Halloween Virgin - Advice Please?

Reply Sat 29 Oct, 2011 08:23 pm
Pumpkins. Got to have pumpkins. I normally have a few decorations, Some skeletons, homemade gravestone, maybe a scarecrow or ghost and a couple of carved pumpkins and for good measure I play Bach on the stereo with outdoor speakers and I dress up too. Some years I've been a pirate or a witch.
Reply Sat 29 Oct, 2011 08:38 pm
I never knew where that music was from Ceili. Thanks.

Here's more classic Halloween music

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Finn dAbuzz
Reply Sat 29 Oct, 2011 11:33 pm
It's probably too late to try and arrange it now, but when my kids were young; our neighborhood had a fire truck show up and lead a parade of all the kids in costume.

The parade would start and finish in daylight so everyone got to see everyone's costumes and parents could chat without it being difficult to keep track of their kids.

Every year the relatively short parade would end at the community club house where the kids would be fed hot dogs, corn on the cob and potato chips. Any kid could enter the costume contest and a group of parents would be the judges. There were several different categories and first, second and third places so lots of winners. Every kid who entered got a small prize.

Trick or treating officially began 30 minutes after the party ended which gave everyone time to get back to their houses and the kids a chance to go the bathroom, before the main event.

It usually worked out that by the time the first kids hit the streets it was dusk with night's darkness rapidly approaching.

In most cases the fathers escorted the kids out on the streets, although obviously there were mothers out there as well, but I don't recall any kid under the age of 10 trick or treating unattended by a parent.

We lived in NC and so unless it was raining (which I can only remember happening once) weather wasn't a problem. Up north where I was a kid, there were Halloween nights when the temp could drop into the 30s.

The fathers were more than willing to escort the kids because a custom developed where fathers would trail behind them little red wagons to carry beer and tired little ones. Usually the "packs" of kids involved two to three parents each, and trading beer among "packs" was an honored element of the custom.

The community association paid for all of the food and prizes at the party, and for the beer for the firemen. They also bought and distributed Halloween luminaries, and homeowners lined the streets with them


I always carried a flashlight with a blue lens so my kids would always know where to find me.

Everyone in the neighborhood knew that unless there was something of an emergency you shouldn't be out on the streets in your car, and the presence of adults kept what little traffic there was safely crawling. Woe be to anyone driving too fast for the comfort of the parents.

Eventually the kids would get tired and the fathers pretty buzzed and the "packs" would break up and everyone would go home. It was usually by 8:30PM or so.

The next hour or so would be for the "older" kids who didn't want to be chaperoned or out with the little kids. Most of them wore pretty lame costumes and some wore plain street clothes. It always annoyed me but the one time I made a smartass comment our house got egged and so from then on I kept my trap shut.

When you had no more candy or you were tired of the getting up and answering the door with the dog barking, you turned your porch lights off and were left alone.

I loved the holiday as a kid, and loved it as well when my kids were little. It can be a great time for young and old.
Reply Sun 30 Oct, 2011 02:19 am
Well, Halloween has always been one of my very favorite holidays from the time that I can remember.

When I was growing up, we were allowed to wear our costumes to school if Halloween fell on a school day. We would have a little Halloween assembly and parade. I don't remember if they gave prizes or not.

Then we'd run home and I mean RUN home from school, grab our pillow cases and hit the streets. I can't remember either of my parents ever coming with us - different times I guess. It was safe for just a group of us to walk around the neighborhoods - we lived in Halloween heaven - nothing but houses arranged in suburban neighborhoods for miles and miles.
We'd walk from 4-9 pm, when we finally had to give up and go home because it was dark and people were starting to not answer the door.

Then we'd switch and sort candy for about an hour. My sister loved baby ruths but hated hershey bars - I loved hershey bars but hated baby ruths so we'd make those switches.
My dad got all the Bit o' honeys - no one but him liked those.
I can remember having candy stashed away until Christmas.

I trick or treated all the way through highschool. It was acceptable in those days where I lived. You DID have to put a little effort into a costume - you could be a bum or something - wow - just reminded me of the other thread - how pc is that?

Even as an adult with kids of my own, Halloween was still my favorite holiday.
Same thing - we'd start out after school when they were little - I did walk around with them just because I liked the atmosphere and I didn't want them getting hit by a car- we lived in a small town in Maine with not alot of sidewalks. I wasn't afraid of anyone hurting them deliberately.

Our routine once we got home was to eat candy and watch the Rocky Horror picture show - not the kids - the adults.

I'd have to make sure they had a costume under which we could stuff a winter coat - it was always cold by Halloween there particularly after the sun went down. My friends on facebook who still live there have told me they got 4-8 inches of snow last night.
Again - our little town there was Halloween heaven.
By the time we moved to a more upscale neighborhood in North Carolina, it was a bitter disappointment.
No one let their kids out anymore - we might get ten trick or treaters all night. By that time it was all community center parties, etc.
No one really does it around here in England either - yeah, it's all safe parties in village halls over here.

One word of warning - if there is a haunted house - make sure your kids are old enough to go. I let my son go in with a group of his older friends while I stood outside waiting with my daughter at the one the local highschool had set up and when they came out one of the girls was hysterically crying - she'd been really afraid.

I still love Halloween.
Last year, I happened to be in the US visiting my sister on Halloween. Talk about Halloween heaven - her neighborhood is the best Halloween neighborhood I've ever seen. I went through this haunted house with one of my old students. We had a blast - but you wouldn't want your little kids to have bad dreams - which they might after seeing something like this haunted house:





Kudos to the little guy at the end. He ambushed me as I walked out - and YES - he did surprise and scare the heck out of me. He was so proud of himself- getting to be part of the haunted house with the big guys and scaring an adult. I told him he did a great job and gave him one of my candy bars.
Happy Halloween!
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Reply Sun 30 Oct, 2011 06:39 am
go for houses that are decorated , or have lights and really enforce the rule that parents HAVE to go through everything FIRST.

