My how times have changed.
In my day Halloween was spent preparing for weeks for the 'perfect costume' be it scary or sweet.
Rushing home from school to finish homework and squeeze in dinner all so we could get ready to 'go out'.
We'd hit the main street (my brother and I) and by the time we got to the end of the block I was usually done.
I'd gotten scared out of my mind by the older kids on the block one year and a couple of houses had really spooky decor.
I was not excited about it.
On occasion we might go one or two streets over but that was a rarity and all based on my mood.
No we were old fashioned and went door to door asking our strange neighbors for candy.
And oddly enough - most folks participated even if they didn't have kids.
I guess it was the spirit of the community.
These days "Trick-or-Treating" is kind of a thing of the past.
Kids still get dressed up and are pretty excited at the prospect of an assortment of goodies and their parents encouraging them to grab as many as possible, but there isn't the same level of neighborly participation it seems.
Houses are dark and kids aren't wandering the streets as they were in my day.
They go to church for Trunks'n'Treats (which I think is a brilliant idea) or they go to their local mall or downtown civic area where store owners hand out candy.
There's usually a band and a bouncy house of some kind and everyone is in a spirited mood.
Oh and it starts at 3pm.
From what I remember you don't go out until it was good & dark and you had take your flashlight with you!
Somehow Halloween has evolved from being a dark and spooky evening with children wandering the streets to being that of a festive afternoon at the local shopping center, chatting it up with friends and perhaps grabbing a bite to eat.
In previous years Sweet Pea didn't really participate in Halloween.
She just wasn't really keen on it and her dad had never done it growing up so he was not a big fan.
And like I said before it's never really been my cup of tea either.
(thanks neighbor boys for ruining it for me)
However last year she got her first 'store bought' costume,carved a small pumpkin and went trick-or-treating with some friends and it was all good.
So this year we did the same.
However, there are rules for our participation.
Nothing scary, or skanky or super expensive.
No witches or goblins or anything 'dark'.
We only want light and fun creatures prancing around our home.
Saturday we went by our friends the Muhammad's and participated in their neighborhood's annual costume contest and pumpkin carving.
Today I picked her up from school, she did homework and off we went.
She got a bit of candy but at the first stop but was a bit tuckered out to hit up our other local shopping center.
We were home by 5:30pm.
Having skipped my afternoon nap I was totally okay with that.
Babe had gone and picked up a bag of candy much to my chagrin as I think in the almost 3 years we've lived here we've had maybe 3 trick-or-treater's?
We had one tonight.
So guess who will be forced to eat all the Reese's peanut butter cups?