My first trick-or-treat πŸŽƒπŸ¬

Last night was my first time participating in the Halloween ritual of trick-or-treating. All day, I was bursting with anticipation. I filled big bowls with candy and waited eagerly by the front door, hours before the sun set. I couldn’t wait for the kids to arrive.

But when the doorbell rang, a wave of nervousness overcame me. What am I supposed to say? Do I just hand them candy? Do I let them choose their own candy? Do I have to talk with the parents? How does this whole thing work?

I didn’t celebrate Halloween when I was a kid. In fact, somewhere in my childhood I picked up the notion that October 31st is the devil’s birthday.

My parents never told me that, although their Christian religion does prohibit anything that glorifies witchcraft, most notably Harry Potter and Halloween. Besides, my parents didn’t approve of scary costumes, staying up late, or sugary candy. Three strikes against Halloween.

When I was very young, I remember October 31st was the night we would turn off all the lights in the house and hide out in my parents’ bedroom. I didn’t understand that we were avoiding neighborhood trick-or-treaters. It felt like an adventure.

Then we moved to a rural area, far from roaming bands of candy-collecting kids.

This coincided with my hyper-religious phase, where I took everything literally and got very worked up over the idea of spiritual warfare. I have this one memory, of a stormy Halloween night when I was 11 or 12 years old. I convinced my younger brother it would be a good idea to do “a protest.” We snuck into the garage to look for big pieces of cardboard and wooden sticks.

I don’t remember exactly what we wrote on our signs. But I do remember the two of us put on our boots and jackets and braved the rain and wind. We marched around our house with signs held high, shrilly chanting “Halloween is Satan’s day! We don’t celebrate Halloween!”

Absolutely no one was within earshot. The nearest neighbor was half a mile away. It was pitch black, and if anyone had happened to drive by on the remote country road, they would have seen two small kids stomping in circles, waving signs in the air and screaming something about Satan. They would have to assume they were witness to some creepy occult ritual.

Then Dad came out on the porch and told us to come inside. He was as baffled as he was upset at our antics. My parents must have done some soul-searching that night, because the anti-Halloween rhetoric in our household calmed down dramatically. We were even allowed to read the Harry Potter books. But by then, we were too old for the trick-or-treating.

When I went to college, I was surprised to discover Halloween was still a big deal, although now it revolved around alcohol instead of candy. On October 31st, my friends revealed outlandish and elaborate outfits. I felt like the odd one out, but I tried to shrug it off.

“You have to wear a costume!” my friends protested.

I borrowed my roommate’s ill-fitting pair of overalls. “I’m a farmer,” I announced. Polite nods. Maybe a few eye rolls.

The next year I simply grabbed a checkered flannel and continued my farmer persona. But since I wore a flannel nearly every day, it wasn’t much of a costume.

After college I breathed a sigh of relief that I’d finally outgrown the whole stupid holiday.

Then: last night. My first Halloween as an adult living in the suburbs. And like I said at the beginning of this post, before the kids rang the doorbell I was consumed with worry that I would mess up. Part of me wanted to turn off all the lights and hide in the bedroom.

But I had nothing to fear. The kids were focused on the candy, not on anything I said. “TRICKERTREAT!!!” They melted my heart in their adorable little costumes. I got plenty of practice putting candy in their buckets and pillowcases. From the sidewalk, parents smiled and waved.

I can’t wait for next year! I want to get decorations for the front door. And I’m going to give out candy more generously because we have too much left over.

If Halloween is actually the devil’s birthday, he must hate that we celebrate it by making the children in our neighborhood feel special.

75 thoughts on “My first trick-or-treat πŸŽƒπŸ¬

  1. Well, congratulations on your first uneventful Halloween LiziRose. πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ‘» Halloween is said to be the eve of All Hallows’ Day, the eve of All Saints Day, a recounting of those who have died in the past year. But besides that, you found the joy of the event and so did the kids. You had fun and it seems like the kids did too!!! So what were you afraid of again??? LOL πŸ˜²πŸ€£πŸ’–

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    1. Aww Kym! I appreciate your kind comment! Also I didn’t know the history of All Hallows Day or All Saints Day, so thank you for sharing. It’s quite interesting. Yes I had a lot of fun…those cute kids were the opposite of scary!! πŸ˜†πŸ˜

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      1. LiziRose, that’s a very good thing. 😁 FUN is always sooooo very refreshing! πŸ€— I am tickled that you had just as much fun as the kids did. πŸŽƒ Continue to find lighthearted ways to always keep a smile handy just when you need to pull it out! πŸ€©πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ Big hugs my friend!!! βœ¨πŸ’πŸ₯‚

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      2. Thank you , hugs to you!! Yes it is so refreshing to have fun, get to connect with kids and see their smiles! β™‘ β™‘β™‘ Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

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  2. Halloween is like any other holiday. It’s what you make it! Halloween never had any religious belief attached to it when I was growing up. it was just a fun-filled night when we dressed up in costumes and got candy and enjoyed parties and family gatherings. I remember my grandparents coming to the house with apple cider and doughnuts. It was something we looked forward to during the year, like Christmas.

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    1. Dawn, thank you for reading my story and for sharing your special Halloween memories! I’m so happy I get to experience the fun wholesomeness of this holiday. I hope trick or treat culture will still be going strong by the time I have kids. However I would take apple cider and doughnuts over candy ANY day. Yum!😁

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  3. Awww the last line reflects your indulgent sweetness- Frustrating the Devil with all the kindness you shower upon kids. That should be it, right? It was wonderful to read about your memories of Halloween. Your childhood in a religious family may have been.. strange. No Harry Potter wow! β€œBut since I wore a flannel nearly every day, it wasn’t much of a costume.”- Lol I cackled like a witch there πŸ˜„ Farmer costume that didn’t get enough credit 😜

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    1. You always make me smile πŸ₯°πŸ˜Full circle huh… from protesting the supposed evils of this holiday, to finding the goodness in it! And luckily my parents did relax their restrictions so I could become a Harry Potter fan. “Wingardium Leviosa!”

