Thursday, October 29, 2015

Happy Halloween! Um... I mean Happy Trick or Treat?



It's Trick or Treat time here in Ohio.  And though I've probably blogged about it before, I'll say it again - our village is the best place to trick or treat.  Even adults dress up, and after trick or treat there's a parade and a costume contest.  It's like HalloweenTown or something.

Tonight was pretty windy and cold, and I took teens instead of little ones, so I ended up roaming around on my own and looking at the adorable costumes.

But as great as the experience is, I find it odd.  Here in Ohio, at least in our area of Ohio, Trick or Treat is almost never actually ON Halloween.   Not only that, but it's TIMED.  As in, you have one hour to trick or treat.  At the end of that hour, if you are still trick or treating, I suppose you turn into a jack-o-lantern or something...or probably people just stop handing out treats.

The kickoff usually falls about 5 or 5:30 p.m., which is really hard for working parents that need to rush home and dress the kiddies.  The day, as far as I can remember, is always on a weekday, also, which means a school night for most children, and a work night for most adults.  Not the best time for that sugar binge.  The trick or treating is generally wrapped up at dusk.

To people that have always done it this way, it seems normal.  And there are advantages:  you can trick or treat your own town, then visit a neighboring town on their trick or treat night, and so on.  Our first year in Ohio, the kids trick or treated about five or six times.

However, for those of us that grew up with a more conventional Halloween that, for example, fell ON Halloween, the whole thing seems odd.  As a kid, we didn't even start trick or treating until dusk, and we'd go for as long as our little legs could hold out, or until people started turning off their porch lights.  (Turning off that light is the universal sign for, "We are out of candy.  Bug off.)  Then we would stay up late sorting our haul, while our parents looked it over for dangerous items (and took some of their favorites from the pile).

I remember being sad when I outgrew trick or treating.

That's another thing:  why do people get so upset when teens trick or treat?  So what if they are teens?? Sometimes it's nice for them to have a chance to still be kids, and not expected to be grown up before their time.  (My teens didn't trick or treat today, but enjoyed walking around and watching the costumes.)

What's the custom in your area?

3 comments:

Lynda D said...

We put a sign on our front gate last night saying "no tricks or treats here" Bah Humbug!

Im not mean, Halloween is just not our holiday and im trying to discourage it. If they came up with an Australian version id be all for it. Pure marketing campaign to drag yet more money out of us using children to persuade us to buy buy buy. Our stores are full of merchandise for sale.

On the other hand, it is your holiday and im often very impressed by the costumes people come up with.

Ruth Dixon said...

Here in Oregon, Trick or Treating is done on Halloween night. I don't know if I could adjust to how you do it there. Of course, I live out where the one year I ever remember getting trick or treater's that weren't family was when I was a kid and friends came out. My dad hid on the roof in a sheet and scared the bejeebers out of them. It's actually better here if Halloween isn't on a weekend, as too many folks find it necessary to party on the weekend when the bars have their costume parties. Kid's head out at just about dusk. A lot of teens trick or treat, the main problems are A: They don't dress up, just ask for candy. B: Dress inappropriately. C: Are rude. I feel sad, because there isn't much for teens to do around here and the few ruin it for the others. Halloween is my favorite holiday (my b-day is October 26th, it's always felt special for me).

Country Wife said...

Lynda,
I remember our tour guide in Australia saying that Halloween came there from America and was fairly new. That was back around 1991 or so. I absolutely understand why you would abstain.

Ruth,
Happy belated birthday!
I'm still having trouble adjusting the way Halloween is done here. The parades are cool, at least, but the time trick or treating is just silly to me.

Happy Halloween (a little late)