It seems that every year I go to hand out candy to the wandering trick-or-treaters I am increasingly disappointed in the lack of costume; creative or otherwise. Now, I suppose I should be a little more forgiving for this past year. It was both rainy and windy for the entire night – though at least it wasn’t freezing cold. But of the 20-30 people that came to the door half of them lacked anything recognizable as a costume. Of the half that did have something on, only a few had really dressed the part. Many wore only a store bought top, a pair of ears or something equally minimal. This year the most memorable costume was the Hersey Candy Kiss – the shiny foil wrap was adorable.
It is difficult for me to gauge whether the change in dressing up practices is a result of my faulty memory, the lack of children coming to the door (really ~30 is normal for our house in the last five years), or a reflection of the very lazy attitudes of young people (now I sound like my mother!).
Certainly when I look back on my childhood of trick-or-treating, I feel there was more effort put into the costumes before we left the house to pound on our neighbour’s doors. Not that effort equals skill. I clearly remember trying to dress as a teddy bear, only the ears were not well done and no one could guess what I was. Of course, by that time I was reaching the cusp of the trick-or-treating age.
Which can be an interesting question: when are you too old to trick-or-treat? Well, I think I was about 12 when I stopped. I certainly look on high school aged people as being on the old side. Even more so when they don’t bother with a costume, just bring out an old pillow case and start roaming for candy. At the very least dress up! Dress up in the most amazing costume you can – and at that age I feel the potential to wear something more complex, more complete is better suited to older individuals than younger ones. Dress up amazingly well and then I don’t have a problem with you begging for candy.
Though I am still hesitant about the adults – even dressed up. We had one father coming around with two boys holding out a sack for a child still at home. I am kind of torn on this concept. On one hand, it would certainly suck to be the child sick at home and unable to collect a year’s worth of candy in one night. On the other hand, shouldn’t his siblings have to share? After all, neither I nor my brothers ever finished eating our Halloween candy. Certainly not within the first few weeks of November. I would stash mine collection in my room and still have pieces left over a year later.
Does this mean Halloween should be left only for young children? Well, no. Halloween can still be a lot of fun. I still really like carving pumpkins. And this year’s pair of certainly garnered the interest of those visiting our door. I wish I could take credit for the ideas, but both the pumpkin-eating-pumpkin and pumpkin-vomiting-pumpkin I found in magazines. I like decorating for the holiday, though this year I didn’t bother with as many of the nick-nacks I have for putting on display. (As our regular readers know – weddings have been time consuming this past month).
I really love looking at magazines for the latest trends and ideas. In fact I would really like to throw a large party, just so I could plan the theme, decorate accordingly and create a matching menu of food. This is something I love to do – plan! I like the creative side of Halloween.
For me Halloween is more than just an opportunity to collect free candy from other people. I actually prefer the other, home-made treats associated with the event such as popcorn balls, candy apples or toasted pumpkin seeds (which I collect every year from my pumpkin). Well truthfully, I have never made candy apples and I am not certain I have ever eaten – though likely I have just forgotten. But I have made and do like the popcorn balls. Now, I am not advocating for people to hand out home-made treats to trick-or-treaters, because I am not. That is a safety risk I don’t think anyone should take. However, I do like the idea of having a Halloween party – in this case for adults – that would include a variety of delicious offerings.
But as I don’t have any local friends to invite to my Halloween bash I am satisfied with my current tradition. Every year Valve puts out a special set of theme maps for Team Fortress 2 (TF2). There are also Halloween themed hats and costumes for the characters. The style of game play changes and you even get gifts – who does like a present? So between opening the door to poorly dressed trick-or-treaters I am glued to my computer busily capturing points, falling into hell and generally have a great time.