Halloween is When We Test-Market New Fears

Reprinted by popular demand (popular in my apartment, anyway) comes this piece of mine about Halloween. Just as I believe that all sorts of new educational products, courses and mandates migrate from the world of special needs (what is Gymboree but early intervention?), new fears migrate from Halloween to the rest of the year: Fears of predators, poisoners, kids as pedestrians — and all the awfulness that can occur if a child eats a sugary snack.

HALLOWEEN IS TOO SCARY

If you want to see something really scary on Halloween, come to my home about 9 p.m. I’m letting my kids eat unwrapped candy.

They can eat any homemade goodies they get, too, and that unholy of unholies: candy that has a slightly torn wrapper. And on the very off chance they get an apple, they can gnaw it to the core, as long as there’s not a sticky, razor-sized gash on the side.

Which always seemed as if it would be kind of a giveaway that something was amiss.

It’s not that I’m cavalier about safety. I’m just a sucker — so to speak — for the facts. And the fact is: No child has been poisoned by a stranger’s goodies on Halloween, ever , as far as we can determine. Joel Best, a sociology professor at the University of Delaware, studied November newspapers from 1958 to the present, scouring them for any accounts of kids felled by felonious candy. And … he didn’t find any. He did find one account of a boy poisoned by Pixy Stix his father gave him. Dad did it for the insurance money, and, Best says, he probably figured that so many kids are poisoned on Halloween that no one would notice one more.

Well, they did, and Dad was executed. Another boy died after he got into his uncle’s heroin stash, and relatives tried to make it look as if he’d been killed by candy. And that’s it.

Now look at how the fear that our nice, normal-seeming neighbors might actually be child-killing psychopaths has turned the one kiddie independence day of the year into yet another excuse to micromanage childhood.

It’s not just the fact that churches and community centers are throwing parties so that kids don’t go out on their own. It’s not just the fact that a town in Pennsylvania has gone so far as to “cancel” Halloween altogether — for the sake of the children. (The authorities there were surprised to find this decision unpopular.) It’s not even that those of us who’d like to hand out homemade cookies know they’d be instantly tossed. (Tossed cookies: Bad.)

The truly spooky thing is that Halloween has become a riot of warnings that are way scarier than the holiday itself.

The Web site Halloween-Safety.com recommends that if your child is carrying a fake butcher knife, you should make sure the tip is “smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen upon.”

Excuse me? Has anyone ever seen a knife land blade-side up? And then fallen on it? Meantime, schools across the country are sending this note home to parents: “Please, no scary costumes.” In England last year, a man was ordered by his landlord to take down his lawn decorations because the zombies were too “realistic.”

In other words: They looked too much like … real zombies?

Our fears are so overblown they’d be laughable if they didn’t sound so much like the fears that are haunting us the rest of the year. Fears that have led parents to wait with their kids at the school bus stop and forbid them from skipping down the street to their friends’ houses. It’s the everyday version of Halloween fear — the fear that we cannot trust our children among our neighbors for one single second because, who knows, they might be psychopathic pedophiles just waiting to pounce.

If you want to see what childhood is becoming, look at what Halloween has evolved into: a  parent-planned, climate-controlled, child-coddled, corporate-sponsored event where kids are considered too delicate to survive seeing a scary costume.

You know. Like if someone came dressed as a slightly torn Snickers. – L

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Does this Halloween standard make you hungry...or scared?

Does this Halloween standard make you hungry…or scared?

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49 Responses to Halloween is When We Test-Market New Fears

  1. Backroads October 28, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    Love this article, Lenore.

  2. John B. October 28, 2016 at 11:47 am #

    Very eloquently written Lenore!!

  3. Scott October 28, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    Spot on. I know I’m guilty of the “candy check” at the end of the night and I always feel like an idiot. What is it that I’m actually looking for again??? Old habits ingrained from my own childhood, die hard I guess.

  4. that mum October 28, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    Have never checked my kids candy and don’t plan to start. Oh I do confiscate certain things– like the stuff I like, they had too many snickers anyway!