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  4. Cute! Over here in Finland, Halloween is getting bigger and bigger each year. But we aren’t trick or treating yet. However, there’s an Easter tradition where kids go knocking on neighbours’ doors to collect candy and Easter eggs, dressed as Easter witches! :D (I’ve never done that, either, because I grew up elsewhere. Maybe next year, I’ll try to remember to arrange it for my kids! Last year I forgot!)

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    1. That’s an awesome tradition and sounds extremely similar to trick or treating. Easter witches, now that’s just the cutest thing I ever heard!
      Thank you for reading my story and sharing this lovely comment. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome to the fun of handing out candy on Halloween! It’s really neat to see the costumes and the enthusiasm on kids’ faces. And it’s great that you’re already looking forward to next year’s Halloween!

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  6. I’m glad you found joy in Halloween. I loved trick or treating as a kid. We haven’t had a single trick or treater in the 28 years we lived in our prior house. We were excited last night for our first Halloween in our new home. But nobody came.

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    1. Aww that’s a shame you didn’t get any trick or treaters. It makes me wonder if your town hosts some kind of event that all the kids go too instead of going door to door?

      The more I think about it, the more it seems like Halloween is a pretty unique holiday in the sense it revolves around a neighborhood of (potential) strangers who just have geography in common. Every other holiday centers around relatives, which makes the traditions easier to carry on.

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      1. We live pretty far out of town. And there are only a handful of kids here. I think they’re mostly too old to trick or treat. We were hoping, though. I agree with your assessment of Halloween. But in our former house, there were neighborhoods that families flocked to for trick or treating, not even knowing anyone there. They were neighborhoods with lots of kids.

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      2. Yes that’s so true, there has to be a certain critical mass of young kids who live in the neighborhood otherwise they will travel to neighborhoods with a lot of kids.
        Knowing my husband and I may move to a rural area soon, I will appreciate this experience while I can!

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  7. Congrats on your first Halloween trick or treating. I think you can have space for both in your life: faith and Halloween. It’s about recognizing it’s all about making it a special moment for the kids.

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    1. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. My faith has evolved a long way from the way I was raised, so I genuinely agree with exactly what you said. I look forward to many more happy Halloweens! 😁

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  8. You made me grin from ear to ear! I thing trick or treat doesn’t have any “evil” inherent in its celebration. But there are always some who try to pervert the fun…Glad you could enjoy it!

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    1. Hooray, I’m glad my story made you smile! Yes, a lot of things were claimed to be “evil” in the church culture I was raised in: rock music, leggings, psychology… I could go on πŸ˜† Glad to grow up and discover that with most things, including Halloween, the rule “it is what you make of it” applies.

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      1. I just went to the grocery store.. and I can’t stop eating lol! I went through a whole bag of m&ms and almost a pack of Reece cups….

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      2. I’m talking about the weight gain from my Halloween candy. Gahh this is embarrassing πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

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  9. What a delightful description of your Halloween history. I love it. And that passage about turning off the light and hiding in the bedroom reminds me of a couple I know. They are always very polite and proper. The husband works hard in the office while the wife works hard to clean their house as if it were a palace. They turn off their lights every Halloween and hide in the basement to watch TV. They told me that the reason for this is because there was one year, the wife gave her favorite ginger candies to kids–the Asian variety with very strong ginger flavor– and some parents came to complain to her that their kids were shocked by the taste–too ginger for them.

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    1. I love reading your stories so much, it’s an honor to have one right here in my blog comments!!
      That makes me sad that this couple you know has to hide from Halloween. I think I’ve eaten the ginger candies you mention (or something similar), I could see how kids raised on American diet would not like them and think they’re “spicy”. Which is a shame, ginger is a delicious flavor. But it’s one thing if the kids don’t appreciate the candy, it’s a WHOLE different thing that the parents actually came by to complain. Unbelievably rude and narrow-minded …

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      1. Hahaha. Thank you for your comment. Maybe I heard it wrong. The parents are people from the neighborhood and they know it’s the couple who gave out these candies since they are the only Asian couple in that neighborhood. They are probably trying to tell them that they may get themselves into trouble if they give out such pungent candies. LOL. Life… Thank you so much for your praise about my stories. It is such beautiful encouragement.

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      2. Unfortunately, childhood is the most picky time for trying different flavors. In my child development class we learned that pickiness is an evolved trait from 1,000s of years ago. As soon as children begin walking and are able to put things in their mouth, their palates become more selective to protect against poisoning. I’m sure a lot of parents are not a fan of this evolution!
        I always look forward to your stories and word lists. 😁

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  10. Love the ending! Great story. Happy for you that you’ve found your own Halloween tradition, to build on in the years to come. :)

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  11. so very pleased you got past your indoctrination … we have only just started this odd commercial TnT in australia so it’s all new to me. I always felt sorry for the kids who were unable to read HP, I thought it bordered on gross child abuse!

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  12. Occult ritual! Haha! It must have been funny watching two kids in the rain wavin’ about signs!
    I believe Halloween is a light-hearted festival. Meant to be enjoyed in spooky costumes. Sadly, we don’t celebrate it here in India.

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    1. Thanks for reading my story Arnav! I completely agree with you, that Halloween is light-hearted even if the costumes are spooky. It is just an excuse to dress up and eat candy 😁
      Halloween may not be celebrated in India, but Diwali is 5 days longer of holiday!

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