Stop Rushing Through Halloween, My Favorite Holiday Season


What happened to Halloween? It’s not even here yet and it’s over. The decorations are fading, the costumes are sold out and the candy is eaten (at least mine is — although that’s a given in any year).

This year, we’re full-on into Christmas. We used to at least get Thanksgiving in there. But who has time to be thankful when we are busy making out our lists of everything we want from Santa?

Don’t get me wrong — I love Christmas. It’s just that three months of it is a bit much. And I used to like shopping early, but now that Amazon has pledged to instantly provide everything every person needs for the holiday, I’d rather sit back and watch harried drivers fling things onto porches right up until Christmas morning. (“Mommy, was that Santa’s sleigh I heard screeching?” “No, sweetie, that was the Amazon delivery guy taking the corner at top speed.”)

But back to Halloween. I, of course, am a fan of how things were done in “the good ol’ days” when kids in ill-fitting masks, wearing homemade costumes that were often black in color, would dart across streets without looking both ways (nor even one) to zip across lawns, breathlessly yelling, “Trick or treat!” at every door as they tried to get to every house in the neighborhood before a) their legs gave out or b) their little sister caught up with them.

We did this because, at least at my house, candy was not freely given, there were no drive-through lanes dispensing orange milkshakes for a month, and we were virtually dependent upon the good will of our parents for every morsel of sugar that came our way.

Except on Halloween.

Ever hopeful and overly ambitious, we used pillowcases instead of treat bags. Come to think of it, I’m not sure the ubiquitous orange plastic pumpkin bucket had even been invented yet. Whatever. We’d grab our bags and run, skip, walk, trudge and, finally, limp door-to-door until the neighbors were claiming they were out of candy and asking, “Are you even from around here?” Then we’d drag ourselves home to count, sort and trade.

We’d pull the apples out of our bags first, generously telling mom she could make a pie (as if we didn’t have two apple trees in our backyard), then “go for the gold” — those miniature chocolate bars prized by both children and dieters (each of us falsely telling ourselves we will eat only one per day). When our mother asked nicely, we would share our horde (even the chocolate bars!) no doubt hoping she’d remember these acts of generosity at the end of November when we caught her with a half-eaten Snickers.

Oh, yes. By the end of November our pillow sack of candy was g-o-n-e. In fact, it was gone by Nov. 19. Which, in a child’s eyes, is why Thanksgiving was created — to fill in the gap between Halloween treat bags and goodie-filled Christmas stockings. Myself, I’m partial to those adorable Russell Stover foil-wrapped turkeys.

Not that they’re foil-wrapped for long.