“But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.”

Every kid’s calendar had only three days circled. The biggest and the best day of all was Christmas. Weeks of anticipation, making and changing lists for Santa and decorating the house and tree helped to make the time pass, but it passed ever so slowly, especially Christmas Eve. The second best day was Halloween. What will I be this year was the most important question and a topic of great discussion walking to and from school. The third circled day was our birthdays. They didn’t need any preparation and were anticipated but not with the same level of excitement as the other two days. My birthday came with a present, a few cards, always one with two dollars from my grandmother, and a cake. Blow out the candles, eat cake, open presents, and it’s over for another year. Christmas and Halloween seemed to last days. They had a before and an after.

Going to school on Halloween always seemed wrong somehow. We fidgeted and clock watched the whole day. I doubt we learned anything as our minds and imaginations were filled with costumes and candy. Arithmetic had no chance.

I remember the afternoon lasted nearly forever, not as long as Christmas Eve but a close second. We’d eat dinner then pester my mother to let us leave. She always said it was too early. We kept watch at the window hoping to see a treat or treater so we could prove my mother wrong. Finally we’d get to leave.

First we did the neighborhood then the side streets near the house. I have memories of leaves blowing, street lights shining on the sidewalks, walking all over town and eating as we walked. When house lights finally started going out and few trick or treaters were still around, we’d head home stopping now and then at a lit house.

Once home, we’d empty our bags into big bowls and do a bit of trading. We’d throw away the popcorn balls. My mother took the apples. They’d get eaten at another time. We’d eat a few more bars of candy then the bowls had to be put away. Though the evening was officially over, the candy lasted for days.

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14 Comments on ““But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    We had easter instead since that was the time we went out to get candy 🙂 But even if we didn’t go out to beg for candy we got our filled easter eggs with all sorts of candy on ester eve morning. The day when we went out were a bit different depending on where one lived in this country, some of us went out already on Thursday since that was when the witches flew to Blåkulla, others went out on easter eve since that was when they were returning. It is still the same I guess.

    We down here in south west went out on the Thursday since we had big easter bonfires and fireworks on easter eve evening, to scare away the flying witches. That was and is a custom only we have here. I don’t think I knew anything about halloween until I watched E.T.in the movies 🙂 It is getting bigger here now though and I guess we can thank the internet for that.

    Happy Halloween!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      We get candy at Easter too but it is in our baskets the Easter Bunny leaves. There is special candy for Halloween as well as Easter. We just said trick or treat. I didn’t know anyone who’d refuse to give treats.

      We all went out the same night. Some towns have special events. On Main Street in Hyannis, all the stores give out candy, even the restaurants.

      I’ll watch some old horror movies tonight and wait for the kids.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We did much the same. I remember dumping our candy haul out on the kitchen table and doing some culling and swapping. I always culled the candy corn and the pumpkins that were made of the same stuff. Blech. Licorice was good. Most hard candies were as well. Chocolate was best. Homemade treats were sometimes great and sometimes not so good. Apples were put aside. Popcorn balls were a crap shoot. Some were pretty good. Most were pretty awful. A bite test would determine which was which.

    It occurred to me just a few minutes ago that I really liked Halloween a lot more when I wasn’t the one giving out the candy. As a kid, I waited to see the first porch light go on. Now I watch to see the first porch light go out so I can shut mine off and hang it up for the night. I’ve become a Halloween Grinch. 🙂
    I’ve put the dogs in daycare for the night. Rocky likes trick or treaters but it was very stressful for Piki Dog last year. I thought this might be a good solution. But I keep thinking it’s awfully quiet and they must be into something. 🙂

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I so agree about the candy corn and those pumpkins. Gross. I only like red licorice so black was out. I still think chocolate is best. It cures most ills.

      I don’t mind giving out candy. I used to be so disappointed I had so few a number of kids. I think it’s fun to see how they’re dressed. It’s getting dark so time to put my light on. Gracie loves looking and would be thrilled to go with someone. I have to hold her so she doesn’t join them.

      Have a great evening!

  3. Richard Says:

    Candy corn? The stuff you put in your nose or use to make fake teeth with … ? That was just gross. We never had – or heard of – popcorn balls. Just wasn’t a N’Awlins thing. The worst candies to find at the bottom of the bag were the round red-and-white-striped peppermint candies … or the Junior Mints. Every now ‘n then one of the ‘cool’ adults would toss in a couple of wax ‘coke bottles’ filled with a sweet liquid.

    Funny, but I don’t recall Hallow’een being a big deal at school. It may have been, but I guess I wasn’t paying attention. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years were the big days … birthdays were always excluded from the ‘Holiday List’ ‘cuz we never got the day off from school for ’em.

    I have only dim recollections of ‘trick-or-treat’-ing … we always stayed within a four-block or smaller radius from our house. We didn’t know any families further away than that, so why bother? ‘Trick-Or-Treat’ is one of those self-limiting activities, ‘cuz kids eventually get to the age when they feel they’re too ‘grown up’ for what they perceive to be a ‘kid’s game.’ I think we pretty much gave it up when we were about 12 or 13, maybe even a bit earlier.

    The best part of ‘Trick-Or-Treat’ was finding things like Elmer’s Gold Brick eggs (all chocolate with pecans in ’em) or Heavenly Hash bars at the bottom. Wash ’em down with those little wax bottles of faux ‘coke’ and you were set for the evening … rather, you were set once the sugar rush wore off.

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      Candy corn was sweet enough to cause tooth decay almost as soon as you ate them. We did the teeth but never the nose. Poor corn balls were held together with caramel or something as sticky. They were even made for Christmas with red and green candies. We’d put them on the tree.

      It was only a big deal to us kids, never the nuns or teachers. We ranged further a field than you did, but like you, 12 or 13 was too old. We’d find something else to do like movies or even bowling. I did miss the candy!

      I don’t know Elmer’s Gold Brick eggs or Heavenly Hash bars. Snickers and Milky Ways were my favorites. We never got those wax bottles on Halloween. We used to buy them ourselves at the corner store.

      The kids tonight appreciated the big bars. They were quite the hit!

  4. Birgit Says:

    Happy Halloween!

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Birgit

      The original Frankenstein is on TV now. I have been waiting for the classics, and finally there is one on!

  5. Richard Says:

    Kat …
    Here’s the link to Elmer’s site … the company used to be located in New Orleans, but moved to the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain because of the political climate and business taxes … I’m pretty sure you could order some of this online from their site if y’ just have to give it a try …

    http://elmerchocolate.com/easter

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Richard
      I’ve bookmarked the site. I figure I’ll give it a try at Christmas time as I always buy chocolates for the table and for my sisters.


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