloads of creepy un-costumed kids who were driven in from "poorer" neighborhoods. It takes a lot of fun out of Halloween when huge kids who don't live in the neighborhood terrorize your neighbors' kids and steal their candy. I enjoy passing out candy to kids I see regularly. I do NOT enjoy passing out candy to kids driving from neighborhood to neighborhood being greedy.

Heather Phillips
Heather Phillips

We had a newborn recently, only reason our lights were out...

Chelsea Goode
Chelsea Goode

Thank you for this! Halloween has gone way downhill since I was younger. We only had four groups of kids this year, and three were teens! Up next: Shopping on Thanksgiving day >:(

nebeltex
nebeltex

#3 Bussing for candy. Taking advantage of those who are willing to freely pass out candy to your kids teaches the wrong lesson to children. If your neighborhood is not trick-or-treat friendly, or "candy rich", feel free to expand your "target area". Just don't get greedy. Some neighbors don't pass out candy in Katy because they don't have enough for ALL of Fort Bend County.

#4 Practice safety. Drivers; If you are driving anywhere, please realize that some clueless kids (with a candy fixation) may be wearing dark clothes for a costume and won't hesitate to run out in front of you on the road. Trick-or treaters (and parents); Be careful too. Use a flashlight (or two). Parents can wear a safety vest. "Glow sticks" (and reflective material) can be incorporated into costumes. Be smart and responsible enough to know (as a parent) when your children may be old enough to tricK-or-treat on their own and stay out of trouble.

#5 Have fun now, yet stay safe and enjoy the "spirit" of Halloween so you and others can enjoy it next year, or make it even better.

nebeltex
nebeltex

My five disappointments for modern Halloween?

#1 I'm too old to trick-or-treat, but that is O.K. A lot of candy that won't last until Easter is now on sale.

#2 (agreeing with you), sign-up sheets for candy hosts should be encouraged (within certain communities). I don't know why insurance types would shoot that sensible suggestion down, unless they are mamby-pamby insurance types who worry about "invited" shootings, and that is unlikely to happen.

Olivia Online
Olivia Online

We forgot to buy candy for Halloween this year - rather than turn the porch light off, we handed out quarters. The kids loved it and I got rid of all the loose change at the bottom of my purse. Win/win.

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan topcommenter

One year, I took my daughter to the Kemah Boardwalk for Halloween. Great evening, but some Tea-Party types, wearing the V for Vendetta masks, were handing out political literature on the boardwalk. Someone gave me one and I took one look, tore it up and tossed in the trash and shot a disgusted look at the person who gave it to me.  I agree with you Jef, can kids have just ONE friggin day a year where they and their parents can be free of politics and evangelizing?

Agree about the car thing. Kid and I and one of her friends walked around our neighborhood and got a nice haul of candy.  Actually,they did, I got nada. But my kid shared so I did get some candy after all. :)

drusilla.grey
drusilla.grey

Yeah you need to come be my neighbor. Yes, there are always Halloween poopers who don't have their light on, but most of our community participates. Many even dress their pets! A bunch of us decorate our porches and leave a huge bowl of candy out so we can walk with our kids. We all see each other and stop to chat (most parents have their solo cup and some refills with them). And there are all sorts of unique costumes. Even the neighbors without kids get in on the fun. And when the kids are in bed, people hang out on patios having a drink and enjoying candy

Oh and before Halloween, we all do the "you've been boo-ed" thing where a mysterious package appears at your door with fun treats and goodies for the kids, then you leave a package for someone else.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Yet another rant.  Jef, I thought you were better than this.

KRO-J
KRO-J

@nebeltex It's because there are a lot of sickos and child predators out there and a lot of people who like to sue. If the apartment complex does anything to facilitate criminal behavior, they can potentially be sued for anything bad that happens as a result.

MadMac
MadMac

I'm moving to your hood.

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