Halloween is over but indulge me for one more day. We had our annual Halloween party last night and I must share with you the fun we had. About 4 or 5 years ago(I have lost count) we, along with a few neighbors, began our Halloween tradition of a pre-trick or treating dinner at one of our homes followed by the sugar solicitation. The party has grown in number and fun each year. The first year I believe we had 3 families amounting to 11 people.
Last night there were at any given time 20 adults in our cozy kitchen and 14 children in the basement. Our late '60s home doesn't have the open floor plan that you would think best to accommodate such a gathering, but it was intimate (read shoulder-to-shoulder,but in a good way) and a great time.
The fare is generally the same each year: the host's best chili offering with all the fixins', lots of delicious appetizers brought to share, chicken nuggets and homemade mac n' cheese, apple cider for the kids and liquid cheer for the adults. Dessert is enjoyed wrapper by wrapper after trick-or-treating.
Our neighborhood is a real gem. It is a mix of young families all the way to retired couples and widows. Only about 1 out of 10 houses keeps their light on for the trick-or-treaters. So the outing requires lots of walking between "treats". We usually hit only about 10 houses. This may not sound like the ultimate Halloween experience with a big candy haul. But we love it. There is very little traffic so our goblins can run happily from house to house (wearing glow sticks of course) while the adults stroll behind watching it all unfold. There is even one lovely neighbor lady that invites us all in each year, fawns over the children's costumes, gives all the kids holiday-themed stuffed animals and allows the adults to rest their weary feet for a few moments. It all seems very Normal Rockwellish to me. The best part to me is that our kids do not know the overwhelming spectacle that Halloween can be. I'll keep it quaint as long as I can.
This year was especially enjoyable since Halloween fell on Saturday. There was no thought of ending the evening early to get home to bed on a school night. We even convinced ourselves that "falling back" the time would actually help. No thought (or any one that was really enforced) to limit the candy consumption. We let the kids stay up way too late, eat way too many treats, and play and laugh until they could barely keep their eyes open. They loved it. And believe or not, the price we paid today in cranky kid-mood was not too bad.
It gets easier and more fun each year as the kids grow up. So as long as they still want to spend Halloween with their parents, we'll keep having this party of neighbors and friends. And when the kids are older and want to go out with their friends and their plans no longer include us, I hope that we adults still get together and comfort each other about the fact that our children are growing up. In the meantime, we can all enjoy the memories of...
Fire Ant circa 2004Sticky Frog circa 2004 The 2005 CrewCowboy and Wild Cat circa 2006The 2008 CrewAnd the most recent, 2009
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