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I Miss Trick-Or-Treating the Way It Used to Be. Do You?

trick or treating

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by Harriet Gross


If you are as old as I am, you’ll remember a kind of Halloween Trick-or-Treating that no longer exists today.

We collected candy on our own street only. And when we brought it home, our parents did not have to go through it to make sure nothing foreign was in our pillow cases. Yes – pillow cases! Nobody had big plastic pumpkin containers in those olden days. If we were lucky enough to get a home-made candy apple on a stick, we were allowed to eat it; there was no fear something might be something wrong with it.

Our parents did not go out with us to stand watch by the curb as we rang a doorbell and hauled in our loot. They didn’t have to; everybody trusted everyone else, including our neighbors, all of whom were at home, handing out candy. And there were no teenagers ghosting around in sheets, just lots of little and middle-aged kids. Lit porch lights indicated where giveaways were to be had.

We didn’t know, because we didn’t need to know, about “safe” opportunities to Trick-or-Treat indoors in brightly lit malls, which has become a norm today. We excitedly went out after dark. We wore the same costumes we’d already worn for classroom parties in our schools, and all of this was fun. But oh! how things have changed! I once saw a bunch of grown men going from house to house with glasses and cups to get a shot of whiskey from their neighbors! Today: no men (thank goodness!), but not too many children, either. Most years, I myself eat up the candy I bought for kids because from very few to none come to claim them. Oh, how I miss those “olden-days” Halloweens! Do you join me in that?


Note from the 50Plus-Today publisher:

trick-or-treatingMy two favorite Halloween memories from my childhood:

1) Helping my mom make creative candlesticks for our Halloween parties using polished red apples. We used an apple corer to make a hole into which we placed an orange or white candle. The dark room lit with candles felt both spooky and magical, providing the perfect Halloween atmosphere.  Quick, inexpensive and fun to make!

2) Carving pumpkins with my dad. I drew the lines for the pumpkin face and dad did the carving. Then we hollowed the pumpkin out and separated the pumpkin seeds from what we called “the gook” (I hated that part!). After cleaning, drying, seasoning and roasting the seeds, we enjoyed eating them warm right out of the oven. This is our roasted pumpkin seed recipe.– try it with your children or grandchildren!


What was Halloween like when you were a kid?

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