Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Is Dead, Long Live Halloween

Halloween has gone the way of zombies.

It's pretty much dead, but still keeps on truckin'.

When I was a kid, halloween was awesome. Nothing could stop us kids from dressing up and going door to door.

And I'm Canadian, remember. Our first [substantial] snowfalls would usually occur mid-October.

Did a little [4 feet of] snow stop us from candy??


We'd begrudgingly put on full snowsuits under our costumes and trudge out anyway!

I can't find a pic of myself in one, but this is a good idea of what we looked like (because all Canadian kids share this experience)

I don't think the Wimpification of Halloween is due to the kids, but the parents. It always comes down to the parents.

Parents, parents, parents...(I'm drawing this out to give you parents time to build some outrage against my comments...blog posting isn't fun without a little outrage.)

My mum is a Halloween veteran. With three children born in three different decades (1968, 1973, 1981), she's been through it all.

Making costumes, walking with us door to door (when it was -30C on the occasional Halloween night, she'd drive behind us so she could have us warm up on the run), buying candy for other kids, decorating, dressing up herself to make it more fun...

And you know what? She was probably sick and tired of doing this crap every year (I think she likes it again now that she's had a few years rest). But she made the effort, because it made us kids happy.

Because that's what moms do, dammit!

When we got old enough to go out with our friends on Halloween, it was a big deal. I think I was about 9-ish when my friends and myself were allowed to go out to get candy in groups in our neighbourhood.

We'd take our pillowcases (no fancy candy containers for us, pillowcases had more candy-capacity!) and troop around for a couple of hours and come on home tired and happy.

I didn't even really like to eat candy at that time. I gave it all to my brother Kurt. But I had fun getting it!

Do parents even let their kids go out trick or treating by themselves anymore?

I'm betting not. These are the days of mall trick or treating. Which I think is totally lame.


There were just as many 'dangerous' people in the 60's, 70's and 80's as there are now I'm sure. I survived without being kidnapped into someone's basement or finding razor blades in my candy.

Which is a total urban myth that news stations still warn parents about.When was the last time you saw a news story about a kid ending up in the hospital from candy poisoning?

These days we're more likely to get salmonella from lettuce grown at a tainted corporate farm operation...

And I'm not just talking about the parents of trick or treaters. I'm talking about adults in the general population...the ones that turn all their inside and outside lights off and hide in the backs of their houses hoping that no one rings their doorbells.

I think there are people who don't feel like buying candy for strangers. I think that there are people who are tired of getting less and less kids coming to their door every year and don't feel like shelling out money for candy for nothing and having to eat it themselves. I guess I can't blame them all really...

Anyway, I still carve a pumpkin every year. I don't think I've ever missed a year. I don't ever do anything elaborate, but I try to make them different every Halloween.

I enjoy digging the slimy guts and seeds out of a pumpkin. I like the smell of raw pumpkin guts. This year was the first time Chuck and I have tried roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven, and they were delicious.

I asked Chuck to come up with a design for my pumpkin this time, and this is what he came up with:

We live in a housing development which until recently wasn't very developed. In the last couple of years it's comparatively exploded.

We expected a few kids this year. Not a lot because we still live in a rural-ish area, but a few.

Got the pumpkin on the porch, and got the candy bowl ready.

Our first visitor was the kid of some old friends of Chuck's. Shelley's so damn cute

After that....almost nothing.

We eventually thought we wouldn't get any more kids, but we saw an SUV slow down in front of the house at about 7:30, and two more girls popped out and came to the door. They got a big haul from us, because we knew we probably wouldn't get any more kids after that.

And we were right.

Chuck and I spent the rest of the evening gorging ourselves on 'fun-size' chocolate bars...

....and taking pictures of our shadows.

Behold, Chuckenstein!

Boris Karloff, eat your heart out!

Or maybe the zombies will...


Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Awww...say it isn't so. Hallowe'en can't be dead. Although it kinda is around here too. Nobody is brave enough to walk up our long, scary, wooded road. I loved Hallowe'en at our last house. I'd always dress up, and make up buckets full of candy bags. I did learn not to put the actual makeup on until after 6PM though, when I made a two-year old cry hysterically as soon as she looked at green witchy face :P I think it's good to keep the spirit alive. For us, we just use Halloween now as an excuse to entertain the chickens LOL.

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

Tbh, Halloween was never really alive here in the UK, but I can definitely say that since I'm move to the 'big ole city' that we have barely anyone. They do have a 'fright night' in the city centre though, so no doubt parents take their kids there instead.
I always carve the pumpkin and get the sweets; mainly because I loved going trick or treating when I was 9-13ish so like to at least give the kids something now.

