Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween: a Reflection of Changing Society?

Last night was beautiful in Philly. It was a clear 65 degrees...the perfect trick-or-treating weather. The streets were virtually empty. There were a few intermittent throngs of kids, but it was nothing like the masses that would descend upon the streets when I was young.

The Man and I were talking, as we walked around to the few houses that actually had their porch lights on, about what a sad state of affairs that Halloween has become. When we were kids there was so much thought (and pride) that went into our costumes. Justrose, Liz, C and I would put weeks of thought into what we would be each year. Now it looks like the kids throw on anything they happen to have in their closet and call it a costume. Most of the kids look WAY too old to even be knocking on stranger's door and asking for free candy.

The other strange phenomenon is the bucket of candy bags on the front step with a "take one" sign attached. This used to be a social holiday -once a year when neighbors talked and got to know the neighborhood kids and now it's diminished into a Bowl on the step? No old German women making you come into their living rooms and perform some trick for your treat?

Maybe it's fear of releasing your children into a neighborhood of would-be weirdoes, or maybe it's the growing dynamic of Halloween parties, or maybe it's just different now and that coupled with the fact that my youngest turns five today is making me feel old... Whatever the reason, it seemed a shame and only a shimmer of the fun and experience it used to be.

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