Halloween through the ages (of the author)

Halloween means different things to different people. It has a lot to do with your age. When we are children, it meant staying up later and eating too much candy. At my current age, it means hoping no one wants to trick or treat at a senior building.

Without wanting to be a bad sport, I have to admit that Halloween and it's meaning changes throughout our lives. I do remember how excited Sister and I got when our older brothers came home with the goods! It seemed like they must have visited every house in the city. They would have pillow cases full of candy! Often times we did not have the usual store bought containers to hold the candy.

Our mom always got first dibbies! All of us would dump the candy on a blanket on the floor. Mama loved chocolate and usually picked out the little Milky Way bars and anything made by Hershey! Then, my brothers would have at it, and give Sister and I what they did not want. We were good with that. Suckers, bubble gum and the like. It did not matter if it was a school night. We ate candy till we went to bed. Sometimes we hid candy in our beds to make sure we still had some in the morning.

As the years pass and we are all teenagers, it is more about the costumes. Often times there would even be an event at school where we could celebrate Halloween without going door to door. Some kids had moms who made them really cool outfits for the get-togethers. We, on the other hand had to wing it! I remember being a nurse one year. I got a white uniform dress that was actually for a waitress. I borrowed a nurse’s cap from a neighbor who actually was a nurse. That was a costume. The candy was no longer the No. 1 priority. It was about looking cool that mattered.

My mom always liked giving out candy, when we had candy to give out. I think she would have my brothers make a stop at home and unload some of their stuff, so she could use it to give to the other kids. I recall more than once that she asked kids to "come back a little later, because we had just run out of candy and were going to get more at the store." Looking back now, I am certain that all of us have had to say that at one time in our life.

Fast forward a decade or two and our own children get too old to trick or treat ¬– and then Halloween becomes pretty unimportant.

For a while!

When grandchildren start showing up in our lives, we get to start all over again. Halloween once again has meaning. Even if the kids are in a baby stroller, they will have a costume on. Our kids get to enjoy a whole new generation of going door to door, and collecting the goods. Now, we get to go to their house, and hope that no one comes to ours. We can walk around with the little ones, and truly enjoy their joy. Tiny little super heroes, witches, ballerinas, and a whole new generation of Star Wars fans. If you are truly blessed, you may spend Halloween with a great-grandchild. And hopefully she will not be too terrified by some of the costumes to actually make it to the door. You no longer get to pick through the candy. Not your job anymore. Besides, if you still ate candy like in the old days, you would be sick for a week!

So, I still enjoy seeing the kids in costumes, and all the really cool decorations. Some people can get mighty creative when decorating outside. However you choose to acknowledge Halloween, I am glad it is still around. It is nice to be at a point in my life that I can start all over, as a spectator.

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