First of all, I fucking love Halloween. So if you came here thinking this rant was going to be against the holiday itself, I’m sorry, but this is not the rant for you.
I am ranting about Halloween because my hometown has pretty much ruined it.
In this sleepy little podunk town of less than 1,800 people, trick-or-treating is ILLEGAL.
It all started who the hell knows when, probably the dawn of time, with teenagers going out, making mischief, wreaking All Hallow’s havoc, and getting into trouble. Anything from rolling yards, egging houses, and spraying people with water hoses when they answered their doors.
So a good handful of years ago, the local police, or the mayor, or whoever ultimately made the call, declared that trick-or-treating was no longer allowed. At all.
Now we have this semi- sorta- street fair thing where the kids can walk from table to table saying “trick-or-treat” to get a piece of candy. The tables and booths are lined up and down main street (which might be the length of two football fields, maybe).
But there are quite a few wide gaps between these booths and tables, because this is a damned small town, and the town relies on local businesses, churches, and other groups to set up these booths and tables.
And there are some people, like one woman I know who is a now retired local teacher, who are trying very, VERY hard to make this a good experience for the kids. But the last couple of times I took my boys, we finished going down one side and up the other in less than 20 minutes. And their poor little pumpkin buckets weren’t even half full.
That would be disappointing for any kid. But before we made the decision to move back here, we lived in a small subdivision that would THROW DOWN for Halloween. Easily 50 side-by-side houses, nearly all heavily decorated; parties going on at every fourth or fifth house; parents, older kids, and other adults in costume walking the street to help monitor the kids and help keep them safe.
And so many kids running back and forth across the yards, giggling and squealing, with their costumes fluttering behind them.
(Just to be clear, this wasn’t some rich suburb, we were all solidly lower-middle to middle class. It just worked out that almost everyone there LOVED Halloween. Except for those few houses who turned off their porch lights when the trick-or-treating started…)
God knows I don’t miss living surrounded by that many people at one time (I live in rural Alabama, we tend to spread out here**) but I sorely miss our old neighborhood, specifically at this time of year, and I know the boys do to.
So this year we’ve decided that we’re just going to stay home all day (because they are out of school on Halloween for whatever reason) and we are going to watch “spooky” movies and eat candy and popcorn until we feel sick.
**for reference, here’s the actual view from my back steps: