Changing Times of Halloween

November 1, 2006

When I was young, kids went trick-or-treating after dark. We all had our flashlights and pillow sacks and went out in groups so we weren’t scared. Walking in the night, we could see the moon, the flicker of flames from jack-o-lanterns, the scary shadows scattering in the twilight. This was the image of Halloween then.

The image of Halloween now is so different. Kids now begin their trick-or-treat rounds at 1pm, right after lunch, in the bright sunny day. No more flashlight, barely any pillow sacks, and even worst, participation is quite low. I think we were one of the few houses on the street that had pumpkins in the yard with a skeleton trying to climb out from the ground. We had visitors arriving at our door with candy bags empty. We had kids come to our door with no costume at all! The saddest was when this one young boy came to our door, by himself, in no costume. My wife asked him what he was supposed to be and he pulled a mask out from his pocket and sorta frowned.

I remember back in the day going out for Halloween, coming home excited with a bag full of candy. We would then dump the candy on the ground and begin to trade with one another while screams from a scary movie filled the atmosphere. I do miss the old days, but I also understand the current times. People are busy, neighbors barely interact, we all have lives of our own in our own worlds. Worst of all, I’m not sure if I would want my son to go out trick-or-treating at night. The world is just a totally different place than what it used to be.


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