Good morning all my charming readers. It is finally Friday...a happy day for most of you workers. I tend to work almost every day of the week in one capacity or another, so I don't particularly look forward to one over the other. Although years ago, Monday was my favorite day of the week. That was when the husband went back to work and the kids went back to school. LOL...quiet time.
Well, today I thought about how Halloween has changed through the years. Thinking back as a child, the big thing to have on your front porch was the carved out or decorated pumpkin, which was the case in my family. The biggest light on the porch or front yard would have been the candle in the pumpkin. Today it seems that Halloween is the next Christmas. I cannot believe the amount of lights and decorations that grace the front yards in the area. Graveyards and spider webs galore. Years back, that might be something that you might pay to go to see. I remember how exciting it was to go to the haunted house extravaganza's. The one most populated was at Amling's on North Ave. in Melrose Park. I can remember waiting in line back when I was a teenager up to an hour just to get in. Then when you exited you got a button to wear that stated you went through the house. I think today, they must really have to put on some spectacular showing to compete with what is found on the neighborhood grounds.
And how sad is it that today we need to be so careful of what we pass out to trick or treaters. I remember back when I was a kid, we never worried about any poisoned items, never worried about razor blades found in anything.
I can remember when I was young, my grandmother would prepare popcorn bags to hand out. Some years she would make popcorn balls and I would help her wrap them in colored cellophane. There were even times when she would make apple taffies. My Aunt used to have me help her wrap pennies in little bags with orange ribbons.
No one ever thought or dreamed of questioning what you got at the front door. There were no special days assigned for trick or treating and surely no specific hours. I remember how exciting it was a a kid to go and trick or treat. Sometimes a bunch of us, would make the rounds and then go home and change our costumes to older ones so we could go and make the rounds again. I just thought the other day about some of the candy I bought to hand out and think I will have to rethink it because one of the bags was Reeses Peanut Butter cups...With all the allergies today I wouldn't want to be the reason a child has an attack.
I never remember ever not saying thank you at the front door when given a treat either. It amazes me sometimes the way that the children actually ignore you. ... they stick out their bags and wait.
The one thing I must say that I do enjoy is seeing the children on Halloween. I love to look at the creativeness of the costumes. Back in my day, you were usually a gypsy or a hobo or cowboy or cowgirl. If you were lucky enough, you were bought one of those costumes that came in a box. I remember one year I was a bride. The envy of some of my friends that Halloween.
I remember when I finally had children of my own. I really loved making them their costumes. When my daughter was 2, I made her a cookie monster costume. I had made so many costumes for the 2 girls through the years. From angels, to princesses, to scarecrows to a tube of crest. Now that one was a winner!
I remember making the costume for my eldest daughter. She was so embarrassed when we went to the store and I made her stand while I tried on plastic flower pots on her head...I thought that they would be the perfect choice for a cap on the top of the tube. I carefully cut out all the logos and letters to sew onto the costume. I drilled holes in the flower pot and laced it with ribbon to have it stay on the top of her head. She won first prize at the park district Halloween contest. I think I found as much joy preparing their costumes for the day as they enjoyed the parties and the trick or treating.
And as they got older, the parties. I remember one year actually making a coffin for in the house with a stuffed corpse in it. I then played the mad scientist and had it stuffed with things to pull out and throw at the kids like spaghetti for the intestines and peeled grapes for the eyeballs. I think I was just a little kid inside of a grownup body. I hope that all those moments still stay with my girls. That they look back now and remember the things I did for them as I look back at the things my Grandmother did with me.
Trick or Treat....give me something good to eat!