Things have changed a little since we moved out of the big city. We don't get any trick or treaters as we live on a dead end street with only eight houses. Most are inhabited by older people who, when they asked us why the kids didn't come trick or treating to their houses, I had to gently explain that turning on the porch light, if not putting out a pumpkin was the traditional way to let kids know you are open for visitors. So we go across town to the "new development" where the houses are all jammed together and you can get a heck of alot more candy in a much shorter period of time. On the way there we do stop in at the senior's apartment building where the ladies sit in the foyer and the kids parade through and have their picture taken and are given gorgeous little loot bags. It makes everyone's night. This year I am taking a few boxes of candy over to some of the families who live in the "new development" (it's not that new, probably built in the 70's but in this town that's considered new) since I feel guilty that we all descend upon them every year.
The kids' costumes are well, not exactly cute and cuddly or even brave superheroish. Boys want scary and bloody and ugly and preferably store bought. I hate this. Why when I was a kid we had to make our own costumes (my mother did not sew) so we dug through the dress up box and raided our parents closets and inevitably I was a witch, albeit a pretty one or a gypsy. We didn't have masks or swords or pretty princess dresses from WalMart. Now I sound like an old lady, "why when I was a girl we walked to school up hill, both ways ..."
Of course the other big difference was that we lived in the country and weren't smart enough to figure out on a candy collected per mile travelled that town was the place to go. We would all pile into my Dad's truck, front and back (this was the 70's, pre seat belts) and go up and down all the long farm laneways. My Dad and our neighbour would go into each house and usually end up having a beer while we ran around in the dark waiting to go on to the next house. Halloween was a night long affair and I am quite sure in retrospect that my Dad was throughly sloshed by the end of it. Ahhhh, the good old days.
Now, we modern parents would never think of drinking and driving but we have been know to walk and tipple. I have this great old opera cloak from my grandmother (the opera-going gene died with her) with huge pockets. Big enough to hold a bottle of red and a couple of goblets in one and a few beers in the other. This way we can keep up with the kids as they race across lawns and streets all the while enjoying a lovely merlot or lager. Very civilized and another thing we would have never done in the city.
This year since Halloween falls on a Saturday I have my Mum coming up to stay over so that after we get home and the kids are well into their candy count, sort and trade we can be on our way. The count sort/sort/trade component of the evening hasn't changed since I was a kid. First take out anything with nuts as my Other Half is allergic (okay, that is new), then they take out anything that is even vaguely healthy like all natural fruit gummies and then they sort by ingredients - chocolate, gum, licorice, completely unidentifiable, etc. And then the trading begins. By this time we will be in our costumes and out the door.
Last year we went as pirates, the year before as the castways from Gilligan's Island (sans Gilligan for some reason) and this year we're gonna be bad ... bikers. Already have the tattoo sleeves to pull on, tight jeans, boots and even black leather chaps for the ol' man (actually, they belong to my Dad, he wears them horseback riding) His ol' lady will be sporting heavy make up and I might even spring for a pack of smokes to roll up in my sleeve so when we hit the dance floor we'll be smokin' ....