Halloween for Seniors
It’s Almost Here
Well, it’s just a few more days before they come knocking at your door. You’ll have the light on and that basket of treats sitting ready to hand out. (That’s if there are any left by then and you don’t have to run out to the store Halloween morning to get some more.) Funny how our sweet tooth seems so much more active these days.
Halloween changed in your lifetime
I was thinking about how different Halloween is today than when I was growing up. I can
remember the evening before and sometimes right after school Halloween Day that we would sit at the table doing up little bags or napkins that we filled with treats for the children. Always lots of candy corn and then a variety of other things. Some years there would be a stick of gum in each one or maybe a lollipop or – oh yes, – Tootsie Rolls. The penny ones. And I remember, one year Mom made sugared donut holes to give out. They were very popular. Thankfully she had made many extra, knowing Dad and us kids would be sneaking them ahead of time.
We would do up between 25-30 bundles to hand out. Only once do I remember running out and Mom had to quickly make up some popcorn to hand out.
Most years we wrapped everything up in napkins. Some years there were special ones with Halloween designs but most years we did with ‘colored’ ones and a sticker on that.
I don’t remember that we ever gave out apples, though I know I always came home with one or two in my treat bag. And what a treat to get pennies in with the candy. Wow! One year one of the “rich” people on the street gave out quarters. Oh my! I was afraid to take that much from someone.
The Costumes Halloween changed in your lifetime
And then there was the choice of costumes. No one bought a Halloween costume. I don’t ever remember seeing them for sale anywhere. As a girl, I always wanted to dress up ‘fancy’ which meant I could wear make-up. Lipstick and rouge. And maybe a fluff with Mom’s powder puff. Once I even got to wear nail polish too. I don’t remember being anything special but I’m sure I knew who I was supposed to be. After all, everyone would be sure to ask who you were supposed to be and you had to have a good answer for them. That was part of trick or treating.
Collecting Halloween Treats
Some houses had cider to hand out and it was always a treat. Usually, by the time you got to that house, you were ready for something to drink. And if it was a really cold Halloween (and many were) the cider might be warmed up. Just holding it was a treat – getting hands warmed up. No one would wear mittens. Sometimes you could get away with gloves if they went with your costume.
I lived in a small town. Houses were somewhat close to one another – probably ½ acre lots. We would go up the block stopping at every house along one side and make our way home stopping at the opposite side of the road. No one would have been driven anywhere outside the neighborhood. We didn’t even go onto other blocks. That would be greedy.
Supper was early and easy Halloween night. We would start out around 6:30 pm and be home by 8 or 8:30 pm. I know Dad always turned out the lights at 9 pm. “Children shouldn’t be out later than that.”
Halloween changed in your lifetime: Halloween Became Dangerous
That was in the late 40’s. Ten years later, we had heard about the apple with a razor blade inside it. That was very big news. The following year, schools opened up Halloween night for activities at the schools. Instead of trick or treating, we all went to the school gym in our costumes. Parents donated treats and besides candy, there were small sandwiches, brownies, and cookies to eat and washed down with that wonderful fall cider. Sometime during the evening, there was a big parade around the gym and prizes were given out for various subjects. “Most original”; “scariest”; “most authentic”; and things like that. CBS now has a good slideshow warning parents about the dangers today associated with Halloween.
Now in my teen years, I was in the group that got to decorate the gym. We didn’t get too dressed up anymore. Just enough to let us get into the activities. No one could get in unless they had on a costume. Now we volunteered to help little ones and helped passing out treats.
My how things have changed today. I haven’t checked to see what the popular costumes are going to be, but shortly after they start coming around it will be obvious what is popular. Most children today will be wearing purchased costumes and looking at them, some of them must have pretty hefty price tags on them.
With both parents working, most don’t have the time or the know how to come up with handmade costumes. It’s always a treat to me to see some child who has shown imagination and creativity to put together an outfit that is homemade. Those are my treats to enjoy on Halloween.
All the treats today must be commercially wrapped and will be inspected when they get home for any possible breaks in the wrappers. If there is any doubt, items are quickly tossed. No one wants their child the brunt of a sick mind that is trying to harm others.
Lights stay on at least until 10 pm and from 9 pm on there is a steady stream of teenagers coming around. And the numbers that come – WOW! Parents now drive children into any area
where houses are numerous and close together. Many children go through 2-3 or even more developments in the evening. In addition to the little ones (5-10year olds) trick or treating, there are now even infants and toddlers all dressed up and coming to the door with parents. Many look like they wanted to be home asleep and have no idea what this is all about.
I hope I’ve brought back some memories. What do you remember about Halloween as a child? Do you get dressed up nowadays for Halloween? Many adults do. And for some adults, Halloween is a big party night. Seems strange to me, but that’s part of aging, I guess.
Your Halloween Safety
Before I leave, I do want to caution you. Don’t try to do Halloween alone at home – and if you do, please turn the lights out early. Later in the evening, people alone really aren’t safe. You can’t tell the difference between a teen and an adult many times today – especially if they are dressed in costume. Tonight would be a great night to visit with the grandchildren and their parents. You could help give out treats and have company to enjoy the evening with your child. I’ve given your child some help making plans for Halloween that you might enjoy reading also.
Don’t be a victim of a predator taking advantage of open doors on dark nights. If there are still numerous people going around your neighborhood, leave a basket with the goodies outside and leave the lights on, but lock the doors. That way the worst that will happen is that some group may get greedy and take whatever is left. If they are ones that do that, you don’t want to have given them a chance to take anything more than some treats.
I’d love to hear your memories. Do leave them in the comment box below.
Love, Hugs, and Prayers,
“If God be for us, who can be against us?”