Last year my mother-in-law had one trick-or-treater at her house. Let’s put this into perspective, shall we? There was a nice old lady sitting with her porch door open, giving away free candy to kids, and only one kid showed up. ONE. I mean, what the heck? We didn’t have too many kids show at our place either last year, maybe a dozen. The truth is, in the ten years we’ve been in this house I think the most trick or treaters we’ve ever had is twenty or so, at best.
At first I thought it was just us. Perhaps our porch light wasn’t obvious enough. Maybe turning the lights out and putting a candle lit lantern in the window wasn’t the best way to advertise “get treats here”. Each year we’ve gotten progressively bolder in our attempts to indicate that trick or treaters are welcome at our home. Last year I had every light on the main floor turned on, we festooned the place with strings of orange light up skeletons, with carved pumpkins leading the way up our porch steps, and the front door left half open… we still had under a dozen kids. And we still did better than my Mother-in-law who had that record breaking ONE kid show up for free candy. Granted the weather wasn’t that great last year. It was a cold, damp, drizzly, night, but still… where were the kids?
The year previous it rained and while hubby sat at home giving goodies to the fourteen or so kids who showed up, I took the girls out in pirate costumes, plus rain coats, plus umbrellas. Attempting to dodge puddles in the dark while wrangling three umbrellas, which the kids insisted on handing over to me each time they approached a door, was undeniably a pain. However it never once occurred to me to skip it. We would have to have some seriously dangerous hail, lightening or tornado type weather before I would skip out on trick or treating, and even then we might still do just a few houses.
When I was a kid we never missed Halloween. It didn’t matter if I was sick, or if it was freezing out. Snow, rain or sleet we were on the street, with my mom or dad in tow. I mean, come on, it is Halloween! The one night a year when you get to knock on every stranger’s door and say hi. When you get to wear whatever costume your heart desires and have adults tell you how adorable, or terrifying, you look. And you do it for what, nine or ten years? Let’s say you start trick or treating when you are 3 or 4, and quit when you’re 12, or 13 or 14. That’s nine or ten, maybe eleven times max, that you potentially get to go out trick or treating. How can we let a little rain ruin that chance?
However the weather may not be the biggest factor here. Even on a nice year, when it’s absolutely lovely outside, we’re not seeing many kids at our place — and it seems like we get less each year. Where the heck are the kids? Is this lack of trick or treaters just in my neighbourhood, or is it a spreading phenomenon? Are they staying home? Are they at a party? Are they at the mall? Are they at your house?
Tell me — Where are your kids come All Hallows Eve? How many trick or treaters do you get at your place?