It is the day when people are encouraged to dress up and be playful. We are among those who decorate our house with ghosts and bats and witches. We have a mat we picked up at Canadian Tire years ago. When someone steps on it – it screams! It was the best $5 we ever spent. The reactions of children who come to the door are priceless!
Of course, Halloween doesn’t always arrive at a convenient time. I must admit there have been many years when we hadn’t given much thought to a costume for our kid. The result has been a time of creativity often an hour before going trick or treating.
Among my favourites costumes was the very first year. At 8 months old, we hadn’t intended on taking the kid out trick or treating. But as the night went on and we watched the neighbourhood kids run around, we decided it would be fun to knock on the doors of those we knew. On the spur of the moment we pondered a costume. Taking a canvass bag, we dropped the kid inside and added stuffed animals and dolls. Our kid’s first costume thus became: a bag of toys!
Another favourite was also a last minute conjuring. Sailor hat, life jacket and some well-placed green tissue paper transformed the kid into what we called ‘lost at sea’.
Trick or Treating
To be fair, hubby and I took turns distributing candy and trick or treating. It afforded us each an opportunity to have fun and connect with neighbours. As the kid grew older, there came a time when a desire was expressed to go solely with friends. We insisted the group be at least 3 and set some parameters which were followed. It was the first time our kid carried a cellphone, one tool that allowed for some independence.
We Scare Hunger
When we were young, trick or treaters were encouraged to carry UNICEF boxes and collect change along with their treats. It created an opportunity to do something for children around the world who live in poverty. I haven’t seen those boxes in quite a while. However, another organisation has taken advantage of this opportunity to build awareness around hunger.
Free the Children (now known as “We Charity”) has included in its materials the suggestion of using Halloween as an opportunity to collect canned goods for local food banks. Some have done this in school or with other groups. Our kid and friends, did it by bringing a wagon with them trick or treating. As a result, we allowed the kid to trick or treat a couple years into high school. This meant one year when we had 4 kids, eating loads of candy and ‘sleeping over’. Oh the memories.
What do you do?
Every family is different. What are your memories of Halloween? What traditions have you developed? What was your favourite costume? We would love to hear from you! Trick or treat!
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