Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ghost Of A Tradition?

Happy Halloween! I have had exactly zero trick-or-treaters. Which is not at all unusual. Is the custom really that dead, or do I just always miss them somehow?

At least I do finally have an American Gothic disc that works. That's... kind of spooky.

14 comments:

  1. I didn't have any, either, but I live in a small neighborhood. Still, the kids that enjoy riding their bikes up and down the street while yelling at the top of their lungs had to go for candy somewhere. Oh, well. More for me!

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  2. I think it all depends on the neighborhood, and what alternatives that neighborhood provides. We had a pretty steady stream of trick-or-treaters, but overall I do think it's something of a dying tradition. Which, honestly, might not be such a terrible thing. Kids still like dressing up in costume, but not so much the asking strangers for candy, doing that mostly because it is tradition.

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  3. I don't know... Half of me has always thought the asking-strangers-for-candy part of the tradition was annoying, extortionate and dumb. And half of me thinks that it's sort of the last vestige of community spirit and actually trusting your neighbors and that losing it is kind of sad.

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  4. Frankly, I think a neighborhood, school, or church-run Halloween program or party is a lot more community-spirit-minded than walking unfamiliar (and sometimes unsafe) streets asking strangers for candy. Part of me sees it as a dying tradition, but part of me recognizes a) that tradition's less than a hundred years old as it is, and b) maybe there are better traditions popping up to replace it.

    Certainly the costumes nowadays are better. When I look back at the cheap plastic crap we had in the '80s...

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  5. Eh, maybe. I know as a kid, I would have hated being herded by my parents into a "program or party" they thought would be good for me. In fact, the one such Halloween party I got taken to was a deeply miserable experience.

    But actually going out and wandering around in a costume and meeting the neighbors, however briefly, in a way that came with a nice, acceptable little pre-approved social ritual... That was actually kind of liberating for a shy and introverted little kid.

    There were certainly problems during my childhood in the 70s and early 80s, but I think I am glad I'm not growing up today, when "good parenting" seems to be all about scheduling kids for forced social activities 24 hours a day and never letting them walk half a block without supervision.

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  6. We had over 200 kids at our house, but I am in soccer mom suburbia.

    P.S. are you referring to the Girl Scouts when you borrowed that costume from Jack?(I think it was Jack's?) or this may be one of those false memories :)

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  7. Yep, the Girl Scout party. I... kind of hated the Girl Scouts. Mainly because it was full of pre-teen girls. I never liked pre-teen girls, even when I was one. And they never liked me, either.

    And I couldn't remember where I'd borrowed that costume from, but it probably was Jack.

    (Also... 200 kids?! Wow. I hope you had enough candy. :))

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  8. forced social activities
    Ah, yes. Or, as I like to call it, "Mandatory Fun".

    Walking the neighborhood was safe because you knew your neighbors and they knew you. First through trick or treating, then through Music Boosters fundraisers, my neighbors were probably glad when my brothers and I grew up and stopped knocking on their doors. Honestly, have you ever tried selling frozen cheesecakes or 3-foot long pepperonis door to door? (Yeah, those Girl Scouts had nothing on us!)

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  9. I admit, I have done neither of those things. :)

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  10. We did have enough but were done to our last 5 pieces and only because Gary went out and bought to more bags after I swore we had more than enough :)

    I refuse to go to do door selling stuff. Remember when we had to sell that crap for bowling.

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  11. You know, I don't think I do remember that. Mostly I remember Girl Scout cookies. Lots and lots and lots of Girl Scout cookies.

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  12. I remember our dining room being completely filled with cookies

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  13. I seem to remember the whole house being filled with cookies.

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  14. I'd rather have a house filled with their cookies, rather than with the scouts themselves!

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