Since we moved into a condo we haven’t had many spooky yet delightful visitors on Halloween nights, but we will never forget those hectic nights up on ‘Chicken Hill’ when over 200 rowdy and excited characters from tots to teens would knock on our door in search of treats. Now, on each and every Oct. 31st we will always carve up a pumpkin and have a big bag of sweet and healthy goodies set aside for our grandchildren, as well as keeping a few for our own ‘sweet tooth’ temptations and winter nibbling.
I don’t really know how long it has been since all of you did the Halloween night adventure, or how much it has really changed over the years, but my most favourite Oct. 31st memories began with dressing up for the school party, and getting to act silly without doing any work all afternoon. In place of the usual boring lunch we usually got some extra goodies to nibble on during that fun day, and as long as we kept our mask and costume on, this was the one and only chance of the year to sneak a kiss or a hug from the girl you had a crush on, but she thinks you are a nerd. Another real good but messy time about Halloween was helping to carve that big pumpkin into a scary or happy face, then carefully sticking the candle in the bottom and placing it in the window or on the front step where it will flicker in the wind and scare everyone who dares to come calling at your haunted abode. Remember when we were either too young to go out on Oct. 31st or old enough to think that it wasn’t ‘cool’ any more so we likely had to stay home and hand out the treats under the strict instructions of two to each caller, and absolutely no nibbling?
My first memory of going out on Halloween night was having to get dressed up in four layers of clothes before pulling a sheet with eye holes over the top, or trying to look like Superman in a suit that was way too big or little old me. In those early days we had to prowl around the neighborhood in groups or with our parents, but were allowed to politely gather (and say thanks) for as many sweet treats as our pillow case could hold, as long as we were back home in bed by 8:00 p.m. While out and about most of the little guys loved to tease the girls, who were usually dressed as angels, wicked witches, or movie starlets, but now there are so many choices in the trick or treat wardrobe.
Of course there have always been a few tricks to go along with the treats later on that hallowed evening, but most of the old pranks, like soap on the windows, the odd egg, decorating with rolls of toilet paper, and even tipping over the odd outhouse were usually quite harmless. On the other hand, there were always those late night tricks that could and have resulted in damage to property or endangered others, and these would be considered a crime, and should be reported to the RCMP. I fondly remember that when we grew out of the trick or treat stage, we often dressed up and joined in on the Halloween fun at a local tavern or private party. Great fun, but please have a designated driver for your spook-mobile.
As parents we will always fuss about our little pranksters on Halloween so before you send them out in their fabulous store bought, home-made, hand me down, or more than likely one of those glitzy new generation theme costumes, please make sure that they are dressed warm, are able to see well on that dark night, have a flashlight, and go with a buddy, who just might have a cell phone or a ‘witch watch.’ It is also a good idea to not sample any of the goodies in your bag until you get home and your parents have had a chance to check them out. Thanks to all those local clubs, businesses, and organizations who host Halloween night parties, which are a good opportunity to have some weird, wild, and warm fun inside on a frigid winter night. For those who are unable to hand out treats this Halloween or will not be home, please leave your porch lights off, and if you are out and about, please drive very carefully. Whatever the case, our fearless weather prognosticators are telling us that this Halloween night, Monday, Oct. 31st, 2016 will ring in at minus 4 degrees and clear, so get them ready, buy lots of low-calorie treats, and have a great week, all of you.