I have had many different opinions of Halloween over the years. As a child, I loved Halloween. I enjoyed going through our own "tickle trunk" and picking out what I was going to wear. We were not a family that bought costumes at the store (very often) we always made our own/dressed up in things we already had. More often than not, I went as a hobo (maybe not politically correct anymore but it was an easy costume....lol) or a postman, since that is what my dad was, we always had a costume ready to go! lol
My greatest childhood Halloween memory was when my dad would dress up as a sheet ghost and take us around the neighbourhood. I don't tend to remember many memories from childhood (a lot of my memories are based more on stories my family has told me...lol) but I do remember that. Maybe it only happened one year, but I remember that year, I had to have been in grade 3 or below, because of where we were trick or treating. My mom stayed home to give out the candy, and my dad braved the streets with us kids in tow :)
As we got a little older we went out by ourselves...my sister and I (we are 14 months apart) and my goodness we got a ton of candy. We went for hours, to every door in our neighbourhood and the ones adjacent to us. There were a few "good" houses that gave out full chocolate bars and cans of pop. All the kids knew which houses these were and we made sure to go there every year! lol
The last time we went as "kids" was when I was in my last year of high school....no one gave us a hard time, they just gave us candy. It was epic, dressed up, free candy and friends. It was a good time. 🙂
Then when we started having our own kids, we had to make the decision to "celebrate" Halloween or not. When Adrianna was little, we both tried to take her out, we never went very far...but she got some goodies and had fun. Then as we started adding kids, we made the decision based on the year. Over the years Ben has worked some nights/evenings...so he was not always available to go with the kids.
I went through a "let's not go out" phase when the two middle girls were little....not cause I didn't care about Halloween, but I was very conscience of what I fed them and was not interested in letting them eat a bunch of candy that was full of artificial dye. (Main reason was that they went crazy...uncontrolable when they had it). So, all they knew was giving out treats...well...we were "that house", I gave out pencils one year, stickers another, play dough....lots of different "fun" things without supporting the candy craze. And you know what, sure we got some strange looks...but overall the kids that received our "treats" were ecstatic. I fondly remember one brother and sister during the year of the pencils....the brother looked in the bag and went "A pencil...strange" but the little girl looked at him and said "I LOVE it! This is the coolest Halloween treat ever!" Made my heart happy AND the little girls (Allora and Adaliah) were so excited as well.
Then one year when they were a little older, Adrianna wanted to do a family costume and take them out. They made their costumes....it was super cute AND all four of them had so much fun! That started a tradition for a few years, family costumes, all homemade. One year they were all characters from Peter Pan...another Alice in Wonderland. That came to an end when work schedules interfered with Halloween night. But new traditions were born....honestly, now each year is different, but that is ok...gotta grow/change with the times.
I remember the year Amadeus decided he was too big to go trick or treating. It was such a sad year, he was, in my opinion, still young enough to go, but he was very tall for his age and felt awkward to go around. So he offered to take the younger kids around, we bought him his own box of chocolates of his choosing the next day during the sales....everyone was happy.
This year is something new for us. The two middle girls are going with a friend. It will feel odd not to have them with us, but I know they will have fun and will enjoy not being tagged along by their younger brother. lol And we won't have to go out as long...cause the younger brother has no idea exactly how far/long you can go to get lots of candy...he will be happy with any amount...or that is my hope. hahaha
I know there are people who are against Halloween due to many different reasons, and to each his own. But I have so many fond memories of Halloween as a child and a young mother....(even those years of us just staying home and giving out our non-edible treats) that I hope my children will have just as many, if not more, fond memories as I do.
I think trick or treating is fun, a way to build community in our society when community is so often lost. I won't spend a ton of money on costumes, not to say our kids never wear "bought" costumes but I try and get them to be creative and make their own with supplies we have in the house. They may not be perfect but they will hopefully be a positive addition to their fond memories for years to come.
Happy Halloween! Rain or shine....we will be out, cause in honesty, crappy weather will help with those memories..."Remember that year when it poured? Man, we got a lot of candy that year!" :) Coming home wet and tired, dumping the pillow case full of goodies on the living room floor and warming up while sorting it all into piles in preparation for "trading" with siblings...can't get much better than that. Oh yes it can, the required parent tax on candy. Now I'm craving some sweets.