    I have taken away the straight up glucose when they were younger, once they got drink boxes that were some kind of green liquid glucose that looked like ectoplasm… when they were toddlers, nope. I don’t want to deal with the meltdowns after that enters the system…

    so many people here take their kids to the neighbourhood where the houses are super close together and its well lit– typical suburbia type. I wont let mine go there– you do your own block or not at all, we never got a ride to the good neighbourhood. Plus its not fair to the poor folks who like in that area– they have to spend a ton on candy due to all the influx of kids.

  5. BL October 28, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

    “If you want to see what childhood is becoming, look at what Halloween has evolved into: a parent-planned, climate-controlled, child-coddled, corporate-sponsored event where kids are considered too delicate to survive seeing a scary costume.”

    I’m tempted to bang my head against a wall in frustration, but I’m sure someone would find that “triggering”.

  6. MichaelF October 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    My kids love to get it, but because we never kept it at home, don’t care much about eating more than a few pieces. 80% of it gets collected for the Troops and is sent to drop off the next day. They get to keep the ones they like, and we might save a few items to make Christmas cookies, or other desserts, but mostly its about going out with friends and having fun.

    Which is what it should be.

  7. theresa October 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

    True I never understood why anyone would hand drugs instead of candy. Drugs aren’t cheap. They cost a pretty penny way more than candy. Candy is cheap compared to drugs

  8. In California October 28, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    And another fear –

    This is the notice received this past week from local school district:

    “In recent weeks, there have been many media reports of hoaxes across the country regarding clown threats, as well as a small number of incidents where people wearing clown costumes have been caught trying to intimidate or attack others.

    While actual clown threats appear to be few and far between, rumors have created fear for many students. We want all Halloween celebrations at our schools to be safe, positive and fun for students, and therefore we are asking that staff and students do not wear clown costumes this year.

    If you have a question about your costume, be sure to ask your child’s teacher or administrator.

    We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!”

  9. Kirsten October 28, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    “no scary costumes” This is sacrilegious! Or something like that. It’s all so depressing. The whole point of Halloween is scary costumes. But at least that school allows costumes at all. Some don’t these days. But I bet they’re not allowed to bake and bring Halloween cupcakes to school.

  10. Jill October 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    Halloween has gotten very boring over the last several decades. I’m tired to opening my door to children almost as tall as me and seeing their parents hovering in the driveway, watching in case someone inside decides to grab their precious darlings.
    This has nothing to do with Halloween, but are you aware of the song “Calling All Angels” by Train? It contains the line: “When children have to play inside so they don’t disappear.”
    WTF?
    Not “When you make the children play inside, afraid they’ll disappear,” but when they HAVE TO, or they’ll disappear.
    Ugh. I hate this kind of stupid paranoia.

  11. Donna October 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    “But at least that school allows costumes at all. Some don’t these days. But I bet they’re not allowed to bake and bring Halloween cupcakes to school.”

    Our school doesn’t allow costumes nor have Halloween parties. And I’m okay with that. Everything doesn’t need to be celebrated at school and at home. I’m not definitely not one of those parents worried about every bite of food their children eat, but kids really don’t need Halloween cupcakes on top of the copious amounts of candy they will consume Halloween night.

  12. Miriam October 28, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    Love it!

  13. Emily October 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

    >>“But at least that school allows costumes at all. Some don’t these days. But I bet they’re not allowed to bake and bring Halloween cupcakes to school.”<<

    That's sad. I remember making Halloween treats AT school–Rice Krispie jack-o-lanterns in kindergarten (think, Rice Krispie treats rolled into balls, dyed orange, with chocolate-chip faces), and various pumpkin baked goods in grade four. That's just what I remember; I'm sure we did it other years too. We also had Halloween parties and costume parades in elementary school, and various Halloween dances and other festivities in high school. The Halloween dances in high school didn't allow masks (so the teachers could keep track of who was at the dance), but other than that, there were no costume restrictions.

  14. Curious October 28, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    This time of year the ghosts and ghouls and goblins rise up to grab the unwary. Goes way back.
    Teens and young adults scare the little kids.
    Boy Scouts tell Cubs hair raising tales around the camp fire.
    Poets sing of help on the way…but the child is stolen before the rescuer arrives.
    The adult is there, where the little one is no more.
    Some, like Peter Pan, escape maturity.
    Most of us just outgrow our childish fears.

