Halloween back in the day

“Here I go with a ‘back in the day’ scenario,” says Brenda.

Brenda Mallory

I am sitting here drinking a hot cup of chocolaty chai tea. The dogs and the cat have been walked but not groomed. I know as sure as the day is long that Halloween is on the horizon. I am going to be up front with you. I am not a big fan of Halloween.

I am pleased when children have a good time that one spooky night. That is about the limit of my Halloween spirit. It got to be too much for me once adults took over the magic of the night. One consolation is that I see adults buying costume material at the New to You and the Salvation Army. A bit of imagination at work.

Here I go with a “back in the day” scenario. Halloween, when I was a child was not a really big deal. We would trick-or-treat along my own street. I knew the people were home because a carved pumpkin waited for the children. Sometimes I went with other children, other times my dad would take me around. He would regale the neighbourhood with his stories or just ask for “canned goods.”

The pillow case with its treasures was taken to a park where the Kinsmen would have a big bonfire, hot chocolate and a hot dog. No fireworks! Just a friendly gathering of children and parents. Home we would go, where my mother would fish through my goodies. Most of the sugary treats were removed. A candied apple was left and other things that were homemade.

I never had a store-bought costume. I remember one year I was dressed like a fancy Spanish lady. I was pretty sure the lace for the head gear was similar to a table cloth. You can be sure my parents did not go in debt to celebrate Halloween.

When I taught school we would have small gathering of Halloween ideas and lessons. More often than not some of the children in a class did not celebrate Halloween. We solved that problem by going back to the original idea: celebrating the seasonal harvest.

We would talk about food from the gardens. A table would display all the good food grown in their own gardens. We scooped out pumpkins to gather the seeds to roast. Then by golly, just like magic some of the moms would come to the class with mini pumpkin pies or pumpkin cookies. Older students whipped cream for each pie.

Did the children feel hard done by? I hope not. They did learn about the fall harvest as well as knowing all the things you could make from pumpkin or other vegetables.

Seldom have I lived where children would come to the door for candy. I don’t decorate or buy the candy for a just in case moment. I say all this knowing full well that those who know me are aware that I have Christmas lights twinkling away outside and inside. This is a year-long event. Make this little bit of paradise look quite pretty if not seasonal.

On that note I will make another chai tea and go outside to groom the dogs and the cat. The porch light should be enough to guide my hand.

If you are dressing up for this one night, be safe and let the children do their thing. Let me know how it goes for you.

You can call 250-846-5095 or email mallory@bulkley.net.

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