Yesterday had a total of 3; two young vampires with their mum who must've only been around 3/4 and an older boy around 10 later on.

So yes, I have a massive bowl of sweets left over now. Oh well, more for me I guess.

But as a child I remember it getting really big on our estate and there'd be loads of us going round. We didn't get much in the end, but as you say it was more about going out with friends and having a laugh. One woman even dared us so we threw water balloons at her... They didn't pop though so she threw them back at us!! lol. Oh well. Teehee :P

Is the Wiz said...

Good for you for keeping it real. Happy Thanksgiving when it comes.

Lindsey said...

It def isn't the same as a parent and as a kid. No one comes to our house and we go over to the main street in town along with everyone else. This year there hardly any trick or treaters and few house were passing out candy. Maybe once Mas can go on his own it'll be different. I mean who doesn't like dressing up?!??! Gah!

Marguerite said...

I sure hope you're not right but Halloween was a bust here. I ran home to carve my pumpkins and even made up special treat bags for the kiddies. Treats which we now have to eat ourselves (gum eyeballs anyone?). I'm out in the boondocks but even last year we had almost 10 kids. what gives?

p.s. the kid in the costume and snowsuit is awesome and I totally remember that from when I was little.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Ha! Love the pic of a kid in a snowsuit with the costume over top. That was my life!! Last night took my little Capt'n Jack Sparrow out with a jacket under his costume...hee hee. (no malls for us!) The Canadian tradition continues!

The Idiot Gardener said...

Ah Halloween; fat kids and piss ice lollies.

Next year I must do the razor blades in candy thing. Trick or treat? I'll give the little bastards an understanding of trick or treat.

Jessie McKitrick said...

Halloween is looking up here. The last few years, we'd had a maximum of 20 showing up, but we had 32 this year. It's an older neighbourhood that is just now starting to have kids in it again, so that's part of it. I still think too many kids are off at the mall, which is CHEATING. It wasn't cold enough in Edmonton to need snow-suits this year so much as sensible clothes under costumes, plus mittens. I usually keep layers in mind when helping the girls plan their costumes (this year, a ninja and a dragon). My mom always made all our costumes for us, and I like to continue that tradition, as then the limits are imagination, rather than what's available in stores. My husband dressed up in costume too to bring the kids around, and everyone had a grand time.

Helping to keep Halloween alive and well, Jessie

Kyna said...

Clare: Kids cry when they look at me when I'm not even wearing Halloween makeup :P LOL

It'd be awesome if you'd dress your chickens up. And then take pictures of them in their little costumes. And then take pictures of the angry chicken talon marks on your faces...

Liz: I wasn't sure if it was any sort of deal at all there. But I saw a few posts about Halloween in the UK on FB here and there...so I figured at least some people did something.

Water-ballooning old ladies?? For shame, Liz!! :P ;)

Is: Nice to see you! I know you were having some problems with Blogger, I'm glad you still stop in to say hi once in awhile. I think you're pretty awesome. :)

Lindsey: I don't know what it is, man. Just like you said, even people that live right in towns and cities (unlike myself) aren't seeing the kids come by that they used to.

Wish I lived a little closer to ya, I would have had a 1/2 bowl to give him! :)

Ms S:I love that all us Canadian kids had the same snowsuit experience. Never really ruined it for us. The snow either! lol

IG: Just put curcurbits in their bags, they'll be just as disappointed.

Jessie: You're the kid of supermom I was talking about! You always make those kids ridiculously cool things.

Thank you for agreeing with me about the mall, it is SO cheating!

I can't believe I haven't gotten one angry comment from a mall mom, or lost a couple of followers or anything.... :D

Kyna said...

Marguerite: I think that's part of the reason why Halloween as we knew it is dying. People just get tired of putting effort into it for nothing.

Kinda sucks. Kinda sad :(

Oh well, I'll still keep doing my pumpkins and getting a couple of bags of candy. You won't see THIS fat girl complaining about eating it till February...

Kooky Girl said...

I'm in the UK too, it's a bit of a non-event here and I don't let my ten year old go trick or treating. When I did decorate my porch I think I got 2 callers... so this year I didn't even bother..what a shame... BTW, what is mall trick or treating ???

Kyna said...

It's where all the shops in the shopping mall give out candy, the kids go shop to shop.

I think it's cheating, and totally lame. :P