Sunday, November 1, 2009

The True Meaning of Halloween?

Last year on Halloween, I was appalled by a phenomenon that I had never before experienced or even considered: adults who go trick-or-treating.

Some of you are undoubtedly thinking, “Children need chaperones!”

I agree. But I’m not talking about adults who accompany young trick-or-treaters. I’ll happily dole out an extra Kit Kat (or three) to parents who brave the elements to give their children a once-a-year opportunity to take candy from strangers.

No, I’m referring to adults who hit the town specifically to collect candy for themselves.

Before moving to the city, I had never even considered that adults might go trick-or-treating. Rowan was 3 when we celebrated our first Halloween in this house. We were putting the final touches on his artist costume when we heard a loud knock. Excited, I quickly grabbed our candy bucket and rushed to the door to greet our first arrival!

You can imagine my surprise when I saw a 40ish-year-old woman standing on our front stoop. She was not with a child. She was not wearing a costume. She did not say "trick-or-treat." She did not even thank me after I gave her a bag of Skittles. Nope. When I wished her a happy Halloween, she quickly shook her bag and demanded more!


(Upon recounting this story, I’ve actually had a few people tell me that they would have refused her. I don’t buy it. If some unstable stranger shakes a Cub Foods bag at you and brazenly demands more candy, I highly doubt you’d have the courage to say no. I sure didn’t!)

This year, I wasn’t surprised when a couple of adults stopped by the house well before dark. Did I think it was a little weird? Yep! But I had recently read an interesting factoid about Halloween that made me feel more at peace with the situation.

According to Wikipedia: “Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2).”

I obviously have no idea whether our adult trick-or-treaters were poor. Maybe they were just bored…or crazy…or in serious need of a chocolate fix. But clearly something wasn't quite right. So if I could brighten their day with a few packs of candy, so be it. And if they happen to say a few prayers for my deceased relatives, all the better.

My only real concern is safety. We live in a family-friendly neighborhood, but our close proximity to the bus line means that LOTS of our trick-or-treaters are complete strangers to us. But I never had to answer the door alone this year. Why? Because we hosted a Halloween party! (Kyle preferred to call it an “informal get-together” because that seemed like less work. HA!)

We had a great time! I wish we would have taken more pictures, but we're always so busy when people are at our house. Below are a few highlights.

My family!
(You can't see it under his coat, but Kyle was wearing a 1970s vest and polyester trousers. I would have feathered his hair, but we ran out of time before the party. Drat!)

Ghost cake. Cute and delicious!

Me and Shrek. We're tight.

Shrek and his lady love, Fiona.
(a.k.a., my dad and mom)

The kiddos: Paul as the red Power Ranger; Rowan as Lightning McQueen;
Avery as a bumblebee; and Maddox as Buzz Lightyear.

"Can we go yet?!"

Knock knock. "Trick or treat!"

Rowan and Paul watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"
(Yes, this is our TV. Yes, that is a converter box below our TV.
Yes, we know that it's almost 2010. Yes, we are surviving just fine.)

Hope you had a happy Halloween!


Tribe of Adeline said...

I love your story about adults trick or treating. We also had a few, but they were relatives and I could of taken them down if needed, especially Dan. Shrek and Fiona are adorable. I love them! The converer box in our kitchen has been threatened to hit the road more than once. Now onto the next Holiday....turkey and pumpkin pie... Love, Margene

The Jahnkes said...

I love having Halloween parties- I have while out here in Australia because trick or treating just hasn't caught on very well. I also would be a little afraid to refuse candy to an adult- if they are crazy enough to go trick or treating then who knows what else they are crazy enough to do.
looks like you had a great time this year- as did we.

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