  15. JulieC October 28, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    My younger son was obsessed with skeletons when he was in preschool. Not the cute friendly kind, but the scary kind. He had a skeleton costume complete with bony hands, feet and a scary mask. His preschool had a Halloween parade and a little party, and of course, he wore his skeleton costume. He was three and a half.

    I’ll never forget the disapproving comment I got from another mother. Something along the lines of, “isn’t that a bit scary? Why would he want to wear that costume?”

    Um, because it’s Halloween?

    I should add that no children were scared by his costume, Just one busybody mother.

  16. Powers October 28, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    Isn’t Gymboree a clothing store? What does that have to do with early intervention?

  17. Amanda October 28, 2016 at 6:03 pm #

    I have raised two kids who hated Halloween as preschoolers. My now 11 year old wouldn’t go to the Halloween section of Walmart when the decorations were out. That did not mean that the neighbours shouldn’t have enjoyed the holiday, or that I would avoid going to Walmart for the month, but that she had to figure out a way to deal with it. She went trick or treating at places she felt weren’t too scary, and happily handed out candy at home for the rest of the evening. As far as I know she wasn’t psychologically damaged by not fully participating in an activity her friends loved. I also let my kids eat whatever comes home, minus what I steal.

  18. lollipoplover October 28, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

    9pm at our house on Halloween is the time for serious candy negotiations and trades as all of the kids in the neighborhood are laying out their candy. Full size chocolate bars are the highest value and usually trade for 2-3 fun sizes. Personally, I come in to “inspect” for Butterfingers and 100Grand, though I’ve taken to confiscating Take Fives as well for further review. The worst are the crappy toys. Yeah, spider rings…said no kid ever. How else do I fortify my secret chocolate stash??

    We have Halloween parades, parties, scary haunted hayrides, and many, other traditions that will carry on as kids and parents realize this holiday is about children in costumes they choose getting candy. That’s it.

    This article also explains the paranoia nonsense nicely:

    http://pictorial.jezebel.com/the-reason-for-your-halloween-candy-paranoia-1788258050

  19. Buffy October 28, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    What I hate are prescribed Halloween “hours”. Sure, if the city/town/village wants to suggest that trick-or-treating end at 8pm, fine, but otherwise..just let the kids go. With Halloween on Monday this year, so many towns around me are setting hours of 3-6 on SUNDAY. Because safety, and daylight, and whatever other justifications they can come up with. If I had children of t-ot-t age, they would be going on Halloween in the dark no matter what.

  20. James Pollock October 28, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    ” Because safety, and daylight, and whatever other justifications they can come up with.”

    To be fair, some people don’t have kids, and just want to be able to drive where they’re going without having to worry about flattening some darkly-colored-costumed kid (and the requisite attendant parent, of course.)

    And some places have real problems with serious mischief, as opposed to harmless (or at least, mostly harmless) pranks. If you get the candy-collectors off the streets, property-owners and law-enforcement have a better chance of catching those with real mischief on their minds.

  21. HotInLa October 28, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    Gymboree started out as a class, like a mommy & me type thing.

  22. Stephanie October 28, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

    My daughter’s high school has banned “scary clown” costumes this year. There have been rumors of people doing the scary clown thing locally, and frankly I’d worry more about the kids wearing such a costume, considering the highly threatening things some people were saying.

    I have to admit I was glad a few years ago when the police came and had a talk with some teen a few years ago on Halloween. They were yelling stuff from the movie “The Purge” and clanging a bat along the street, just generally trying to scare the younger kids. I don’t think they arrested them or anything, just told them enough was enough.

  23. Andrea Drummond October 28, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

    Bravo

  24. Dean October 28, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

    The most scary clowns are the politicians and some overzealous child welfare workers.

  25. Anna October 28, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

    “To be fair, some people don’t have kids, and just want to be able to drive where they’re going without having to worry about flattening some darkly-colored-costumed kid (and the requisite attendant parent, of course.)”

