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BlueWolf's Howl

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October 31, 2003

Trick or Treat!

First of all.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY to RedEagle (my gf)!

Now on to the paradigm shift...

Is it me, or is this Halloween different? I just noticed it...on my way to work this morning.

Last year I had the feeling that Halloween was in its awkward teenage years -- not really what it used to be and not yet what it will become.

The holiday of my youth is gone. We would walk for hours up and down every street...knocking on doors and yelling "trick or treat"... The longer we walked without complaining, the further we got (which meant more candy). Candy bars were bigger (and didn't cost so much, either). When you went to a house, you got a whole candy bar! Well, most of the time. I actually remember getting apples for Halloween - usually from people we knew - and it was OKAY.... then... [Now, giving an apple will probably result in a police visit before the night is over.] But, those days are gone.

The past few years have been hard. The old ways didn't really fit anymore and many people were unsure of what else to do. There was so much to fear...of the living. Razor blades in apples and rumors of candy poisioning have insured that today's children will never know the heaping full pillow cases of my youthful Halloweens. [The pillowcase tradition started because there was just soooooo much candy that it didn't fit in that little plastic pumpkin. And, no, not even the big one was big enough.] Today's parents will not allow you to cover that much ground. IF you're allowed to go house-to-house, you're usually only allowed to go to houses of people you know or those in your own neighborhood. Kids don't cover neighborhoodS anymore.

And we knew it wasn't fair to the kids. For all we had in our day, they were getting far less. Easter netted more candy. There had to be a solution.

Halloween parties started to become popular. The local church, the local firestation, the local police station....they were all putting on SAFE parties for the kids. Parties with lots of candy. Parties with games and events. But, it was new. It was awkward. Should we drag our kids to such a party? Are they missing out on something else while they're at some hokey party? Shouldn't they be out doing what we used to do instead of stuck at some party?

But, now it's changed. I felt it in the air. There are Halloween movies. There are Halloween songs. There are Halloween parties. And we drag out the same old movies every season...Halloween classics. And the songs you heard on Halloween past...Thriller, etc...they're all on the radio again. And the kids are looking forward to going to that party again like they did last year.

They don't miss our Halloween -- it's something they've never seen nor experienced. And, although we'll always miss it (along with the rest of our youth), we're accepting the loss. The guilt is gone, the void has been filled. We know what we'll do this year (and next). We have a new routine. We have a bright, shiny, new tradition.

Happy Halloween!

Posted by BlueWolf on October 31, 2003 10:07 PM