A child in every one

Halloween 1986, the first of many that Matt and Drew enjoyed together.

Halloween 1986, the first of many that Matt and Drew enjoyed together.

Backward, turn backward,
O Time, in your flight
make me a child again
just for to-night!

~ Elizabeth Akers Allen

There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.Robert Brault

Perhaps no holiday brings back more childhood memories than Halloween.  The festivities of November and December belong to people of all ages, but Halloween seems created for those who are still young enough to be excited about candy, uninhibited about parading around in costumes, and energetic enough to visit door after door in quest of just one more treat.

If you’re my age or older, you probably remember a time when candy was a relatively rare privilege, which made the prospect of Halloween goodies all the more magical.  That exciting trip to get the pumpkin(s) for carving, the fun of spending time with adults who participated in the merriment by creating jack-o-lanterns and other faintly frightful decorations, and the enjoyment of themed activities at school (perhaps with a reading of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) all combined to build the suspense until October 31.

The crisp autumn air was a perfect setting for the anticipation of choosing “what to be this year” and then creating a costume to wear on the big night.  (Store bought costumes were scorned by us, as they may have been by many of you.)  What could surpass the sheer delight of dressing up as darkness fell, then seeing creativity on parade in the costumes of friends as we ran from house to house, sometimes greeted by enthusiastic parents dressed in costumes of their own for handing out treats.  The fiery grin of a jack-o-lantern would welcome us at almost every door.

On returning home to dump the contents of our bags or pillowcases onto the floor, sorting and trading and eating until past bedtime, we would critique the evening.  Whose costumes were best? Most creative? Scariest?  Who carved the best pumpkin?  Then when bedtime finally came, the regret of knowing one more Halloween had passed was tempered by the candy stash, which would last for weeks, and the knowledge that the grandest festivities were yet to come in the holidays just ahead.

Do these memories sound familiar to you, or are yours different?  Did you celebrate Halloween, and if so, how?  I hope this season you will remember and share some of your best Halloween memories.  Feel free to tell us about them here!

This post was first published seven years ago today. As always, when I schedule these posts for re-publication, I go back and read through them. I’ve forgotten so much of what I wrote, so it’s often a process of rediscovery. If I have time, I also read the old comments, and there I find more happy than sad memories. In this particular post, I especially enjoyed the comments of my extended family members as we reminisced about Halloweens in our past. I still miss Daddy so much, but in his comments, he lives on and speaks to me again.

The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. mike c.

    Well we have a few things up in front of our apartment along with a pumpkin wearing a mask- not my idea.
    Today i will probably pick the last tomatoe of the season- They did really well this year- especially the little “Sun Golds”. I must have got a couple of hundred of these. Off of one plant.
    Do you remember ever getting a candied apple or a homemade popcorn ball? I do.
    I have been meaning to ask you about savory snacks. What are they????
    Have you tried the Frankenbutter Resses cups? They are green.

    • I love the idea of a masked pumpkin! Oddly appropriate, I think. WOW what a great haul from one tomato plant– I’m GREEN with envy, pun intended! I can remember both candied apples and popcorn balls (made with caramels at the center). I think savory snacks are those with salty/spicy tastes rather than sweet. When I hear the word “savory” I think of Chex mix, various spicy trail mixes, flavored peanuts, etc. I LOVE Reese’s PB Cups but I must say, I think a green color would put me off of them. I might have to eat them blindfolded.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: