Sunday, November 02, 2008

Trick or Treat?

When I was kid, Halloween and trick-or-treating was a huge ordeal for residents in my neighborhood. Everyone seemed to participate: those with children and those without, younger families and older families, even the grumpy old man who lived next door (sure we were scared to ring his doorbell, but who's going to pass up an opportunity to get even more candy?)

Over the last decade, I've noticed trick-or-treating has started to dwindle. Different organizations such as churches and malls have taken it upon themselves to provide Halloween parties, fall festivals, or trick-or-treating within their own parking lot, calling it trunk-or-treat. I understand parents wanting to provide safe Halloween celebrations for their children. But one advantage to trick-or-treating within your own neighborhood is conversing with your neighbors, hopefully getting to know them a little bit better.

As we took our own two children out for trick-or-treating, it saddened me to see so many dark houses. This year, I'm guessing maybe only 20 percent of the residents in our neighborhood participated in this Halloween tradition. It was also sad to see so few children out trick-or-treating.

Do I need to change with the times and find some alternative Halloween celebration? I hope not. The few neighbors we do know, really got a kick out of seeing the kids in their costumes. And for a few moments, we conversed and giggled together. I guess our little family will continue this tradition until we're the only ones left with a brightly lit porch light.


Lady M said...

There were also a lot of dark houses in our neighborhood, but this is our first Halloween here, so I don't know if that is usual. I did enjoy talking to the neighbors we did see, so I wish more had been around!

Damselfly said...

I think Halloween festivities are different from neighborhood to neighborhood. We live where there are a lot of kids and about a quarter of the houses decorate -- but most of them give out candy. We had a fair turnout of trick-or-treaters come to our door. But a friend in the next town over (basically the same town, really) said he had about a thousand kids! His door never stopped ringing.

I like going to places like stores and malls for Halloween, though, in addition to visiting the houses of neighbors we know. We got some great things from Whole Foods this year!

MaryP said...

In our neighbourhood, I'd say better than 3/4 of the neighbours give out candy; pretty nearly that many decorate, if only to put an uncarved pumpkin on the steps. (About half do more.) We get 60 - 70 children, usually.

I've heard of "trunk-or-treats", but only from American bloggers, and it seems to me (though this could be entirely wrong) that they're more common the further south you go. Are those completely false perceptions?