Monday, November 7, 2011

The Rules of Trick-or-Treat

Thank you all for your sweet comments on the passing of my grandpa on Saturday. All of your prayers and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

I know Halloween was a week ago, but I never got around to posting any pictures until now, so hopefully you don't mind some Halloween pictures and a little rant :)

(we never did get one where both of them were looking at the camera)

This is the first time my husband and I took the kids trick-or-treating so I guess you could call us amateurs, but as someone who trick-or-treated until I was 14 (yes, I just admitted that - I like candy!) I like to think I know how this Halloween thing works.

When I trick-or-treated, I followed a few simple rules:

1. Trick-or-treating begins when it starts to get dark.
2. If you plan on giving out candy, put your porch light on. Extra points for people who put their garage lights on too.
3. If you have your porch light on, I will ring your doorbell and ask for candy.
4. If your porch lights are on and I ring your doorbell, don't act surprised that my I am there and offer me a banana in place of candy.

We took the kids around for an hour and they barely got any candy and most people with their lights on said they didn't have any candy for her. I guess maybe Halloween isn't what I remember as a kid. My brother and I would go out as soon as we possibly could, then trick-or-treat until the last minute. The houses with their porch lights on meant "I have candy, come and get it!" Garage lights alone were iffy, those were probably the people hiding in their living room snickering as poor children rang their doorbells in hopes of candy. And if you were one of the people who left out a bowl of candy, I applaud you.

Near the end, my dad would drive us a few miles down the road where the mansions were and we would get full-sized candy bars. We would come back with several bags full of candy and when we got home, we would dump it all on the floor and sort them into categories: Chocolate, Hard Candies, Gross Candy For Mom and Dad (Dum Dums, Tootsie Rolls, etc.) Then for the next year, we would ration our candy out each day until it was next Halloween.

It was still fun, but I guess I'm a little sad that Halloween isn't what I remember. Or maybe I just went to the wrong neighborhood?


  1. Your kids are adorable! Little clone trooper would have fit right in with my crew. ;)

    Some people around here didn't seem to know the rules of Halloween either.

  2. I'm glad you posted this. My trick or treating experience was very similar! I too followed the same general rules as a child (only houses with porch lights on, stay on sidewalks or driveways, never walk through yards etc.) My daughter will be 3 at the end of December and this is our second year trick or treating. Last year we lived in an apartment so we went with my SIL and her kids around their neighborhood. This year we were in a house and excited to have our own neighborhood to visit. What a disappointment - several houses with lights on that didn't answer or had no treats (which is fine if you don't want to play along but turn your lights off for crying out loud). Some houses playing along but OMG the about of trip hazards on their porches! Someone told me they thought the "neighborhood" trick or treating we knew as children was long forgotten and that most people took their kids to big events now. Our local zoo puts on "Boo at the Zoo" which is trick or treating for kids but they only had 20 candy stops (not that my kid needs a ton of candy but the adventure of trick or treating is the fun part). I guess there are other alternatives and maybe we will look at doing them next year - hope you have better luck in 2012!

  3. Wow! It's weird to me to hear about your experience and that of others. Trick or treating around my neighborhood is still alive and well. Each of my kids got 5-8 lbs of candy. Yes, we weighed it. They only found 3 houses in our 5 block area that did not have lights on. 6-7 people were not home, but left a bowl of cand outside (one bowl was empty by 7pm, but we are assuming greedy older kids & not a person leaving an empty bowl on the front step). Sad to hear the tradition is dying in other places.

  4. Halloween isn't really done down here in Australia (although its picking up steam and I see more and more in the stores each year, and it sickens me). We got a few kids come to our door the last couple years but we don't hand out candy. We have a sign on our garage door AND our front door stating "Do Not Knock. NO CANDY!" and it worked this year.

    I don't mind kids getting dressed up and playing in costumes, that's peachy keen. What I do mind is the "celebration" of Halloween and all the evil that comes with it. All the ghosts and goblins and spiderwebs and coffins and skeletons. Yuck!

    (The mere sight of a skeleton "decoration" or costume in the shops gives me the creeps. The fact that both my kids died -our daughter in the womb, our son 4 days into his infancy- and that I know my son is slowly becoming a skeleton... well, you get the idea. I don't need the image of my child's body decomposing. Try that on for size next time you see halloween "decorations" in the shops!)

    Of all the "holidays" that had to follow me as I moved from the US down to Australia... why halloween? Why not Thanksgiving? A celebration of the harvest and all that is good and to be thankful for?

    I have an adorable little pirate footie jammies costume waiting for one of our children to wear. (My mom bought it for our daughter, who died in the womb at 17 weeks, reason unknown. We then anxiously awaited our son's arrival so he could wear it. He died at 4 days 2 hours old due to a very complicated birth.) It is still unworn, sitting in a box in a closet.

    When we do have kids again, they won't go trick or treating and we won't hand out candy. We'll stay home and watch movies or do something silly in our backyard. We'll celebrate Thanksgiving and combine it with our baby girl's birthday balloon release (as she was born the monday of Thanksgiving Week).

    We don't do halloween here. We just don't.

  5. I totally get that. As Christians, we don't celebrate Halloween either (not in the sense of celebrating death or evil), never have. As a kid, I was always taught that the only thing that Halloween is for is the fun of going around dressed up in cute costumes and get candy (we were never allowed to be anything "spooky"). We celebrate candy, not Halloween, and that's something my husband and I talked at length about and agreed upon before our kids were born, since he never trick-or-treated as a child and he is under the same belief system as I am.

    I'm sorry for your loss, it's a tragedy to lose a child. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.

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