Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Halloween

"They're just too lazy these days," said an old great uncle of mine about 35 years ago.  We were sitting around lamenting the dwindling numbers of children going from door to door trick or treating.  We thought he might have a point but the teachers in the family were hesitant to support the use of the L word.
That comment  certainly did not apply to us when we were young, I can tell you.

I always had a face mask like this and usually it was of an animal.

Strong in my memory are the Halloweens of my childhood.  Hugely anticipated, we would talk about and think about trick or treating for days leading up to it. Costumes didn't figure heavily in any of this...mostly we wore those rubber or plastic full face masks that cost 39 cents from Stedman's.  They were horrible, smelly things and by the end of the evening your face would be a wet, sweaty mess but we certainly didn't complain.

We loved planning our route beforehand, wondering how far we could get.  The longer you were out and the further you went meant more goodies.  Someone could always remember which houses gave out the best stuff; we all coveted bags of chips especially and there was always a house on Mount Bernard Avenue that gave out  the 5 cent bags of Scotties chips.  I'm sure half the kids in Corner Brook would ring their bell but they never ran out of chips.

Perhaps Halloween was so important to us because treats were rarish in those days.  We got certain things for Christmas and our birthday, but candy and such was just not plentiful around the house, or at least, not in my house.

 The Halloweens of my childhood were innocent, fun-filled affairs; I don't remember ever any talk about the sinister associations some people have made of it these days.

But then it changed.  The costume got to be more involved and important and expensive.  Rumours and stories of razors and needles (eek) in apples made the news and parents became more suspicious of the free treats from strangers' houses.  Children began to get treats more readily not just for special occasions; a few candies didn't hold the same appeal.  Supply and Demand.  Maybe for one or all these reasons the children went out in fewer and fewer numbers.

Some of the subdivisions around here still have a goodly number of trick or treaters, this many years past uncle's remark.  You can almost tell the demographics of your neighbourhood by the number of children coming to your door on Halloween night.

Hubby can't remember the last time a trick or treater came to the door here.  In fact,  for us here deep in the country and fairly isolated, I think someone ringing our doorbell on Halloween night would actually be a scary thing.  Booo