A quiet Halloween night. No ghosts, goblins or zombies at our door!

I could forego the entire Halloween experience if I didn’t live with a really old  big kid. Jay has always been the one to man the door, pass out the candy and keep the festivities alive. Our children were lucky in that respect.

They had a fun dad who went in for all this stuff, balancing out their mother who tried to show enthusiasm!

But tonight, almost no one has been to our door! And we did our best to be inviting, putting all those wonderful jack-o-lanterns out to welcome them!

Our neighborhood is a little secluded, but in year’s past there were still plenty of children knocking on the door. Perhaps one reason the trick-or-treating patterns have changed in our neighborhood is due to many local schools and churches hosting large family-oriented Halloween or harvest gatherings.

I was glad to participate in some Halloween fun at Sophia’s school this week, and I was reminded of all the years I participated in planning events of this kind, both as a teacher and director and as a parent volunteer. I know firsthand how much work goes into orchestrating all the children and their families, coordinating booths for food and games, and providing a wholesome family event.

I loved the costumes!

Sophia was Lady Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty

And then she got too hot to keep the costume going!

Tired Sophia

My favorite teacher costume was the John Cusack character from the movie “Say Anything.” The children didn’t “get it.” but the mothers did!

How about Medusa, Jackie Robinson, an Alien, and the little guy who pushed a mobile Titanic!  He had a wonderful ship captain’s costume, too.  Children came as Harry Potter, Princess Leia, and a giant cone of cotton candy.

And then there’s Karina, our Little Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid

It made little difference to her that “fins” make it difficult to walk!

Perhaps these school events make it easier for parents to limit time going door to door. I’ve enjoyed the quiet evening, but poor Jay keeps repeating, “I’m so disappointed!” Poor guy. He has such fun Halloween memories from when he was a kid!

I have a defining memory from Halloween, too, and now that I think about it, mine didn’t happen going door to door, but at a church event. I’ve told this story before, but for the occasion, I’ll repeat it.

At about fifteen years old, too old for door to door anyway, I went with church friends to a local haunted house.  It was billed as a safe and wholesome Halloween activity, not intended to be over-the-top.

Once inside the dark, confined tunnel-like space I was immediately bombarded with shrieks and screams, ghouls in bloody garb– faces grotesquely disfigured by elaborate Hollywood makeup–brandishing large hunks of meat as clubs and weapons. Disgusting!

Initially the actor-players were confined to their stage areas while we were ushered through the rooms themed with mock-guillotine scenes, boiling cauldrons with body parts strewn about, and an electric chair repeatedly executing the un-dead. But as we moved deeper into the interior the actors began to leave their posts,  with ghouls and monsters popping out of dark corners waving bloody meat in our faces.

I don’t remember more because I was in a complete panic.  Upon exiting I realized I’d tightly wrapped myself around some poor man, a total stranger who was probably attending with someone else. I was so embarrassed! I still can’t handle anything that pops out at me!

Well, it’s 8:30 and we’ve had two–TWO–trick-or-treaters.

Oh dear! Does that mean we’re stuck with all this candy?

Maybe chocolate will help take the sting out of Jay’s disappointment.