1-When I was a kid, I used a pillowcase for my candy haul; everyone used a pillowcase. Now my kids have Halloween-themed trick or treat bags. They are in no way as strong as the generic pillowcase, and they are a lot smaller.
2-Back in the day, we made our costumes every year. Maybe it was just my family, but we never bought costumes. A mask maybe…I’ve made a good number of costumes over the years for my kiddos, but oddly enough to me, it was always a fight. They actually preferred the cheap, itchy store bought costumes, at least until they saw the costume we creatively put together.
3-The costumes weren’t nearly as cool as they are now (neither were the jack-o-lanterns). There are so many creative, cool and unique costumes now. Thank you, Internet. Again, we didn’t buy our costumes so maybe that is why they were of the standard fare. I was a witch, a ghost, a ballerina-once I was a Ho-Bo. Can you imagine a kid dressed as a homeless man in this day and age? It would be appalling and politically incorrect and would likely make the evening news.
4-There were always news reports about checking the candy for razor blades and the like, but it just scared the kids, not the parents. I can remember examining my candy but after checking about 3 pieces or so, I’d give up the fight. It was too much work. And besides my parents didn’t seem the least bit concerned, so neither was I.
5-The parents never went out with us. Maybe yours did, but mine didn’t. “Have fun,” they would say as we took off with a bunch of neighborhood kids. I think they were grateful to have us out of their hair for an hour or two.
6-We actually wore our costumes to elementary school. Somehow over the years, this has become taboo. When I was young, pretty much everyone let his or her child celebrate Halloween, and if you didn’t, well that was your deal, no one cared. The rest of us wore our costumes to school and had a party. We even called it a Halloween party. And no one got too scared, at least not that I can remember.
7-There were no set trick or treating hours. We left as soon as we could, and we stayed out as long as we could. And when the parents ran out of candy or got sick of answering the door, they turned off the porch light. We kids knew it was the signal so to speak.
8-No one handed out healthy treats, and if they did, we didn’t go back to their house the following year. Back in the day, candy was the name of the game. No Goldfish crackers, no popcorn, no apples. No one counted calories or worried about childhood obesity back then. In some ways, we kids had it made.
9-And if you did buy your kid a costume…You didn’t have to worry about it being too sexy. Seriously, as the mother of 3 daughters, and yes I am conservative, but some of the costumes out there! I could care less what adult women wear, but kids need to be kids.
10-Pumpkins were round and orange and that was it. A few years back my daughter wanted a white pumpkin. It was cool and different and…for me, just not the same. I think all the different gourds are interesting but when I’m carving a jack-o-lantern, I want it to be round and orange.
May your Halloween be filled with cute little Disney princesses, handsome Spidermans, scary zombies and lots and lots of candy. The apples can wait.
We used to go to only the houses in our neighborhood – we knew all the people. And like you, our costumes were homemade. We never even thought about anyone trying to poison us. It is a different world now.
It is a different world Aunt Joyce! But the good news, my girls don’t know that world. Halloween is just as fun for them as it was for me. It was a cold Halloween here so we had fewer trick or treaters, but I so enjoyed seeing all the kids I know from the neighborhood! Community is a blessing.