    Uh huh. And some other wise people, childless or not, realize that if they’d like to live out their old age in a functioning society (plus have somebody around to change their diapers and fund their social security and medicare) other people’s children are not just a nuisance but an essential resource and a blessing, perhaps even enough so to merit sacrificing two or three hours one evening of the year and $10 worth of candy in the interests of building social solidarity.

    Or not, I suppose. In which case, nobody’s stopping them from being jerks and holing up in the basement with a video.

  26. Backroads October 28, 2016 at 11:30 pm #

    I don’t even think about putting out candy til 6…

  27. James Pollock October 29, 2016 at 12:37 am #

    ” other people’s children are not just a nuisance but an essential resource and a blessing, perhaps even enough so to merit sacrificing two or three hours one evening of the year and $10 worth of candy in the interests of building social solidarity.”

    Uh’huh. What has this to do with “and after your two or three hours of gathering other people’s candy, go inside”? Anything? No? Just a rant? OK.

  28. James Pollock October 29, 2016 at 12:38 am #

    PS: Very few people drive in their basement, with or without a video. I mean, OK, Bill Gates has an underground garage at his place, but that’s no reason to say mean things about him.

  29. Peter October 29, 2016 at 12:44 am #

    Just saw this today:

    Obvious Plant’s Hallowe’en Safety Tips.

    Stay safe out there,

  30. James Pollock October 29, 2016 at 1:27 am #

    “Obvious Plant’s Hallowe’en Safety Tips.”

    I have my doubts about the accuracy of this advice.
    It says to avoid masks that adhere permanently to the face because of an ancient curse, but anyone who has actually seen “The Mask” knows that putting on the mask means that you end up with a very young, very hot Cameron Diaz.

  31. hineata October 29, 2016 at 7:25 am #

    I can’t stand Halloween personally – for us it’s just another darn foreign import that our major chain store pushed to make money. That and Valentine”s Day, neither of which were important in NZ when I was young. That said, I can’t see why, if you really must go round knocking on people’s doors looking for candy, that it would be particularly dangerous. As we’re always saying here, most folk aren’t out to get you :-).

  32. hineata October 29, 2016 at 7:27 am #

    Now, Guy Fawkes….that’s something worth celebrating. When else do you get an excuse to blow things up, or burn ‘people’ on fabulously huge fires? :-).

  33. James Pollock October 29, 2016 at 8:40 am #

    “I can’t see why, if you really must go round knocking on people’s doors looking for candy, that it would be particularly dangerous. As we’re always saying here, most folk aren’t out to get you :-).”

    There IS danger, in a couple of forms.

    First, you have lots of kids outside at or after dark, many of them wearing dark clothing. You have drivers who should be paying attention, and mostly are, but sometimes… not quite enough. This danger peaks between the time that most of the kids have called it a night, and there’s just a few left, hurrying to hit as many houses as they can before the houses run out or stop giving out treats.
    (of course, it also makes a difference if lots of kids turn out, or just a handful.

    Then, especially later, you have people who’ve been to Halloween parties, consuming adult beverages, and then driving home.

    Finally, you get the occasional outbreak of violence between people who think what they are doing as a fun prank, and a homeowner who is Not Amused.

    These add up to busier-than usual nights for law enforcement and emergency room staff.

  34. Jess October 29, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    We just moved this summer and our new church doesn’t do trunk or treats! I was very excited about that. And yes, the only reason I inspect my kids’ candy is the same reason my parents inspected mine: to steal the peanut butter cups and milky ways.

  35. Staley Gluck October 29, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

    Read your article re Halloween candy and kids in Forward. I thought for sure you would mention how the major chocolate candy companies, Hersheys, Mars, and Nestles, all use child slave labor in western Africa to have the cocao beans.

  36. Katie G October 30, 2016 at 8:01 am #

    Ugh, trunk or treat. The idea began as a way for kids who lived in rural areas where real trick or treat simply wasn’t practical to get to do it. Now, on days other than the 31st, it’s become the standard thing no matter what kind of area you live in. I think it’s ludicrous but mercifully no group we’re associated with does one so we aren’t in a position of choosing whether or not to do it. Only some people in our church denomination do Halloween at all, and we home school so there’s no school Trunk-orTreat thingy. Thank goodness.

