Sunday I began eating the Hallowe’en candy — not because I’d been out trick or treating on Saturday night, but because I always buy treats and no one comes knocking on my door. It has been this way for several years now. The neighbourhood children have grown and gone and newcomers tend to gather at the community centre or a school for a party. I see more costumes on adults in stores and restaurants than I do on children on the street.
When I was in school, Hallowe’en was a very different event. We had a party at school during the last hour of the school day. The teacher hid caramels wrapped in Hallowe’en paper all around the school yard and then we went hunting. Those were awful candies. They’d pull your fillings right out of your teeth if you weren’t careful, but we took pride in finding them. There were also some hard humbugs. Took a long time to suck one of those down to manageable size.
The really good candy came after dark. My younger brothers and I, dressed in costumes cobbled together out of the rag bag and the dress up box, would go into the village (we lived on a farm) and make the rounds of the ten or so houses there. We refused to speak, believing we could hide our identities that way, but, in such a small community, everyone knew where one girl and two small boys lived, so we weren’t as incognito as we believed. We’d have to go inside, usually into the kitchen, turn around to show off our costumes and shake our heads yes or no as our hosts asked questions. Then they’d put homemade fudge, or brown sugar candy into our small bags. We only had a small paper bag. My mother thought it disgraceful that kids in town would canvass with a pillow case! My Dad had a particular fondness for Aunt Georgina’s fudge. Luckily, she knew that so always tucked a few extra pieces into our hands “to share with your Dad.”
Once I became a teenager, the annual trek to the neighbours for candy became a thing of the past. The only time I got to wear a costume was for the Sadie Hawkins Dance at high school. Once again, the rag bag was a treasure trove, since we all wanted to look like the Yokums from Li’l Abner.
I did crash my three year old godson’s Hallowe’en party once. I dressed as Brunhilda. That’s the nose cone from an airplane on my head with tin foil horns attached. My godson was scared. His mother laughed and laughed. She still teases me about that day. My godson is now over 21.
Hope you all had a sweet Hallowe’en, however you acquired your candy.