I have very fond memories of Trick or Treating in the little town I grew up in. It was small (less than 1000 people when I was a kid) and for a really small child, it was great because you felt safe and it was fun and when you got to be older, it was awesome because you could hit almost every house in town and end up with two pillow cases full of candy by the end of the night. It was great to show up at everyone’s door, have a small chat about this and that, and then head to the next house. The parents who take their kids out go in groups and chat, dress up and have a great time while monitoring their youngsters. Everyone is polite and compliment the kids’ costumes and I always felt overall that it was a great place to celebrate Halloween as a child.
When I moved to the city, I tried to become one of those awesome people handing out candy that made my childhood so great. It never seemed to work out as well. I have noticed a few things about Halloween in the city (and remember, I did not grow up here at all, and am probably biased). For one thing, there are WAY less kids trick or treating in the city. I think the most I have ever had come to the door was about fifteen and I was always left sad at the end of the night because no one came to my house for candy. I asked around and this is a common occurrence. At my mother’s house back home, she had 250 + kids come to the door last year. This is a significant difference.
I also find that the kids are less polite here. I don’t know why, some of them seem really great and their parents are nice but some of them come to the door in half ass costumes and don’t even say thank you. After the first time this happened, I adopted a personal rule: If I can make the effort to dress up to hand out the candy, people aren’t getting said candy unless they’re nice and they made a decent effort in dressing up. Show up at my house dressed as a “rapper” or a “hipster” (basically wearing street clothes) and you get no candy. These are the rules.
Anyway, on we go to the point of this post (I know, it took a LONG damn time to get here, sorry about that, folks). I was hanging out with some
friends at work on break when one of them mentioned that her daughter was six years old and had never had a decent Halloween experience because trick or treating in the city kind of sucked. Everything was far apart, you didn’t get much candy and it just didn’t feel very much like Halloween. DING!!! Lightbulb over the head kind of moment. I immediately spoke up and volunteered to take her and her daughter (and another friend and her daughter, who unfortunately got sick and couldn’t come) back to my hometown and let them trick or treat there. So Sunday rolled around and I got dressed up as a witch of sorts, all excited and eager to go home again for Halloween and I picked them up, driving the forty or so minutes to my home town. Her little girl was dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast and she looked freaking adorable.
We arrived at my parents’ house and were pleased to find special made candy bags for her little girl and the other one who fell ill (thanks Mom, you rock) and a bowl of assorted candy on the table that said, “Help yourselves”…which we did. We headed out into the town and I was thrilled to find that her daughter was immediately commenting on how much fun it was and that she was having a great time. I was having a blast. It was like flashback central. I chatted with parents who had their kids out, got candy from my relatives’ houses and admired all the decorations and effort that some people put into making the night that much better for everyone.
Some people had entire scenes built in their front yards complete with fog, lasers, spooky music (or in the case of one house, endless remixes of Michael Jackson’s Thriller), and tonnes of different decorations.
I loved the atmosphere of everything, but it was definitely freaking cold. I was silly and didn’t have any mittens or a coat or anything. Darn the fact that my mother wasn’t home when we left so she could tell me I was being stupid and give me a pair of mittens and a sweater at least. You’ll notice to the right that my cousin was smarter than me and had a coat and mittens on and still looked awesome. This is required for Halloween in Canada. Costumes designed to fit over snowsuits are a way of life up here. I had forgotten that little tidbit in the 13 or so years since I had gone trick or treating for myself.
I will say that I had a great time and I loved seeing my friends daughter have such a good time and
ask if we could return for trick or treating next year. However, I must mention the best part of my night. Actually, there were two. We stopped at one older woman’s house and she was absolutely sweet as sugar and she gave “Belle” her candy and then looked at me and said, “Aren’t you going to come get your candy too?” She thought I was a kid!!! It made my night, I felt way younger than my 27 years of age. I thanked her and told her that it was alright and I was old enough to buy my own. The second favourite thing for me that night was stopping at the local volunteer fire department where my father is the chief. They were handing out candy to the kids and I got my favourite treat of the night: coffee. Yes, that’s right…I trick or treated for coffee and it was wonderful.