Halloween From One Generation To The Next

Growing up we were not allowed to go trick or treating. My mother was too spooked about the tales of people lacing candy with drugs or sticking razor blades in apples. I was allowed to “dress up” with whatever my imagination could come up with and go next door to my babysitter’s house. I usually grabbed my dad’s clothes and made myself a hobo. I loved going down the hill to Mrs. Kidd’s house. She always made homemade popcorn balls and candy or caramel apples. And the best part was that she made a special treat bag just for me which meant that mine was much bigger, and I got all of the leftovers the next day. My father always took us to the local general store and let us pick out all the junk we wanted. My mom turned out all of our lights and pretended we were not at home. Candy was never handed out at our house.

However, I envied the excitement of the kids at school. They talked for weeks about their costumes. When they found out I couldn’t trick or treat, they looked at me like I was walking around with two heads. (Now, that would’ve been a great costume!) I’ll never forget gorging on my friend, Tee’s candy forever after Halloween. I was in awe at the stash she always had. She would have an entire paper grocery sack filled to the top. Now of course, she had to approve what pieces, she’d allowed me to have, but hey any was better than none!

I suppose it was my lack of Halloween participation that propelled me to go all out with my kids. They always had a choice of whether they wanted store bought or homemade costumes. They did a bit of each through the years. We always went to the carnivals and fests that were held at church and school. They trick or treated through our neighborhood. Dirt Man or myself went with them until they were old enough to go together or in a group with their friends. It was a big deal for them to be able to ditch us and venture out on their own. And like any good mom, I did go through their candy to make sure each piece was properly sealed and appeared tamper-free.

As an adult, I have only once gone to a Halloween party. When I was a hairdresser, we dressed up every year. It was a lot of fun. We were just a bunch of overgrown kids. We were fairly elaborate in our costumes. Most of us made our own. I was Pippy Longstocking one year and a red Crayola crayon another year. I have pictures, but I have no idea where I stashed them…sorry, no photos today!

I still love Halloween. It gives me the opportunity to see certain children that I seldom see. We generally get around a hundred trick or treaters every year. That means I buy a lot of candy. And if I don’t give it all out, it means chocolate for me! And I ALWAYS buy the good stuff. However, one year I gave out toothbrushes. (I worked for a dentist, what can I say?) It was expensive, and the kids were way unappreciative! They wanted CANDY!!!! Really, I can’t say that I blame them.

This was when Oldest was old enough to pick out his own costume. He originally picked out a Barbie costume (which he vehemently denies to this day!), and I coerced him to choose GI Joe instead.

The pictures are stashed away so I couldn’t readily get my hands on the ones of the two of them dressed up, but I did run across this one. I don’t even think it was Halloween here, Oldest had a fascination with clowns and was always dressing himself as one, and youngest wanted to do something, too. He didn’t want the “goop” on his face, so he opted for a headband and was a “girl”. I have a gazillion photos of Oldest in different homemade clown attires and various clown make up. He now hates clowns and says they spook him…go figure!

My Spin on Halloween.

43 thoughts on “Halloween From One Generation To The Next

  1. I loved Halloween as a kid! We always made our own costumes and started on them at the beginning of October. But my kids never really got into it. Now it seems like they’ve completely outgrown it and we don’t even hand out candy. Kinda makes me sad now that I think about it.

    I’m with Oldest… clowns are creepy!

  2. I remember those plastic halloween costumes as a kid. I do remember dressing as Barbie one year. I still haven’t gotten a costume for my youngest or even decorated the house. I’m a horrible mother. 😦

    BTW, that clown movie was called “IT” and it scared the crap out of me. I don’t like clowns to this day.

  3. Aaw, the pics are so sweet.
    We grew up not knowing anything about Halloween. Nowadays in Johannesburg it has become a bit show-offy with the one-upmanship of the kids’ costumes, parties etc.
    A whole generation are terrified of clowns because of ‘It’.

  4. I dress up for Halloween every year without fail. If there is no adult party to attend, put on a costume to hand out candy, and the kids love it. A few years ago, I handed out adult treats too and made the parents come to the door. It was a great way to meet new neighbors.

  5. Halloween is not a big event in England – a little more now but when I was a child was not celebrated at all. Bonfire Night and Guy Fawkes is the big fall event on 5th November.

    So for me now being here in the US celebrating Halloween with my daughter is a very special event and this year I know will be even more so as she now really understands what it is all about and is very excited about it. Our neighborhood make a big deal of Halloween too which is nice.

  6. ” He originally picked out a Barbie costume (which he vehemently denies to this day!), and I coerced him to choose GI Joe instead.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, how precious! He sounded like me. All I ever wanted to BE, was Barbie!

    This post brought back so many wonderful memories for me as a kid during Halloween!

    ” the tales of people lacing candy with drugs or sticking razor blades in apples. ‘

    Yes, my mother never allowed us to eat any loose candy or apples.

    FAB post, Suzi! LOVED it!


    • He was only two, and I think the GI Joe was a big impression because after that he was obsessed with GI Joes and Army tanks, and a few years later a found box of tampons in the bathroom became missiles much to my embarrassment!

