October 9, 2014

Outgrowing Halloween is kind of sad

10-9-2014 National:

What are you going as? If you have an answer to that question, you are either a child or an adult who never outgrew Halloween. I, sadly, have outgrown Halloween.

##I remember how exciting the holiday was in my childhood. My friends and I talked endlessly throughout October about what we were going as. It was second only to Christmas as the highlight of a child’s life, and I found it appalling that so many adults didn’t care about dressing up for Halloween.

##How could anyone not be excited about getting free candy simply for dressing up as a ghost or whatever and knocking on doors? What a great racket. Why didn’t we do this every month and have a steady supply of free candy? Then we could spend our allowances on something much more important, like comic books.

##I am the oldest of five kids, so the first few years of trick-or-treating it was just Dad taking my brother and me around while the younger kids stayed home with Mom. Those were the best years. When my sister and brothers got old enough to tag along, I had mostly cycled out of the Halloween stage.

##If you grew up in the late ’60s to ’70s, you remember the plastic masks that were bound to your head with a thin, gray piece of rubber. Remember trying to breathe out the tiny hole that never quite matched up to your mouth? Your breath bounced back against your face, causing condensation? If the rubber piece, which always got tangled in my hair, hadn’t busted by that time anyway, the mask came off once it started making me sweat.

##We rarely ventured out of our neighborhood. We lived in the house my grandfather built and that my father was born in August 1939. My brother and I had some of the same teachers he had in elementary school. Everyone knew our grandparents, both sets, because they all lived in the same homes for decades. When my paternal grandparents retired to Florida, we moved into their house. When we moved to Georgia, my uncle and his family moved into the house.

##Not long after we moved to Georgia, a St. Louis boy died on Halloween after eating pixie sticks laced with cyanide. The poisoning threw quite a scare into the holiday until police arrested the boy’s own father, who had killed him as part of an insurance scheme. He was convicted and executed, which is as it should be.

##Every year, someone brings up razor blades in apples. Who still hands out apples? Someone who wants their yard TP’d, I guess. Hospitals used to X-ray candy, but I don’t think they do that anymore. I remember having to wait patiently for Mom to go through our candy bag to make sure nothing had been tampered with.

##Years later, when I had my own goblins, I did the same thing with their candy and realized Mom was using that as an excuse to steal chocolate. So did I; it was a great scam for moms. I never understood why anyone would hand out anything other than chocolate.

##When I was in school, we had two room mothers for each class. Those room mothers provided snacks and parties for each holiday. We got candy at school during the Halloween party and then more when we went trick-or-treating that night. It was awesome. Other mothers brought in cupcakes or cakes for their children’s birthdays.

##Schools aren’t allowed to have Halloween or Christmas parties and no one is allowed to bring food in from the outside because of allergies. I always wonder how food allergies got to be such a big deal in the ’90s and beyond but were never mentioned when I was in school. Kids are really missing out these days.

##I guess those kids don’t go out trick-or-treating, either, or get to visit any other kid’s home or have dinner anywhere except with their parents. Food allergies are as good a reason as any, I suppose, for not getting caught up in the Halloween spirit. Who wants to fool with costumes anyway? It also makes the transition from dressing up to not dressing up a lot easier.

##I wish I could say I miss Halloween, but I don’t. We live in the woods, off the street where passers-by can’t even see our house. We don’t decorate for Halloween and no one makes the long trek down our dark driveway to get a few pieces of candy. As far as I am concerned, all the orange and black in the stores clash with the red and green of Christmas.

##At some point, I guess everyone outgrows Halloween. ..Source.. by Kathy Jefcoats

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