Years and years ago when I was a kid, Halloween amounted to the pinnacle of ecstasy for any child… actually any child with a sweet tooth, which covers most. It was the one time of year when my siblings and I had all the candy bars, malt balls, and M&M’s we could possibly want. No hiding a coveted sweet favor in my top dresser drawer for months from a birthday party favor. I would be covered for sugar cravings for weeks.
And because I lived in California where the streets and houses are close together, we kids could collect at least 6 months of treats in 2 hours. Total efficiency. I would dress as a ballerina or a hobo as we rang doorbells. Even still, hauling around that brown paper grocery bag and walking blocks did wear us out.
Our father was the designated chaperone for us As he was six feet four inches, he’d parade as a very large clown with three enormous red pom poms down the front of his yellow, lovingly-made-by -mom costume. I always felt secure with Dad along as his tall looming figure was guaranteed to fend off any creepy 8th grade boy who wore scary costumes with fake blood and like to terrorize elementary school kids. And because we four kids were trained to be very polite, we always took whatever goody offered, even if it was black licorice or those awful black and orange paper covered chew candies that tasted like they were manufactured before the turn of the century. They were the first to be discarded in the sorting process when we came home.
Currently the long drawn out holiday has turned into an almost month long event with adults overseeing the whole shebang. Candy is not the coveted and rare treat that it used to be… and hence why kids were so motivated on that one key night. Chocolate kisses are available at bank counter tops, point of sale cashier spots, and government offices. And, to ramp up the candy collection, churches, schools, offices and local retailers offer extra chances to acquire the booty.
I, for one, think the new version of the holiday has taken the striving and motivation out of Trick or Treat. How easy it’s become. A five pound bag of goodies is now a real and achievable goal. Where’s the striving for those tasty treats? A Hershey’s chocolate bar that has been hard won tastes even sweeter.
Just my opinion. Oh for the days of a pillowcase full of hard-earned booty.