Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Memories

My blogger friend Linda, over at Mocha with Linda is doing a Friday Flashback on Halloween and I thought I would share it with you and my responses.  Her questions were interesting and caused me to really pull out the dusty files on days gone by.

What was Halloween like when you were growing up? Did your family participate? If not, was there a substitute activity? Did your school or church have a fall festival or carnival? Were there stipulations regarding costumes? What sorts of activities did they have? What about Halloween parties? Have you ever bobbed for apples or been on a hayride? What are your memories of "haunted houses"? (I'm not referring to the ultra-scary, secular ones, just the fun kid ones, with bowls of grapes and cold spaghetti!) If you went trick-or-treating, what were the rules, both for trick-or-treating and for candy consumption? What types of costumes did you wear? Were they store-bought or homemade? Did you carve a jack-o-lantern? How are your children's experiences similar or different to yours? And the most important question: Do you like candy corn? What is your favorite (and least favorite!) Halloween candy? I thought long and hard and this is what I came up with to respond to her prompts on Halloween.
Halloween was a good, clean, fun thing when I was a child. I lived and breathed for the day and planned my costume from Sept 1st on.  Belvedere Elementary (my primary school) would host a Carnival and the kids would all dress up in their costumes, line up by classes and have a fashion show for all the parents. There would be games, prizes, and food. I think it was there that I fell in love with cotton candy, popcorn balls, and caramel apples. One lady in our neighborhood would make homemade shaped sugar cookies with sprinkles on them.  Kids just don't know what they are missing now.  One year my best friends Carol, Kathy, Donna and I dressed up like the Beatles. We were precious in our white shirts, black pants, homemade guitars and Beatle hair dos. Parents would go around with us while we trick-or-treated in the neighborhood. Two blocks over on the hill (if you can imagine a hill in South Florida) was a house that made homemade snow-cones. Dobby always gave us pennies. It was not unusual to get homemade foods and apples and stuff….but then that was back before the day that meanness entered into the world. When I was a youth we would have a Fall Festival and bob for apples (I hated this) and have a hay-ride. I am not to fond of those either….I am allergic to hay. I really am not a fan of Halloween. Frank and our daughter, Amy have taken me to a couple of haunted houses and I was terrified before the end….but then that is the whole purpose behind the things. I have worn costumes varying from hobos to princesses as a child and they were always homemade. My mom was an excellent seamstress. My children’s experiences have been a wee bit different. We lived in the country and did not have a lot of neighbors so they went to church Fall Festivals, trick-or-treated the few neighbors we had, and/or went with friends. I love candy corn…plain old candy corn….not the new and improved ones with weird flavors. I love the bag that has the pumpkins shaped ones in it. I also loved the caramel candies and the caramel ones with the white stuff in the middle. I don’t like licorice flavored candy in any variety. My mom always collected the candy and then doled it out to me a small amount at the time. I did the same with my kids because my kids were chocoholics….all but Eric…he was never a big chocolate fan…unless it was Reese’s. My dad usually carved a pumpkin….I got to draw the face he carved. I have carved pumpkins with my kids. I think it is one of the grossest things you can do and actually like pumpkins as they are intended to be….pumpkins. I do a fall yard arrangement every year and have a ceramic jack-o-lantern I set out at Halloween. I teach Dia de los Muertos in my Spanish classes and they think the fact that the people honor the dead is weird… much weirder can it be than what we do? If I had my druthers….I would not celebrate this holiday at all….but that is not going to happen… church is doing a hayride for the kids this year and trunk or treat in the parking lot. That will be a first for me and I am looking forward to it. Have a Happy Halloween.  Enjoy my musical tribute to Halloween.


Jerralea said...

I never liked Halloween either. I don't like celebrating it.

Your memories of Halloween are a lot like mine. I guess because we both grew up in Florida!

My kids have never been trick or treating but I did allow them to go to Fall Festivals. This time of year in the midwest, hayrides and bonfires are big deals and usually they go to several of those.

maddie/cadesmimi said...

I enjoyed your memories of a simpler time. I, too, have lost some my enthusiam for Halloween over time. I wonder if it's my age, or simply the times that we are living in?

Mocha with Linda said...

The Monster Mash always cracks me up!

Life was a lot simpler when we were growing up, wasn't it?!

I had never heard of festivals being called "Trunk or Treat" until this year, and now I've heard it at least half a dozen times. Funny how things go in cycles!

Nel said...

Enjoyed your memories. I like the idea of the trunk or treat. Several of the churches around us are doing that, a good idea!
Things sure have changed!
until next time... nel

That corgi :) said...

I think I really miss the "good old days" (like when I was growing up) when it was okay to give out homemade treats like popcorn balls or candied apples.

I think the weirdest thing about Halloween is that we allow our kids to take candy from strangers on that one day yet we tell them not to take candy from strangers the other 364(365) days of the year. That never made any sense to me.

Having said this, I did enjoy reading your memories about past Halloweens. How neat to always have had homemade costumes too!

I think its great that your church is doing the hayride and trunk or treat!! should be tons of fun for all!


Jacki said...

My Halloween was a lot like yours...except when I lived in Germany. It's pretty much a 2 week event there calld Fashing (to ward off evil spirits). Fun Fun!

My kids did pretty much like me. We're in a pretty small town, and they were safe. We all knew our neighbors.

My grandkids are a different story.
Our town does Halloween "Safe Night" downtown. They get to go trick or treat all through downtown. The merchants hand out candy. Then there's trunk or treat!
So much fun! Our church also does a fun night for the whole community on Halloween. We spend most of our time there.
Happy Haunting!