Trick or Treat


One of the few holidays left that does not seem to be under attack is Halloween. Technically, Halloween isn’t a real holiday, but it is if you’re under 12 and like candy.

Recently, my wife mailed off a care package to the three smallest grandchildren, which included a homemade costume for each of them.

From what I’m told, dragons are one of the big things with kids this year, so they each received their own dragon costume, with just enough individual nuances to keep them from arguing over which one is theirs.

I grew up at a time when TV shows were marketing inexpensive, pre-packaged costumes by the millions. Walking down the aisle of the Ben Franklin Five and Dime, I would stare at the different masks, which were staring back at me through the cellophane-covered hole in the cardboard box.

I can recall my parents talking about how we should just do homemade costumes instead of buying ridiculously expensive store-bought costumes. But, there was no way I was going to go in a sheet with two eye holes cut out when I could be Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, or Casper The Friendly Ghost.

The thing that I remember most about those Halloween costumes was that the masks were insanely hot. As I went from door-to-door and knocked (only rich folks had doorbells), sweat would squish between my cheeks and the plastic mask, then drip down my chin.

Moms would break kids into groups of six to eight and load them into separate cars to take them to different neighborhoods in town. Back then, each car was the size of an aircraft carrier and would hold a lot of kids.

I can imagine peeping through the window of a home and watching a car pull up with a never ending stream of children piling out and making their way to your front door.

“Trick or Treat!” we would yell. Holding out our plastic pumpkins or paper sacks, we would watch as the homeowners gleefully dumped enough candy into our containers to put our dentist’s kids though college.

At the end of the evening, my dad would sort out the candy, teasing us along the way by periodically popping pieces in his mouth and laughing.

The candy would then be put up in our pantry, and mom would dole out small amounts each day. Many times, it would last through Christmas, but sometimes not.

Adults like costumes as much as kids, it seems. This week, there will be lots of Halloween parties for the grownups, and candy collecting for the youngsters.

We won’t get to see the grandkids Trick or Treating this year, but thanks to email, social media and cellphones that shoot video, we can feel as if we are.

So, if you’re in Virginia and see three dragons at your door, please toss some extra goodies in their sacks. Their grandma and I would appreciate it.


©2015 John Moore

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