  7. Alex’s favorite holiday is Halloween. Me? Not so much, but I play along with him. We always sit out on the front porch with my girlfriend CT to hand out candy. Alex is always in costume. He is very creative. We generally get between 100 and 150 kids and they are so cute in their costumes! We usually drink wine and order pizza during this “parade”.

    • You get get a lot of them, too. How nice you guys make it an event…this years you must post Alex in costume! The hubby dressed up in ascary cotume once and made a couple of kids cry…he felt bad and never did it again. Occasionally, he puts on a mask and freaks out the dog!

  8. My dad was loathe to let my bro and I celebrate Halloween. If it wasn’t for Mom, we would have never gone trick-or-treating (due to religion) but every so often, she convinced Dad to let us go as long as we never dressed up as anything “evil.” I have no problems with my son celebrating it though. It’s a time for kids to dress up and have fun!

  9. I was a hobo for years in a row – I just went to my Dad’s closet, put on a flannel shirt, and then my Mom had the best idea – she put vaseline on my face and put coffee grounds on it to make it look like I had a beard!

    I never ate anything until I washed my face – and we would trick or treat FOR HOURS! I would have a garbage bag full of candy. It would be all gone in a couple weeks.

    My brother, however, would eat his very last piece of candy on October 30 the next year – and would brag that his candy lasted him a year!

  10. My parents were the same way with not letting us trick or treat when I was a kid. They did hand out candy though, so my mom would let us dress up and help her answer the door, and let us pick from the stash. 🙂
    You’re linked!

  11. I was so disappointed the first halloween in my duplex. I had a HUGE bowl of candy – the good kind – and only had ONE trick or treater.

    I love trick or treaters but they didn’t go to duplexes. I stayed at Jason’s last year, still no luck only ONE.

    This year I am going with the girls so I can see some cute little kids in costumes.

    Too cute on your oldest being a clown and the youngest a “girl”.

    So lucky you get lots of treaters!!

  12. Even though you didn’t get to go trick or treating or pass out candy, it sure sounds like you have some very fond memories of Halloween.

    Then you made your own memories with your kids. Cool!

      • Yeah, I can tell. That is nice. When my brother and I were young we were giving a choice because my dad had his ideas about Halloween and so we stopped dressing up and trick or treating, but we started going to the movies! Oooo. That was a super treat!!!

  13. Your mom should have taken some advice from the other moms. Didn’t she know? It’s a whole scam mothers had put together since the beginning of time and passed it on later to their children who passed it on to their children.

    Still don’t know???

    It’s the whole “razor, drug infected candy search.” The parent seizes the child’s bag of goods and begins to rifle through it very carefully.

    “Oh, that’s definitley not good. The wrapper is slightly off.”

    “Oh no. See those holes?” Whisks it away.

    Later, the child sees the parent stuffing the absconded candy into her mouth. You see, we children knew all along that the grown-ups simply wanted to join in on the fun. :o)

  14. Just loved the pics Suzi…also did not know much about Holloween back in my days but love how the younger generation embrace it here in Australia!! Already stacked up on candy for the neighbourhood!!! So cool 🙂 xxx

  15. Fun Halloween post! Glad you were able to go whole hog on Halloween as a grown up. I go to a fun dress-up party and it does make me feel like a kid. I find it so interesting how we love to become something else for a time.

    The photos of your kids are great! Love the cross-gender stuff….it’s so innocent as kids and somehow, sometime becomes “weird” when it’s really a fun way to explore what it means to be something else.

    • My kids (college student) still get to dress up and go to parties for Halloween. The not so fun part is that they think my stuff can be used for costumes…do they think I’m that funny or scary looking?!

  16. Love that point about seeing kids you don’t normally get to see. Every year, I think “Where the heck did you come from?” Sad that I didn’t even know they lived down the street!

  17. We did the same thing – sometimes we’d buy costumes for the kids and sometimes I’d make them. As an adult, we used to dress for work – one year I was seaweed, one year Kat made me a lobster costume. One year I went to a party as a 50s guy, plaid polyester suit, white bucks and hair vaselined into an Elvis do. Never never do that – vaseline doesn’t wash out easily!
    I laughed at the photo of your oldest as a clown and youngest as a girl, partly because of the kids partly because I once had a loveseat covered in the exact same navy background flowered fabric that shows in that photo.

  18. I don’t remember doing alot of trick or treating when I was young, but I do recall passing out candy to all the children when I was a teenager. Halloween is a big event in our house because our four year old loves everything about it. It’s fun appreciating the holiday with her. Love the flashback photos!

    • On day, I’ll dig those out again…let’s just say I made it,. I stuck coat hanger wire in my orange paint sprayed braids, drew in freckles and blacked out a few teeth, and ragged out my clothes!

  19. I remember when the whole candy tampering thing hit. The hospital in our small town offered to Xray candy to put parents minds at ease. We didn’t do a lot of trick-or-treating, we lived out of town and walking a mile or two to get to five houses was sort of counter productive. Halloween is much more fun with my kids.

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