Our third Halloween passed us last night without a hitch. Jason and I, along with our friend (and new neighbor) Ryan, gave out 90% of the candy we had in 45 minutes. We thought we were prepared; we had twelve bags total and wanted to save some for our big party this weekend. Well, we packed it in early and we didn't turn anybody down, but our street was packed once again. Police were directing traffic and everything. Pure insanity, right? Not really. Just a lot of people coming and going.
I will to admit to playing favorites with passing out my favorite candy. As a fan of Reese's white chocolate cups, I handed them out to kids that had really cool costumes. One dressed as Spider-Man, one dressed as Jason Vorhees, one dressed in the ghost Scream costume and one dressed as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books. Everybody else got KitKat, M&Ms, Almond Joy, Snickers, Butterfinger and regular Reese's peanut butter cups. What we have left is a plastic Jack-O-Lantern not even 2/4ths full with assorted candy.
We quietly ventured outside of our house to check out what all our neighbors did for the night. Some went really over the top (some giant spiders, a graveyard lit up by plastic Halloween-themed displays) while some kept it really simple (sit on the front of the lawn with folding chairs). At no point did we ever see things get out of hand. There were no fights, screaming children or juvenile behavior. This got me thinking.
I've met a few people over the years that equate Halloween with pagan worship. Well, in my time as a trick-or-treater and a candy-giver, I have never seen lambs be sacrificed, orgies or dances around fires. Halloween, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, benefit from being watered-down and mainstream. They're very safe, kid-friendly get-togethers. With Halloween, it's supervised by parents and in the case of my street, aided by friendly police officers. How can any of this be a bad thing?
Well, yes, there are bad eggs that like to play cruel jokes and TP houses, but that stuff is tame compared to what fear-induced people think Halloween is all about. The dead don't rise out of their graves and witches don't fly across the sky. If anything, it's a friendly version of door-to-door visits with no ulterior motives.
As I stated last year, I'm definitely making up for lost time with the last few Halloweens I've experienced. When I lived in an apartment, nobody came by and the night felt awkward. I'd watch Halloween and/or Halloween 2 and go to bed. Last night, I passed out candy, walked down the street with my friends, watched Halloween with the commentary track on and three Simpsons' 'Treehouse of Horror' episodes. Amazing what getting out of my cornered view will do.