I was thinking about Halloween, because... well, you know... it's now-ish. (So is the stunningly priced candy of course.)
When I was a kid my parents would accompany me up and down our street and that was the Trick-or-Treating I remember doing. (One year in Grade 6 or 7 I was allowed to go with friends to one of the fairly new suburb type areas and that was exciting but also teenagers were shooting fireworks at each other so it was scary and I don't know how many more years I went after that... maybe that was the last year?)
I was thinking about it the other night because I always got a decent haul and doing the street would take, I dunno "forever" in kid time. I went on google just now to get an estimate of about how many houses my street would allow me to trick or treat at and I figure somewhere between 50 and 60 (I'm assuming the current layout may have a newer house or two) and that's a nice sized amount of goodies! I remember some houses had terrifyingly long driveways (because it was always dark and spooky and who knew what might be lurking!) and there were some dark houses (lights off) that you'd skip. I remember at least one couple who "made" you "trick" for the treat usually in the form of a song or something and I was always shyly embarrassed by that.
I remember at least one year of going out with a garbage bag over my costume because it was raining, and I (famously) remember one year where I had to pee, but I knew if I told my parent (they'd alternate who stayed home to hand out candies and who came with) they'd take me back home and the night would be over and there was no way I was giving up all that free candy, so I er... just peed my pants. And when I tell the story as an adult I always say that it was so cold my pants froze but I doubt it was ACTUALLY that cold, that's probably just what it felt like to little old me. But yeah, I have always really liked sugar, eh?
I remember coming home and dumping out the bag (sack? pillow case?) and seeing what I'd gotten. There would be sibling exchanges of likes/dislikes. I never enjoyed those molasses ones and I seem to have often gotten an abundance of those, what's the word... caramel things? (The little squares?) I also really miss the silver packets of salted sunflower seeds I'd get because they were such a change from the sweet and would, what I know now as, cleanse your pallet!
The candy that I see now in stores seems different, but maybe that's just me? But it really does seem like it's turned into a THING more so than when I was a kid and damn, have people always been spending this much on treats? (Again, I think not.)
For sure we'd heard warnings about razor blades in apples and stuff and who knows, I maybe got a home made candy apple at one time or another (see fuzzy memories....) And we carried UNICEF boxes for pennies (is that still a thing?) and would feel so proud taking them into school the next day to help "the children.
It was always dark (did we have to wait until dark to go out?) and cold (October after all) and so costumes needed layers or jackets (or garbage bags) and the street was always busy (as I remember it) and I never knew how magical my childhood was, I just knew I was happy and felt safe and Halloween was this magical time where adults gave you free candy and what on earth could be better than that? Free candy!!! All you had to do was walk, knock, ask politely and be dressed up! Fantastic, no?!