I've Got a Witch to Scratch

My very first time Trick-or-Treating was such a big deal.  My mama took me to Sears and Roebuck to pick out a costume.  (At least I think it was Sears.) 

This was back in the day when every costume came with a full-face plastic mask with a thin elastic string stapled onto each side near the ears.  There were cutouts for the eyes and the mouth.  (I think there was one for the mouth.)

But then somebody somewhere shoved a razor blade into an apple and handed it go some unsuspecting kid.  Soon the hospitals would let you bring your candy over to be x-rayed.  Thankfully, these events coincided with my becoming a teenager.

When we turned 13, we were cool.  We didn't want to do all that baby stuff like Trick-or-Treating.  We were middle schoolers.

Through the years things have changed a lot.  People don't make homemade goodies to hand out.  (One year I did but only to the kids I knew very well.) 

Children these days won't fondly remember their first Trick-or-Treating.  Not because they had a bad time, but because their parents insist on dressing babies up like little pea pods and going door-to-door.  (Are you going to save that candy until the kid is old enough to eat it?  I think not.)

And I wonder when children today will ever grow up.  At least the high schoolers who knocked on our door were wearing costumes.  One year we had a bunch that didn't even bother with costumes.  It seems there are as many adults in costume as there are kids.  And not just the college kids hanging out in the neighborhoods close to the local colleges.  I'm talking people with salaries, not just paychecks.

I've been watching too much "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and not enough "Girls Next Door".  I've been struck with nostalgia for a 1950's-style Halloween.  The kind where witches weren't sexy and a sheet could become a ghost.  Not a toga.


  1. I'm hit by that same nostalgia every so often, when I realize that this generation doesn't know all the great things we got to do in ours. They will never know the carefree way we felt.. and all the things we got to try.. the last 30 years have changed it all.. *sigh*

  2. Our costumes were always put together from our parents' closet and the ragbag and the East Room - a pseudo-attic where things too good to throw away but not fit for current use went. And I have read that in fact EVERY case of sharp objects being inserted into Halloween treats involved the parents of the children involved. I believe it, because I never heard of a case of it where it wasn't only one kid who got the hardware. Our parents were not the least bit worried about letting us go out without an adult, they knew - at least vaguely - everyone in town and did not imagine a predator behind every door. The people on whose doors we knocked often invited us in for a quick visit to show off our costume and we never thought there was any wicked intent - except for old Mr. Fitz who would hook us with his cane if he cculd to pull us near - not to fondle us, but just to scare us. People seem to think it is good parenting to protect their kids from every possible imaginable danger - I suspect that good parenting is actually the opposite. One other change is that back then, our Halloween candy was very likely to be the only candy we'd see before Christmas. So it was a BIG deal. It doesn't do much good to bewail the parlous state of kids these days without acknowledging it was we would made it that way, leaving our kids fat, fearful and fussy. The three 'F's on our parenting report card.

  3. I think about those things sometimes, but I have turned into a bah humbug since my kids have gotten older...Halloween no longer holds any appeal. I may start cackling like the ol' witch I seem with those words. :-)

  4. Though my experiences her in UK are a bit different, it does bring back the memories of trick or treat as I remember it when I was a child in Scotland, we also got dressed up and went from door to door collecting apples, nuts, and sweets for either singing a song, doing a dance or maybe reciting some poetry, But I loved it best when we had a party and played games 'Toss in the blanket' and Dookin' for apples' the best, for us kids to get a laugh at the adults was eating the treacle scones, They were suspended from the ceiling smothered in treacle and the adults had to try and take bites out of them but they had their hands tied behind their backs, what a mess they ended up, How things have changed, nice blog Wifie