Writer’s Workshop

5. How is Halloween different for kids now than it was for you as a child?

(photo found on internet of 80s Halloween)

Times change, we all know this. My memories of Halloween revolve around cheaply made costumes with those thin plastic masks, TONS of candy in a pillow case, and a sense of independence as I got old enough to Trick or Treat with friends without parents.

For kids now, I am sure there are some of those aspects still being kept alive. For us, we tried to recreate it as best we could for our kids. When they were young, we never went in our neighborhood because it didn’t appear anyone was participating. It was a neighborhood in transition so, a lot of older people and very few children. We went to friends’ neighborhoods and Halloween parties. My parents had friends but not a friend group with kids so a get-together like the ones we attended simply didn’t exist. Ash and I went to Tiffanie’s house many years in a row; she’d make chili and other food and then we’d all get in a trailer pulled by a truck and go around their area. As the kids got older, we went to little parties here and there and met up with different friend groups.

A few years ago, we attended the Beard street event, which is in Midtown and they close off the ends of this one street and every house has crazy decorations and everyone participates. It was packed! I mean, SO many people. I definitely never saw anything like it. They haven’t had it since Covid so I fear that’s on its way out. Now, kids do the trunk or treat thing, which is a microcosm of the way parents are now: too damn cautious. It’s the safe, bland version of actual trick or treating and while I have taken my children all of one time to do it, it’s just so not the same! A decorated car in the church parking lot, to me, is NOT the same as my Halloween.

One way that it is similar is that kids outgrow it at some point. I remember not going at all when we moved when I was 14 and I lost interest. My son is 15 and is definitely not going. My middle is 12 and already got a costume and is going with a friend. We are taking my daughter to our friend’s house and his dad puts lights and decorations on the trailer and while we could totally walk house to house, our friend is really anal about it and makes us ride. So even though the idea is the same, it is still homogenized.

5 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop

  1. I love Halloween. Our trick or treaters are all ages – literally from arm babies to grandmothers. We have a cool neighborhood with walkable sidewalks so people come from all over. We will have all nationalities, etc. Some families will come in “family costumes” and even the baby and the grandmother will have trick or treat bags :-). We usually have a good many teenagers, too. We have so many trick or treaters that we don’t go inside. Everyone sits either on their porch or in chairs at the bottom of the steps and it is continous for about 3 hours.

    1. Wow, nice! I’d love to live in a neighborhood like that but at the same time, I know when we get older we’ll live too far out to really even have Halloween.

  2. My dad pulled us around on a hayride with our tractor in Michigan and we had a Halloween party in my barn (I had horses). It was really fun. I love Halloween. In Romeo downstate we make national news for our Tillson St. where people go all out with incredible moving decorations. Up north here in Elk Rapids, more older people who don’t get into it as much, but I have some scary monsters who moan and a cauldron that bubbles and I dress up like a witch. Just made my black cat pumpkin! Wish the other neighbors got into it more, but I do anyway.

  3. It’s funny, my kids wouldn’t be caught dead in one of my old school homemade costumes. Not when they can get the full accurate costume at Party City. 🙂 I had to dig through my moms scarves and costume jewelry to come up with something. lol

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