For none other reason than getting the really GOOD stuff before they notice it Smile

but for the most part, dress silly, scary, what ever.. and HAVE FUN.
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Reply Sun 30 Oct, 2011 09:02 am
tsarstepan wrote:

If you suspect your neighbors and neighborhood will not be participating in handing out candy, perhaps you can invite your children's friends and their parents town ad hoc Halloween party and just skip the entire door to door trick or treating until the idea of door to door candy mining seeps into the community for next year.

Someone got to be the first to do the door to door thing, to start the seep.

Eorls kids can be cutting edge, trendsetters!
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Reply Sun 30 Oct, 2011 09:04 am
mismi wrote:

One more thing I like to do is drink my beer from a Solo cup as I walk the kids around the neighborhood, so as not to excite my teetotaler neighbors.

damn mismi, you're a constant source of surprise to me.

Do you listen to "Floyd the Barber" on your ipod while getting snockered and weaving down the street?
Reply Sun 30 Oct, 2011 12:17 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I'm not a halloween liker as I've explained on a2k before, probably one too many times - but the event as you describe it, Finn, does seem like fun, even to me. Lot of good ideas in that post.
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Reply Sun 30 Oct, 2011 05:39 pm
Do you listen to "Floyd the Barber" on your ipod while getting snockered and weaving down the street?

Laughing Well...no Floyd the Barber on the iPod - but weaving maybe... generally I am gabbing with my neighbor girlfriends as we wait for the kids to go door to door. I try to balance the amount of beer with the amount of walking so as to always be hovering in the "happy place" - that place that is still quite aware but warm and fuzzy. Wink

I wouldn't do it - except that my husband drinks beer for the taste and hates to be out of control. So I can be a little relaxed while taking the youngun's around - cause he's got the eagle eye on the boys. Thank goodness.
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Reply Sun 30 Oct, 2011 05:58 pm
Happy trick or treating, Eorl. It's 6:49 in Texas tonight and nobody has rung the doorbell. We have no decorations but a weird green flood light invites them, or not!

Halloween is huge in Texas, always has been. Here, we get a few. Last year we had to leave and left a few pieces of candy on the porch. Next morning I noticed a HUGE trantula like spider hiding a bit behind a pot on porch. Golly, I mean huge. I got a broom and hit it, then put it in a small jar, kept it for a while and threw it in trash. I wondered for sooo long what it was, a trantula? It wasn't until the following spring that I figured out it must have been one of those rubber spiders because it sorta poofed back up when I hit it.

I can't believe I thought that was real. I think maybe you could find a hairy thing that size in - where, Egypt?
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 04:10 am
Well, we're home again and Halloween was a huge success!

We went with another family who'd done it before. They live in an area that gets into it a bit. About one every 10 houses had porch lights on, and maybe one in 5 of those had decorations. Some had made a huge effort.

All the advice came in very handy, especially the "take it home first" rule. (Super-important when both kids have peanut allergies!)

Love it. I'm a convert. Happy Halloween folks. Laughing
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 05:53 am
Oh cool!

I'm just reading this now so looks like any advice is superfluous (both since it's over and because you've already gotten so much good advice -- engineer's post was particularly nice).

But glad you had a good time!

It's getting bigger and bigger around here even in just the seven years I've lived here. There has always been a lot of trick-or-treating (participation outpaces non-participation by at least a 10-1 ratio) but people are getting more and more out there with decorations. It seems like only in the last 3-5 years there have been a lot more lights added to the decorations. Orange, some purple, a some green. Mostly orange.

I actually love that, as it gets dark earlier and earlier.
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 06:08 am
. Store-bought is too easy and lazy.

What's up with easy and lazy. Evolution has stamped those two characteristics in pretty firmly.
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 06:41 am
One more minor note: I don't think anyone around here actually says "trick or treat" anymore. They show up, accept compliments on their costume and/ or explain what they are, chat a bit if it's someone you know, then select their candy and say goodbye and leave.

I wonder if that's related to it being "Beggar's Night" rather than "Trick or Treating?" No idea if it's local or not.
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 06:44 am
There's a house not far from here which has an electro-mechanical display outside. It shows a ghoul (?) with green skin reaching into a cauldron from which he pulls a witch. It's the most elaborate Hallowe'en display i've yet seen.
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 07:10 am
Complete rubbish. All of it. The antics of folk who don't know what to do with themselves or with their kids. And aggressive too.
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 07:14 am
"trick or treat" is still the standard here

a few of them still have an actual trick to perform - last year one was very insistent on doing her trick (a very short poem she'd memorized)
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 07:14 am
Bah! Humbug!

oops, sorry. Wrong season.

(I was thinking of taking them to Sunday School instead, except there was this story about a man being tortured to death, and then becoming a zombie three days later, and he now watches everything they do, or even think, and if they don't what he thinks they should, he'll make them burn for all eternity. I thought Halloween would scare them less.)
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 07:23 am
Not very sensible Eorl. Not only wrong season. Not an argument either. And never apologise for something you go ahead and do while you're apologising.

They are a complete nuisance. You're just making excuses for nuisances. There are sick and elderly people in some houses. And night shift workers. And a few engaged in making passionate love.

It should be banned and incitement too.

I never said anything about Sunday school or what some nutters might teach there. Why not not scare them at all? What does scaring them less mean?
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 07:30 am
Scrooge lives in London, and Dickens refers to him as "...a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!"

Just sayin'

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