I remember our mom meticulously painting our faces with her makeup, and doing up our hair, perhaps spraying it with wash-out color. The one item we usually got to buy was our cute little trick-or-treat container. We never used pillowcases, although my husband said that was his bag of choice; because it was big.
Daylight Savings Time usually kicked in right before Halloween, ensuring that we would be trekking through the neighborhood in the dark. One of our parents would carry a flashlight, the light bobbing and weaving with every step, adding to the spooky atmosphere. We would always have to wait until six o’clock sharp, after eating a nourishing meal that would counteract all the junk we would later consume. At least, that was my mom’s reasoning.
As soon as we got our candy, we’d chorus our “Thank yous,” before racing off to the next house. If we forgot, or our parents didn’t hear us, we would be forced to back track and say the two all-important words before moving on. It was all part of the ritual.
I can’t remember how long we trick-or-treated. An hour? Maybe more, as we got older? I’m pretty sure we were back at our house by 7:30. We’d be panting, our hair would be askew, and usually at least one of our costumes sustained minor damage, like a rip or a tear. That didn’t diminish the glory of the evening one bit. We’d become treasure seekers for an hour, and now it was time to examine our haul.
My sister and I became great negotiators at the Halloween table. She liked nuts; I didn’t. I would trade Snickers bars for Milky Ways, because she wasn’t a fan of caramel. She liked peanut M and M’s, so she would trade me some of her plain M and M’s for the peanut variety. However, Musketeers were our favorites. We’d count them out and taunt each other with the number of how many we got.
Trick-or-treating is a highlight to any kid’s childhood. Choosing a costume, or making it, brings out the creativity in children, as well as decision-making skills and family quality time. I have so many fond memories of Halloween spent with my family, friends, and cousins. When I had my own children, I tried to repeat the fun I experienced in my past.
Do you have a favorite costume, or Halloween tradition, you remember? I’d love to hear about it!