This is our second Halloween in a new neighborhood. Last year was fun — we ran into our neighbors and squared the block with them, then answered the door for the few dozen people who came by.This year was like no other Halloween I’ve ever experienced. The realtor who represented the sellers, and many of our neighbors, warned us us to have a lot of candy on hand, at lest 800 to 900 pieces. They weren’t kidding!
The crowds started coming around 4:30, first the tiny tots, then the elementary school kids, then the high schoolers. And, then more of everyone. The parents’ costumes were just as ingenious as the kids’. My favorite kids were dressed as a washer and dryer
Our next-door neighbor lit up the firepit, pulled some chairs around, and settled in. His kids, Charlotte, and the girls across the street ran back and forth visiting for a while. When Charlotte came in for a bath, her friend Karina helped me give out candy. At times there were so many people on our stairs, I could barely keep up.
Charlotte and I took a break to trick-or-treat ourselves. We squared the block and were delighted to find that nearly every house was full of Halloween spirit, even those without children (like the realtor I mentioned above). Neighbors joined together and had tables in front of two or three houses. My favorite neighbor costumes had to be Frankenstein and his Bride (and their son, Zombie Lincoln), and the Centerpiece (or as I called her “dinner at Ravinia.”
Oddly, after waiting for weeks for her favorite holiday and having what she declared was the “best school Halloween ever,” Charlotte gave up trick-or-treating after about 20 minutes. She hung out with the neighbors for about 20 minutes after dinner and then went to bed fairly early. We’re wondering if she’s still a bit tuckered out after her procedure last week.
Yesterday Charlotte asked me how the tradition of trick-or-treating came about. I was floored by the question so I looked it up on Wikipedia and History.com. It may come from a British and Irish tradition of going door-to-door singing prayers for the dead in return for treats (called “souling”). Other theories connect it to a Scottish tradition first noted in th late 1800s called “guising,” in which costumed people knocked on doors holding scooped out pumpkins and received candy, money, and cakes. The term trick-or-treating seems to have come into modern parlance in the 1950s. It was a great question and I had fun researching it. Normally, you see, we go to the library and get a slew of Halloween books in October. This month was a bit hectic so no books and limited decorating. The question helped us both get more in the mood!
[p.s. Charlotte is doing fine post-balloon. I do have some more to say about the procedure, her discharge, and the hospital. Stay tuned.]