Dispatches from All Hallow’s Eve

The first trick-or-treaters arrived well before dark; about 5:30. I was just taking dinner out of the oven and I had started dinner early! It was a group of little kids, five and under.

All Hallows’ Read:
I decided to do All Hallows’ Read this year. I had about 16 children’s and young adult books, ones I got at Copperfield’s Used Books and Treehorn’s. Spouse and I debated about how best to offer them, and we decided to just put them out on a table with the carved pumpkin, by the door. I had them in a cute basket. The first group was disbelieving when I offered them books; then their eyes lit up and they pillaged the basket, carrying away a book each. I had four copies of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. The youngest of that first group carried one off right away, but the Sylvesters were gone twenty minutes.

Al 16 books were gone within an hour. It is really obvious that many of these kids didn’t have a book of their own until now. The parents also looked amazed. (Of course I offered candy too. I’m not oblivious.)

A candy recession?

It was an odd year. I gave out a lot of candy but I never had the bell-curve rush that happens around seven-thirty. There were large groups, but with long enough waits between groups that I was able to finish John Connolly’s Burning Soul. Previous years, I would never have had time to read more than a sentence before the doorbell rang. I asked some of the parents what they thought and they agreed it was a different rhythm.

Costumes (unscientific count):

Firefighters/ fire chiefs:  There were five of these.  The best one (and I didn’t get a picture) was a little boy in a cardboard fire truck.

Ninjas—either gender—were big. Variation on the theme; two vampire ninjas.

Zombies. No, really?

Fairies/angels/darkangels and as one girl put it, “Princess, but evil princess.”

Scream Guy—a classic.

Ladybugs, butterflies, cats and cows are still big for the tiny kids.


Best Event:

Two teenaged girl. One handed me an artificial flower with a message attached to it, saying that now she was fourteen this would be her last year trick-or-treating and thanks for all the candy. She was Red Riding Hood or maybe a Scarlet Sorceress—hard to tell, and her friend was in Robin-Hood green with a gold headpiece. They asked me if I wanted to hear a Halloween carol. How could I resist?  I said yes and they launched into a song that went something like this:

Deck the halls with gasoline

Fa-la-la-la-la; la-la-la-la

Strike a match and watch the gleam,

Fa-la-la-la-la; la-la-la-la

Watch the hideout burn to ashes

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la, la, la

Aren’t you glad you play with matches?

Fa-la-la-la-la; la-la-la-la

They did two-part harmony and they were good!

Somebody stole one of the bitty pumpkins I had at the edge of the lawn. Spouse pointed out that it was perfect throwing size. Yes, but their took the battery-operated tealight with them! Was that necessary?



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2 Responses to Dispatches from All Hallow’s Eve

  1. Chad Hull says:

    I think it’s great that you went through with the book give out thing. Really great! (Also good, you did candy as well. That was a smart, safe, veteran move.) Halloween carols sounds fabulous and though I’m sure it’s been done before I love the sound of ‘evil princess.’

    This post has actually managed to get me excited about what I previously thought to be the lamest holiday ever! (If only after the fact.) I’m all over Halloween next year.

  2. Marion says:

    Chad, do books next (with candy). It’s really rewarding

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