October 31st.
November 01, 2011

Halloween in our neighborhood is, and always has been, a low-key affair.  We’re short on street lights in these hills, but long on creepy shadows and active nocturnal animals, so only kids with nerves of steel come up to collect candy.

In the spirit of scaring small children out of their minds, Donald and I don’t even answer the door.  We buy a single small bag of sweets, leave it in a bowl on the porch with a dozen apples, and pretend we’re not home watching spooky movies after Charlotte’s bedtime.  We fully expect that a few hours later when we call it a night, we’ll go out to the porch and see everything exactly where we left it.

A couple years ago, some of our neighbors hosted a big Halloween bash.  They brought a dozen or so kids down the road to trick-or-treat.  We came home from a family gathering right as they were passing our house by, and I desperately wanted to get rid of the candy if I could, so I ran after them hollering.  WAIT!  COME BACK!  KIDS!  I HAVE CANDY!

In retrospect, the reason they didn’t turn around and, in fact, were encouraged by accompanying adults to skedaddle like their lives depended upon it might have been because some strange woman was running after them (out of an unlit house, down a dark street) screaming COME BACK I HAVE CANDY!  They probably thought I would string them up by their toes and boil them for dinner in a child-sized cauldron or something.

ANYWAY, so this year we just skipped out on our neighborhood altogether and spent Halloween with friends.

Over the past few days our families had a really great time celebrating Halloween together.  We carved pumpkins, rutabagas, and turnips.  We took pictures of our kids stealing smooches in their costumes.  We watched a kids’ costume parade.  We admired spooky decorations and creepy slideshows and haunted garages.

Then last night we sent our children off to bed with dreams of pretzels and highly processed chocolate bars in their heads.  It was a very happy Halloween, but I am fully prepared to fall asleep at six o’clock this evening because CRIKEYS was it exhausting.

How did your family celebrate?

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  1. By on November 01, 2011

    We live in the ‘burbs. Our town has set hours for door to door visiting on Halloween. That really helps us be ready on time and shuts things down early enough to prevent problems. My husband (an over grown kid when it comes to holidays) mans the candy bowl and I sit by the window to alert him to the next crowd of kids.
    The lady across the street takes pictures of everyone in costume and the kids come back during the week to pick up their pictures.  I love to see the groups of parents, many walking dogs, taking their kids out for a night of fun. I especially like the tiny ones out for their first trick or treat. The parents coaching them to say ‘trick or treat’ and Happy Halloween. We have a small friendly looking ghost on our doorstep, Some of the little ones like to stop and talk to it. Last year we gave out the bottles of soap bubbles left over from our son’s wedding. We were the most popular house on the block!

    My favorite memory of my kid’s Halloween is the time we baked the carved up pumpkin. My toddler son, safe in my arms took a look at the jack -o -lantern’s face in the baking dish, steam coming from the eyes, nose and mouth.  Pooky punkin he said.

  2. By Sarah Christensen on November 01, 2011

    Mitzie - I *love* that idea of taking pictures of the costumes.  What a fun tradition for those kids!  And the soap bubbles idea is brilliant too.  We went to a community potluck before the trick-or-treating happened and one of the other parents said when she was little a house near her passed out little bags of smooth rocks - some painted, some not.  She said it was the coolest house to go to because you got to pick your bag.

  3. By on November 01, 2011

    We are very traditional halloween-ers over here. Costumes, door to door for candy, carved pumpkins the night before, etc. But we also did a hayride at a local state park with some of Jude’s friends… Followed by a bon fire and s’mores a couple weeks ago. All the kids came dressed up and tried to cover themselves in hay through the whole ride. It was adorable.

    The town we live in has a ‘Main Street’. Every year they have a costume parade for the local businesses. It was our first year taking Jude, but he loved it… Waved at the passing floats… Etc.

    We hand-make our costumes every year, so it’s nice to have a few events that we can go out for and get more than 2 hours out of the costumes.

  4. By Lindsay on November 01, 2011

    The pumpkins look great!

    It was my four month old’s first Halloween. He was The Fonz. I decked up in ‘50’s garb and made my husband follow suite! Ha. We always run out of candy each year because I’m pretty sure every house in our neighborhood has kids but it’s always fun to watch the little ones in their costumes!

  5. By cambria on November 01, 2011

    as you know, I grew up in the same hills, just the next city up and it was very much the same. we didn’t even trick-or-treat. the neighborhood did not allow for street lights. no sidewalks and the streets were curvy. my parents hauled us to other neighborhoods for trick-or-treating.

    since having moved out of my family home, many, many years a go, I’ve hoped for trick-or-treaters and I still haven’t gotten them.

    well, except for the group of13 year olds who stole our bowl of candy as we were coming home to hopefully greet them.

    oh well. some day.

    happy halloween!!





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