  37. JTW October 30, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    ” I know I’m guilty of the “candy check” at the end of the night and I always feel like an idiot. What is it that I’m actually looking for again???”

    Things your child is allergic to, things that got in there with alcohol in them (almost certainly accidentally, someone taking a hand full of stuff from the wrong box), and that’s about it. Can’t expect children to recognise everything that’ll trigger their allergies.

  38. JTW October 30, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    “I thought for sure you would mention how the major chocolate candy companies, Hersheys, Mars, and Nestles, all use child slave labor in western Africa to have the cocao beans.”

    Except that they don’t…
    The cocoa beans tend to be grown on family farms where indeed the children help. If they didn’t, the family’d not have enough to eat.
    That’s how it is down there. And if you look on farms in Europe and the US, the children of farmers often also help out at busy times. Saves money, teaches them a craft, prepares them for running the farm when they grow up.

    Nothing wrong with that. And all the misguided campaigns to stop “child labour” in those places does is throw those people into even deeper poverty because now they have no income at all, so they often sell their children into real slavery (ending up in Arab countries more often than not, or in illicit diamond and gold mines) and to become child soldiers for groups like Boko Haram.
    So much for the westerners “boycotting” products in order to make themselves feel good about “doing something” about “bad situations in the 3rd world”.

  39. Emily October 30, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    What puzzles me is the way trick-or-treating is presented as two options only: going to strangers’ houses (dangerous!) Or trunk-or-treat (safe!). When I was that age, we were allowed to go to the houses of NEIGHBORS — people we knew. And when we were big enough to walk around the neighborhood alone, we were automatically too old to trick-or-treat. Because my parents figured it was a holiday for little kids, and always rude to ask for treats from people we didn’t know. Not dangerous, rude, like loading your plate at a party or being first in line at a church supper.

  40. Jenny Islander October 30, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    And here’s my annual reminder that the Halloween hazards of my town include half-ton grizzly bears out looking for calories before winter hits and yet the local authorities just tell kids to travel in groups, take some way of summoning help, and avoid shortcuts.

    Oh, and don’t eat unwrapped treats because it’s flu season and you can’t wash chocolate.

  41. Katie October 30, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    My girl is still 3 so I tag along. There tend to be a lot of adults, more then I remember as skid. Some of it is that people drive kids to neighborhoods now, which I don’t really object to because some neighborhoods no one participates!! A lot of curmudgeons get really, really mad about it, too, as if kids from a few blocks over somehow don’t deserve their candy.

  42. Naomi W. October 30, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    No clown costumes or scary costumes, but I assume it’s still OK to be a sexy nurse or a sexy maid or a sexy M&M, right?

    For me, Halloween is the barometer that lets me know which of my neighbors are fun and which are stingy, poopy old farts.

    So many of them have “rules” that must be adhered to: No teens without a full costume, no parents showing off their babies, must come between 6 and 8, etc.

    I say: Come to my door on Halloween, and you get candy. Don’t need a costume, you can be an adult, you can come at noon, I don’t care.

  43. Emily October 30, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

    >>Not dangerous, rude, like loading your plate at a party or being first in line at a church supper.<<

    @The other Emily–Doesn't someone have to be first, though? I mean, if everyone adhered to the rule about not being first in line at a church supper, then nobody would get in line at all, nobody would eat, and all the food would get cold.

  44. lollipoplover October 30, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

    “For me, Halloween is the barometer that lets me know which of my neighbors are fun and which are stingy, poopy old farts.”

    Amen!

    Of all holidays, Halloween was always my favorite mainly because I have a wicked sweet tooth. We started a block party on our street, a pot luck Halloween happy hour where we could feed the kids something nutritious for an early dinner before they gorged on sugar and now it has grown to include most of our fun neighbors within our development…some 100 people every year. Everyone brings food or drinks and we have a blast. No one drives because…we walk on Halloween. The kids trick-or-treat in large groups and come home when they are done. We’ve even converted some old farts who were previously dark houses to actually giving out candy. The dentist on our street no longer hands out toothbrushes based on the kids giving him so much grief at how lame that is (pretzels are his compromise.) The adults set up tables and chairs on our front lawns, have a fire pit, and some nice beverages while the kids seek candy.

