With Halloween fast approaching and with me seeing many Halloween decorations in people’s yards, I have been recalling some memories of Halloween when our kids were growing up. Halloween was always a fun family time and unlike Christmas, didn’t take a lot of preparation. A number of years ago when I was scanning in photos of our kids, I included a number of their Halloween costumes that we had captured.
The earliest photo I have our kids is from 1984 when their costumes were fairly simple, a cape, a hat, and a cloth pumpkin bag for treats. But I seem to recall these were handmade by someone since our son’s and daughter’s names were stitched into the pumpkin bag.
These costumes served our kids well for several years and were even enhanced the year my company came out with Halloween face paint that I brought home from work. Thankfully it was formulated to easily wash off with water.
One year in fact, costumes were so popular that our daughter had a pre-Halloween birthday party with invitees coming dressed in their planned Halloween costume for that year.
After several years, our two oldest kids outgrew these first costumes and moved on to other creative attires but our youngest son, just one and half years old at the time, seems to have been most displeased to have inherited the devil costume for his first trick-or-treat outing. Either that or his brother and sister scared him with their costumes.
Years later though, our youngest son would come up with his own creative idea of a scary outfit to wear door to door.
Another fond memory of Halloween was buying and carving a pumpkin. This was always a favorite of mine with the kids helping come up with interesting faces while I did the carving. I would usually buy the pumpkin as soon as they were out in stores to make sure we got a really good one before they were gone.
A real treat one year was to find gigantic pumpkins—at least 3 to 4 feet tall—for sale at the garden center where we shopped.
We put it out on our porch the night we got it but sadly the next morning, we found it had been stolen off our porch before we could even carve it. Obviously we had to go buy another large one and this one after being carved, was placed on a table inside the house in the front porch window to keep it safe from theft.
With pumpkin and costumes taken care of, the real fun could begin at dusk on Halloween. Some years when our kids were small, we would go to friends’ neighborhoods to trick-or-treat. But usually, we just went around our own cove and a few streets over, mostly where we knew the neighbors. This was, after all, soon after the Tynenol poisonings and everyone had to be extra careful not knowing what danger was out there. We would often go with our neighbor across the street and her kids while my wife stayed at home to hand out the candy to our scary visitors. I remember one Halloween in particular when the weather was just perfect feeling such happiness watching our kids run door-to-door and seeing all of the other neighborhood kids in their costumes. Then when we came home, we would typically drive over to grandmother and granddaddy’s house so they could see the kids’ costumes and get their extra special Halloween treats from their grandparents.
Once home, my wife and I would help each child empty out his or her “haul” so that we could go through it to make sure nothing had been opened or tampered with. I must admit I occasionally found some “suspicious” wrappers on candy I particularly liked that I would set aside to eat after the kids went to bed. We certainly didn’t want our kids to get sick from consuming all of the large quantity of candy they brought home and usually had to keep it downstairs so they would not get into after they were in bed. After we knew they were asleep, probably a few more “suspicious” looking candies were consumed by my wife and I.
Now that I am a granddaddy, I hope one day to be able to take my grandson trick-or-treating when he is old enough. It is a fun activity I know we can share together and one where I will reminisce about times his mom trick-or-treated with her brothers, his two uncles now.