Halloween just isn't the same

None of the little kids who came by my apartment were dressed up, but they were young enough that I think the problem was more mommy and daddy’s than thiers. I live in a pretty poor area, and even the simplest halloween costume takes a little money and a lot of parental cooperation, which can be hard to come by if mama’s tired out by her two jobs.

Has any one noticed that adults have gotten more and more into Halloween in recent years? All the bars have Halloween parties, and I know a lot of people who throw costume parties on Halloween. This irritates me. Halloween is a children’s holiday, and it only works if the adults are all home to hand out candy. And even if I don’t always want to stay home on the 31st and keep getting up to answer the damned door, I still do it because it is payback for all the fun I had as a child.

Halloween has changed, but personally I think it’s changed for the better. Over the last 5-10 years Halloween was so scary! Everyone was worried that you were going to get poisoned candy, the hospitals would xray your candy for free. I feel like we’re past that. I’d say primarily for two reasons. Candy givers are giving better candy that is sealed or somehow safer, or else their giving coupons or something like that. The other reason is I think that a large number of the “razor blades in apples” stories were mostly urban myths.

Now, Halloween when I was a tot. My parents had grand old time then. It was tradition that all the adults brought out their best liquors. When the kiddies would get a candy treat, the adults with the kids would get a shot of premium booze. My parents said they did it every year. You knew everyone in the whole neighborhood, and it wasn’t a big deal. I bought my house a year ago, and I only just now found out one of my neighbors names. Times are a changin’

One interesting thing I noticed about Halloween is the way it has taken off in France and England. Ten years ago there was very, very little Halloween anything - maybe one of the American bars would throw a party and of course, the American expat schools would organize some trick or treating.

This year in Paris I saw hundreds of little kids getting dressed up on Saturday, a very high percentage of businesses had Halloween decorations and most of the bars (French, Irish, American) were having parties or at least had a lot of decorations. Of course, they are still in the beginning stages with ghosts and goblins and witches being the themes - there were no, say, Austin Powers costumes or anything.

One of the nice things about it in France is that it is a fun event pure and simple - nobody is up in arms because it is “inviting demons into the house” or it goes against Southern Baptist beliefs. It’s just fun - and the little ones get really excited about it. Now, as for people handing out canding at doors, I’m not sure how far that has gone yet, I think it is mostly parties for kids or some suburbs that are doing it.

Last year I had one set of trick-or-treaters, still have candy left over from then…don’t worry, it’s hard candy.

So, I decided this year I would simply save my hard earned cash and turn off the light and recover from the Halloween party from the night before…what a boring night.

Earlier in the evening I had been at a friend’s house and there were kids EVERYWHERE, I drove home and in my “mid middle class” nieghborhood there were only 2 or 3 groups, so I am glad I didn’t go all out.

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I actually had trick-or-treaters last night. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for eight years, and never have I seen one here. There’s an elementary school a few blocks from me, and they have a huge party every year, and that’s what all the kids do instead of trick-or-treating.

I bought a couple of bags of suckers for my daughter, so I had candy to give these kids, thank goodness. There were only four of them, but it was pretty cool. I can’t wait until next year, when I take my daughter to my dad’s for her first trick-or-treating adventure.

I’m glad that some of you had great Halloweens. I guess that I’m just missing the Halloweens of my youth. When I was growing up (we lived on an army post in Germany then, too), all of the stairwells would go all out. Tons of candy, everybody in costumes, some of the more ambitious buildings would even build haunted houses in the basements. Us kids would leave the apartment the minute it turned 6, and wouldn’t come home until the very last stairwell ran out of candy.

This year just didn’t feel very festive. Maybe the Christmas trees that the store had displayed with the Halloween candy had something to do with it.

I am also still pissed off at the people who refused to give the German children candy. Next year, I’m thinking about seeing if we can organize some sort of German-American joint celebration. That is, if I can’t make it to see Zette and Funneefarmer :slight_smile:

Forget all that stuff Tater…You need some good old fashioned country niceness, that’s all there is to it. Our communities up here haven’t forgotten Halloween- my town had a big parade on Saturday for all the kiddies and a big party followed by trick or treating and much merriment. Small town life- you just can’t beat it!
(Oh, and stay for Christmas- we go caroling…I swear to God it’s true)

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Sorry, if anything i say seems misplaced, but I’ve only read the first half of this thread, but in short time I want to share my theory of the Halloween spirit.

First, those fundies bother me, I accept their rights to be scrooges, but don’t do it at the expense of the kids having a good time.

Anyways, in my neighborhood (the same one I grew up in) all the houses were built at the same time, and the subdivision is made up of owners who all are the same age, save those relatively few new owners. As these new families all settled and had kids over the typical time frame for your stereotypical suburban home. In these first 15 years or so the Halloween crowd was intense, everyone all out decorating, and dressing up with trick or treaters of all ages, including the kids too old to be out there and stealing candy and smashing pumpkins. As these kids grew up, the neighborhood kids outgrew it, and now spend Halloween at costume parties drinking, and doing more adult tricks and treats. So as the kids quit coming, the houses quit decorating.
Combine that with the super cautious city stepping in and telling whats safe, so the kids can’t trick or treat any time, but 4-6 in the evening (before its even dark, fer crissakes). This takes any spontenaity out of it, and makes it so bland and institutionalized that its not fun any more.

These factors seem to make the holiday spirit yo-yo. Some areas have great Halloweens, but others especially a Army base, or any apartment building with common areas that mix very diverse people are going to have a hard time getting the communal spirit that the small towns, and homogonized suburbs get.

Just my theory.