Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Disillusionment of Halloween -- by Cara

I really love this time of year! I love the changing colors of the leaves; I love the small piles of colorful foliage gathered on the side of the road; I love picking special leaves of different shapes and colors to make Fall crafts with my son. I also love seeing houses dressed up with mums and pumpkins on their walkways or steps. And I love all of this the best on a beautiful, sunny, cloudless day so that you can see the bold colors of Fall against the azure blue of a cloudless sky! Nature in all it’s splendor before the cold, dark winter settles in.

My son loves this time for a different reason, he loves running in the fallen leaves and the collecting of some pretty ones to make a craft project or two. But he especially loves this time of year because of Halloween! He has cartoon Halloween DVDs which we watch together each year. We savor the Halloween television programs that aren’t too scary! I decorate his room with Halloween sheets and ghost throw pillows. Then we make Halloween crafts to decorate his room some more. And we always have to count down the days until Halloween arrives!

Well, today is Halloween. And my son had a splendid day meeting up with friends to go Trick-or-Treating! He met more friends from school along the way! At one point, he was tired and hungry, so my husband offered to take him out to get a meal while I went food shopping.

For many years now, I have put out a stand and a container of candy with a cute note welcoming the Trick-or-Treaters, kindly requesting that they leave some candy for those who come after them. Knowing that Halloween would be falling on a Saturday this year, we stocked up on six giant, Costco-size bags of candy! Three were more expensive bags of candy and three were less expensive, mixed candies. I got in the habit of putting bowls of candy outside because when my son was younger, if he was taking a nap, I didn’t want the doorbell to ring and have the dogs bark, waking up my son. As my son became older, I would still put out candy because we would be out ourselves Trick-or-Treating and visiting with relatives to show off our little goblin in his costume!

Then, a few years ago, I noticed that I would fill up, what used to be, a white wicker basket, lined with a Halloween theme bandana, and place it outside on the stand at night, only to have the doorbell ring twenty minutes later by a sweet teen Hannah Montana noting that there wasn’t any candy left in the basket. So I gave her a generous amount and refilled the basket again with the last of the candy, only to find that again, twenty minutes later, the doorbell would ring again, and the basket was empty. I had to kindly explain that we ran out of candy but once the tweens left, I remembered that I had a couple boxes of granola bars in the cabinet, so I put those out to have at least something for the kids. Well, thirty minutes later, at about 9 PM, I went to check on the basket and found that some angry kid(s), who were not happy with the granola bars, had flung the basket, granola bars, and bandana into the street! The basket was on the side of the road, along with the bandana, but many of the granola bars had been run over by cars. I picked everything up and declared Halloween over for the night.

The next year, again, when we ran out of candy at around 9 PM, my basket, bandana and stand were all thrown onto our front lawn. Last year some kids actually stole the white basket, bandana and all the candy that was left! At least they left the stand!

This year, the night Trick-or-Treaters crossed the line. I used a fifty-cent Halloween bowl I bought from Target to fill with candy. I put the more expensive candy out during the day when I knew younger children, who came with their parents, would be coming. I saved the less expensive candy for the night Trick-or-Treaters who usually emptied much of the bowl of candy into their bags. I ended up running out of six Costco-size bags of candy at around 6 PM! I had to put a sign on the door stating that we literally ran out of candy. A couple hours later, I went out to turn off the tea lights in the pumpkin my son and his Grandfather lovingly carved together and found it smashed to bits! I am hurt, I am angry and I am disillusioned. There was no reason to destroy something because others were not considerate. Next year, Halloween ends at sundown. Lights out. Treasured items will be out of sight. That is it. Halloween will be over.

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