The Decline And Fall Of Trick-Or-Treaters

Foam Pumpkin Carving
Twenty years ago when our development was new there were so many children a new school was built to house them all. Youngsters could be seen everywhere.

Especially at Halloween.

When Daughter was little, we would march up and down our street along with hundreds of others; following large groups of friends, waiting patiently for her turn at the neighbor's doors to yell "Halloween Apples!" Children crowded the sidewalks visiting every house that was decked out in the scariest of decor.

Daughter's Pumpkins 2007
Unfortunately, that is a thing of the past. Just as Daughter is now too old to trick or treat anymore, it also seems that neighborhood has outgrown Halloween. A few houses decorate, but more and more have the lights turned off. Every year the numbers of little goblins have dwindled, to a mere 34 kids last night. And of those, the majority were teens.

A Mall HalloweenBut there is another trend that seems to be impacting on the door-to-door festivities. The local mall had "Safe Trick or Treating" in a big way this year. With the snow that fell earlier in the day, I can't blame parents wanting to stay warm and cozy while their offspring ran around wild in the mall... but I really miss seeing all those little munchkins waddling around in cute costumes.

Well, the times they are a-changin' I guess.

Oh, and I fully expect that Halloween display at center court to be replaced by Santa's village sometime over the next 24 hours...

12 People would rather be commenting:

Anonymous said...

It's a sad state of affairs, isn't it? I did get a glimpse of trick-or-treating, just like the good 'ol days, though. My husband and I drove through my old neighborhood on their T-or-T night. I grew up in a twin home, among many others. You could hit the jackpot in only one hour, since the houses were so close together. As we drove though, we watched as hundreds of kids ran house to house, screaming and laughing. So many of the homeowners decorated and even put up spooky displays with smoke and strobe lights. It was a joy to see how many kids were out that night and to remember what it was like for me when I did it decades ago. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane!

Anonymous said...

We only got a few trick-or-treaters as well, but that's just because they're LAZY! The two streets perpendicular to ours were filled with kids, while our street (which is a hill that is about a 20% grade) was empty. Now then, it seems that the kids who could use the exercise are the kids who are trick-or-treating in the first place. Oh, well. More leftover candy for me.

The Egel Nest said...

I live in a community with either brand new babies or no children we got about 2 or 3 on Halloween!

I suppose in a few years it will be packed though with all these babies growing up!

The Egel Nest

AshPup said...

Guess which pumpkin is my favourite??? :o) I won the grand prize for my Jack pumpkin this year at a pumpkin-carving party, but it was nowhere near as elaborate as yours- you would have definitely pushed me out of the running!
At least you probably have lots of sweet treats left over for yourselves!

Ann(ie) said...

I know.


Not the same!!

my friend got her house egged and her fence knocked down to boot.


Maureen said...

Kathy: Good to hear it's alive and doing well... I am sure each neighborhood goes in cycles as families grow and change. I just wonder if the trend towards mall trick or treating will eventually replace the door to door type.

Frogster: Yeah, the only upside is all the leftover candy; which is why I make sure I only buy the stuff we like!!!

Bradley: Just wait! You'll be knee deep in the little ones soon enough!!! I really miss those days...

Hey Ashley! Congrats on your pumpkin! Yeah, who do you think I was thinking about while I carved Mr. Skellington??? ;) Now I have a "pair of Jacks!"

Ann(ie): That sucks! Usually that kind of thing happens on Gate Night, the 30th; which is why I never put out the outdoor decorations before the 31st... but luckily, we don't have that problem around here. I guess all the kids are too busy at the mall....

Jen said...

Those pumpkins are amazing - total works of art...

Nell said...

The girls and I always managed to find a neighborhood swamped with kids, this year it was in the town where their grandmother lives. It's so much more fun when there are mobs of children running around!

Cupcake Blonde said...

Times they are a changing and I don't like it. Nowadays kids don't even dress up any more. Teens show up on your doorstep in jeans and a t-shirt and expect a handout. What happened to the fun the effort the joy of being someone else. It was never all about the candy, it was about impressing people with the wittines of your costume.

I wish that would come back.

Maureen said...

How true, VP, how true. On the radio they had a story about a neighborhood not far away that was inundated with kids without costumes.... and it wasn't a poor part of town by a long shot. I don't know what I would have done. They were even with parents! No costumes, not even make up... they sure are missing the whole point of the day. A shame, really. And shame on the parents for teaching the wrong lesson.

NH Yocal said...

Your pumpkins are awesome by the way. We still get a ton of kids in our neighborhood and they traveled in large packs this year. I think because we live in a pretty new development and of course, no bad reports of anything yet, that this even still happens. I have heard about the mall thing and hopefully that will not be the ultimate trend.

Canadian flake said...

I took my kids out for their last year of trick or treating this year...we went to my old neighbourhood and it was really quiet too...made me sad sort of...thanks for sharing the great pics.

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