6 teen weeks and counting

{November 1, 2011}   Dying tradition?

Last night my boys and I set off to go trick or treating for the first time in this neighborhood since moving in at the beginning of the year.  We started at my brother’s place which is in the same building as where we live.  While we were there, I dropped off my goodies for the trick or treaters so my brother could hand them out while we were out.  The next place we went to was our favorite neighbor’s house.  No one answered.  The next couple of places had no lights on or decorations out.  We saw our other favorite neighbor as she was heading to her car.  She gave the boys their treats and told me that she was going to her parents house to hand out candy with them.  As I looked around our little neighborhood, it looked rather deserted.  Families with kids were either leaving in cars to somewhere else or headed to out to the main street in our area and trick or treating at the older, traditional houses (we live in a town home).  I was a little hesitant to go out in the older neighborhoods because this part of our town is slightly sketchy and not every block has a sidewalk.  We headed out that way despite my feelings since our town home neighborhood seemed a little cold in response to Halloween.  While we did encounter more homes participating in the tradition of handing out candy to little trick or treaters, there were still a lot of homes completely dark and closed up.  We went back to our neighborhood right before calling it quits and found just a few handing out candy.  Two places that were lit up had individuals answer and sheepishly admit they forgot.  One of them gave the boys some coins and the other promised that next year she would have a big bag of candy to hand out.  When we returned home, we stopped back at my brother’s house to grab my goodies and head up to our place.  My brother informed me that he had only one trick or treater.  When the kids and I went back up stairs, we had two more trick or treaters that had come together and then all was silent.

When did Halloween make such a drastic change?  My parents had been saying for the past several years the have had few trick or treaters come by at Halloween.  When I was a child, Halloween was HUGE.  Droves of children flooded the streets.  As a child, I remember only one house being closed off to the trick or treaters while the rest of the neighborhood happily handed out candy, gushing over adorable costumes and playfully impressed at the scary ones.  Now days, it seems as if this holiday is dying out.

Maybe it’s because we have many families that have grown up in other countries, and have not celebrated Halloween.  Germany celebrates fasching in November.  In Mexico, it’s Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead).  Maybe it’s because of the DAY.  Halloween fell on a monday.  Many have to be at work or school in the morning.  Maybe it’s because of the area we live in.  While Napa is relatively safe, the part of Napa I live in had a reputation for being a little sketchy.  Maybe that has deterred the families in this area from participating (although I did see a lot of trick or treaters on the main road in our area).  What do you think?  Those of you with children, did you notice the lack of enthusiasm for this holiday?  Those without kids, did you hand out candy?  Why or why not?  Was there any celebrating done?  What did you see in your neighborhood for Halloween?


I agree, there has been a dramatic shift in the once hugely celebrated holiday – Halloween. I think culture may play a role in it but I think the biggest part is the fear factor. Parents are much more aware of all the crimes going on and I think this has instilled fear into not only them but the children as well. Also, candy is not good and with all the health problems in our society today, maybe parents don’t want their kids to eat candy. My dad lives in Italy and says that just recently kids over there started celebrating Halloween that way that we do in America.

AlannBanann says:

I’m glad i’m not the only one who noticed this change this year. I haven’t gone trick-or-treating in while, but my little sisters go and when they came home from trick-or-treating they barely had any candy. Not even enough to fill a small jar. They said that barely anyone in the neighborhood they went trick-or-treating in was giving out candy. And when i was driving to AmCan that night i hardly saw any trick-or-treaters. I’ve also noticed that not many houses were decorated. Normally, there’s a house around my neighborhood that transforms into a haunted house during halloween but they didnt do it this year. It was probably because halloween fell on a monday, but still. I missed the halloween spirit this year. :/

To be honest, after almost 10 years of scaring trick or treaters and providing candy, my family decided to pull the plug on Halloween. I don’t know why they chose to do it really. I would always decorate the front porch with my dad the week of, and we would always have something for trick or treaters of all ages. I have a feeling that the day Halloween was on this year had something to do with it, and the fact that everyone is just getting so busy. It’s a shame seeing something like Halloween just dissipate, but I think unless something gets done, it’ll keep dissipating until no one does it anymore. 😦

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