Boo! The current angst in my corner of the world concerns that most joyous of childhood holidays – Halloween. There is a huge debate on whether or not to allow Halloween trick-or-treat. The kids are all for it. The parents are divided. My neighbor has 3 girls. The older 2 are of an age where trick-or-treat is THE MOST IMPORTANT event EVER! I was talking with them and was asked if I was going to be handing out candy this year. The answer is still no; not last year, nor the year before and definitely not this year. They are trying to come up with an alternative that they feel comfortable with. I suggested that they purchase 2 big bags of candy of a type they know the girls will like and do it like an Easter Basket. Have the girls put their pumpkin pails by the front door and go to bed. In the morning the candy is overflowing the pumpkins. Everyone is happy. They weren’t exposed to anyone and no one was exposed to them. The parents can control the type and quantity of candy and more important the origin of the treats. The girls can wear their costumes all day on Halloween and not get cold or wet (as it usually rains and is around 45 degrees on average). My SIL was considering getting a “candy slide” to deliver candy into distanced plastic pumpkins or bags. A novel idea but I think it a little impractical but it does keep the kids off the porch and at least 6 feet away.
I remember going out on Halloween night. I was in 2nd grade. And I went with my friend Anita. Just the 2 of us. We walked around the entire subdivision. Rang every door bell. Ate a goodly amount of candy as we went. We scored popcorn balls at Mrs. Smeltzer’s house and Ms. Inez gave us hot chocolate. Mrs. Farmer was handing out cookies and the Smiths had really big apples. No one was scared of kids being out after dark, poison in candy or razor blades in apples, the sanitary conditions of homemade treats or being abducted.
All that changed by the time I had kids. We walked with them around the neighborhood to make sure they stayed safe from any unsavory characters. We put reflective strips on the back of the costumes to make sure they were visible to cars. We inspected all the candy and removed any that appeared compromised (wrappers not on securely, any that were possible choking hazards, anything not store bought). At one point we made the trip to the vet clinic and took a radiograph of all the candy (the Vet I was working for was doing it for his kids and offered the same for any of the employees). We put a time limit and set boundaries for where they could go.
And today’s parents have the added issue of whether or not it is safe due to the pandemic. To say they are scared is an understatement. Of course there are some parents who are completely unconcerned but these are the same ones who refuse to wear a mask and insist that the whole thing is a hoax… Tomorrow is the day. I’m curious because there are no trunk or treats scheduled that I’m aware of, the school Fall Festival has been cancelled, and the Mall stores are NOT passing out candy to any in costume. What will Halloween look like this year???
I’m so very scared
Of ghosts, goblins, and COVID
Ring the bell and run!