Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today's Halloween

Since today is Halloween, I've been thinking about how Halloween was when I was younger and how it is now. As you write about your life think about the holidays. Many of your memories will be from holidays when special things were done. When I was young I went Trick-or-Treating with my brother. We lived a mile from town and my parents would drive us to town and let us walk around Trick-or-Treating. We would get things like apples and cookies as well as candy. At a great aunt and uncle's house we always got a ginger-snap cookie. At another home we had to tell a joke or sing a song in order to get a treat. Our church had a Halloween Party and I remember a spook alley in the basement. Spaghetti and Jello take on new characteristics such as worms and brains when you add the power of suggestion and a dimly lit room.
Creating a costume was part of the fun. We didn't buy costumes. We put on different clothes, added a few props and some makeup and became something else for the evening. The costume I remember best was dressing up as a hobo. I put on worn-out clothes with holes and patches, tied one of my Dad's handkerchiefs to the end of a stick, put cold cream and then soot from the coal-burning furnace on my face and I was all set to go.
Through the years I helped my daughters create their own costumes. Trick-or-Treating was still a tradition until they got into their teen years when they handed out the treats instead of collecting treats. Last year my youngest daughter and I helped to create a Haunted House right next door to us.
Now this year is totally different. No one came to the door Trick-or-Treating as we live in an older neighborhood. The fun of Halloween doesn't seem to be here. Maybe next year I can volunteer to help someone who gets a lot of Trick-or-Treaters to hand out candy.
I could write much more about Halloween. If I get out the Halloween photos, it would remind me of things that happened. I don't know much about Halloween for my parents. It would be interesting to study about what kinds of traditions were observed in the 1920's when my parents were young. Maybe I can ask some people I know who are about the age my parents would be if they were still alive.
Start recording your memories of Halloween. What happened this year? What happened last year? What happened as far back as you can remember? Ask your children about their memories. Ask you brothers and sisters and your parents what they remember. You'll add a lot to your story with just what you remember from this holiday.

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