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Friday Family History: Halloween Memories from My Childhood



Yesterday, we celebrated Halloween by going to the church's trunk-or-treat activity.  The adults parked their cars in the parking lot, and the kids went from trunk to trunk.  "Trick or treat!"  "Trunk or treat!"  Everyone seemed to have a good time.
Growing up, we always carved a pumpkin for Halloween.  I think the expression on the face of the jack-o-lantern never changed from year to year.  I think that witch's mask above is as scary as Halloween ever got for us!  Mom would roast the pumpkin seeds, and we enjoyed eating them while they were still warm.

Halloween also meant dressing up.  We always had a party at school, and my mom was often one of the room mothers. The party was held in the afternoon, during the hour before school was out.  We played games and ate treats, usually homemade cookies or cupcakes.  

On Halloween night, my brother, sister, and I would trick-or-treat to two houses--one on either side of ours.  

On the west side, we'd knock on the Harveys' door. Mrs. Harvey (who, being born in 1900, seemed so old to me then, but now I realize was only in her 70s) would call my mom to make sure that we were coming over.  She always called herself "Grandma Harvey," which I didn't understand then, because she wasn't really my grandma, but we all loved her. 

A rental home was on the east side of our house, so various families lived there throughout the years.  Usually, though, those families had children, so we'd be trick-or-treating to classmates.  

After trick-or-treating, we'd go home, eat our candy, and answer the door to any fellow trick-or-treaters.  It was always fun to see our friends in their costumes.

I do remember one year that family friends invited us into town to go trick-or-treating with them, and I was so excited!  You see, kids in town lived on blocks, like the kids in so many of the books I read.  The idea of being able to walk around the block trick-or-treating was so novel to me.  I believe it was sometime during that night that I also learned that some schools had more than one classroom of the same grade.  I had no idea!

Things have changed a lot since I trick-or-treated.  The costumes have gotten more elaborate (and scary, in some cases), trick-or-treating is no longer limited to young children, and it seems that getting tons of candy is the main objective.  (I try not to reflect too much of a bah humbug attitude toward the holiday, but sometimes I have to work at enjoying it!)

How did you celebrate Halloween?  

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Thanks for happy childhood holiday memories, and those that helped make them great!

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Comments

  1. Thanks Kristi...Both of my kids love Halloween and wow three years celebrating each year they are excited about it. Basically they feel that it should be a national holiday and school should be closed. They Trick or Treat in our neighborhood a few blocks around the corners of our home, they go with their friends and cousins... they are so happy which is wonderful, right?
    By the end of the night I'm done they are high on sugar and quite the monsters...so I look forward to bed time!
    This year after Trick or Treat my family and my sister's family went out to dinner...by the time we got home my kids were unrecognizable! :) fun times!
    Marisa

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  2. I have loved Halloween ever since we moved to the East coast! It's a true community event. If the weather is nice, people often sit outside (sometimes with fire pits) to hand out the candy. Parents chat with each other as we keep an eye on the kids. You meet people you don't usually run into, or you find familiar faces at houses you didn't know were theirs. ("Oh! This is where you live!" said my son to the bus driver this year.) There is often a party in the town hall before the trick or treating starts. Those of us who live on streets that are bad for trick or treating donate candy that is distributed to the families who live in town. To be honest, it's one of my favorite nights of the year.

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  3. My church does something similar for the children's safety.

    Growing up on a farm several miles from town made trick or treating out of the question for me, so I still struggle with the concept of gathering as much candy as possible on Halloween.

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  4. I really do miss that Halloween of our childhood! I lived in a very small town where like Nancy, many of my classmates lived far outside town and so the fact that every student came to school in costume made it more fun for them. Most schools no longer allow costumes and it is sad. I loved the costume parades up and down the school hallways. Things have changed.

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