Any of my longtime readers knows exactly how I feel about Halloween, and how I finally compromised on it last year. This year I seem to have been granted a reprieve from the COVID fairies, the same ones who brought me “You don’t actually have to be anywhere on time” and “You can’t get together with anyone anyway, so kiss your social anxieties good-bye!”
Fortunately for my kids, they have a very cool and thoughtful Auntie (technically a cousin, but she’s on the West Indian side, so Auntie she remains.) Auntie T brought each of them a bag with a small assortment of Hallowe’en candies in it. Since I couldn’t ignore Hallowe’en with those gift bags floating around, and since they had been getting costumes ready since morning (I’m not sure why,) I told them they could trick-or-treat in our own backyard.
The girls (N is away at my in-laws’) ran from the back porch door to the back patio door, knocking wildly until Mr. December and I opened up. We’d drop one of Auntie T’s candies into each kid’s bag before they sprinted back to the other door. They knocked on each door four times before we ran out of candy; then things got weird when, in keeping with the theme of his chicken costume, Mr. December started handing out frozen corn.
It was definitely better than last Hallowe’en for me, and possibly more fun for the kids, too. Who needs a hundred candies? I can assure you that the eight candies each of my kids got were plenty.
I’ve heard similar things from friends. One friend had his girls trick-or-treat by knocking on all the bedroom doors in the house (he and his wife apparently ran from room to room donning various hats.) On the neighbourhood Facebook groups there was talk of imaginative solutions like a candy cannon and candy chutes. It sounds like nearly everyone had more fun than usual, in spite of the fact that maybe only one house in ten was participating. Could it be that less candy and more fun yields a better Hallowe’en? Maybe.
After hearing about all the nifty things people have done to salvage some trace of Hallowe’en, I regret not executing on my cool idea: hanging candies from our leafless, lifeless peach tree and putting up an arrow-shaped sign pointing to it that reads “TRICK OR TREE!” Ah, well, there’s always next year.