    Halloween is really very simple.
    October 31, candy, kids.
    That’s it.

  45. Jenny Islander October 31, 2016 at 2:07 am #

    @Naomi W.: I demand some costume better than “I put my backpack on my front so my head is on backwards, see?” because I’ve seen those preteens and teens at the downtown trick-or-treat event. They shove little kids out of the way, cram handfuls of candy into their open backpacks, and shoulder their way out. So has everyone else–them and the big kids who have the gall to just show up with a plastic grocery bag and push the little kids around just the same way. I have seen business owners who are participating in the ToT pick up the candy bowl and hold it out of reach when one of the Backpack Bullies shows up. And everybody enforces “no costume, no candy.”

    Basically, it’s the same rule for ToTers as it is for the Halloween Grinches: If you’re not going to make even the tiniest effort because all you want to do is sing opera (ME ME ME, THE HELL WITH YOU, ME ME ME), stay away.

  46. Emily October 31, 2016 at 7:44 am #

    I think the “costume” requirement can have some wiggle room for kids of all ages, for various reasons–some parents don’t have the money or time to make amazing costumes for their kids, some kids have sensory issues that preclude wearing elaborate costumes, and in some places (like here in Canada), Halloween is freezing cold, so costumes are going to get covered up with coats. So, at my house, some attempt at a costume + manners = candy.

  47. Emily October 31, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    To Emily: I see your point about how someone has to be first in line at church suppers. But, as my mother observed when I asked her about that, there is always SOMEONE (usually the same someone, over and over) who jumps right in because (1. They say they have to leave early. (2. They figure that, if they work at the church, they get special perks. I hate #2 especially, because my father DID work at the church, but some other staff members thought that they were extra-special. And they also loaded their plates in the most piggy way! I always had to worry that all the fried chicken legs would be gone by the time I got to the table.

    But lollipoplover’s idea about a neighborhood potluck sounds like lots of fun. And I like the way everyone in that scenario walks! In other words. . . in the neighborhood! NOT just trolling for candy for the sake of a huge haul.

  48. Barbara November 1, 2016 at 11:25 am #

    A bit late to the party, but a great article. I find it amazing how many people still lose their minds over having to “inspect” their kids’ candy. My daughter gets mad whenever I decide to help myself to a few pieces; that’s the extent of my inspection routine.

    And as for the whole “scary” thing, that seems to be a school issue. When my daughter was in elementary school, kids were not allowed to bring in any weapon-type props. (She was Katniss last year, so the bow and arrow had to stay home for the Halloween parade AND the party a few days earlier.) The scary clown thing was an issue, with several people being taunted by older teens dressed as clowns, so the schools put the kibosh on that too; even political costumes were a no-no this year! (Believe it or not, middle schoolers were encouraged to come in costume.)

    And as for the day itself, this was the first year my daughter and her friends (they were a group of 7) went trick or treating without adults tagging along. She is almost 13, and her group is in that age range (the youngest having just turned 12); last year, she went with her cousins (without adults). By the age of 10, 11, I think if kids trick or treat in a group, in a familiar neighborhood, and preferably in late afternoon, you are safe. (I worry more about careless drivers at night!)

    I was impressed that she put together a map of where they would be going (and there were numerous text chats the day before). We live in a smallish town that is safe, with sidewalks and hordes of kids, so I wasn’t worried in the least. One of her friend’s parents wanted to trail them, but they were told it was a kid-only excursion. Two hours later, and with many treats after, the gang came back to our house to sort candies (and trade), plus have some pizza.

  49. Cara November 1, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

    We actually did the dreaded mall Trick or Treat this year because our neighborhood doesn’t have many houses who pass out candy. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised by how much we all enjoyed it. It actually felt more like what I remembered as a kid. The best was being able to actually see the other kids costumes because it was light. My son would talk to other kids about their outfits and which store had the best candy. If you go door to door these days, you rarely run into other groups and you can’t really see what they are wearing.