Okay, after a busy Halloween week of party planning for a friend’s birthday/costume party, I finally have a minute or two to sit down and share my thoughts on the Trunk or Treat phenomenom that seems to be taking over sweet Southern communities. Most of the country thinks of Small Town USA as having the concept of “nostalgia” pretty much paved into our dirt roads. However, this is not the case when it comes to the sacred (yes, I used the word sacred in reference to a pagan Holiday) art of Trick-or-Treat. Small Town USA, at least my small town (small southern town at that), has taken this rite of passage from children and turned it quite literally into a circle of cars with their trunks open passing out candy. In some instances, some of the trunk owners may get creative and decorate, but most just open it up. You find more festive looking cars in Athens on a Saturday when the Dawgs play at home. What started out as a church community project has now grown to include the small main street association which includes what used to be the heart of Small Town USA-Main street. Now, the main street merchants park in a close by parking lot and do the same. So children are resigned to walking from trunk to trunk in a line as if at the cafeteria holding their bags, pumpkins, baskets, etc. out mumbling the words “trick-or-treat”. For some, this is all they’ve known. What a shame! For others, I’m sure they long for the days of having mom and dad park at the end of a street and walking down the side walk as they walked door to door. Figuring out who participated in giving out candy by the old porch light trick. The smell of the fall air….okay, I’m kidding about that, because down here it’s still usually about 75 degrees even on Halloween so the smell of humidity would be more like it. Because this imposter “trunk-or-treat” has taken off in popularity, so many of the neighborhoods don’t hand out candy any longer. My penguin, who is only 4, doesn’t even know what “tick-or-treat” is. She thinks it’s a party.
And another thing. Not only have we done away with such a wonderful childhood event as simple trick or treat, but what’s up with what children carry around to collect their candy from the respective trunks in a circle? Now granted, I understand maybe not everyone can afford to buy a plastic pumpkin from the DOLLAR store after buying the child’s costume and having your hair and nails done, so I guess I’ll give you a pass on the all purpose plastic bag you have your child carrying. But what about those of you that have bought these pails, buckets, baskets, etc. that have nothing to do with Halloween in the first place and surely don’t represent Halloween’s of years past. Come on parent’s from my generation, older, and younger. Does everything have to change? What does a SpongeBob bucket have to do with Halloween? I don’t care if it matches the costume. It’s HALLOWEEN and the only acceptable candy receptacle, even if you have to get it from a trunk, is an orange PUMPKIN with black eyes and a black handle.
Okay, I’ve gotten that off of my chest and maybe Penelope will quit shaking her head in disdain until next year. I vow to find a neighborhood somewhere that hands out candy. There will be no trunks in my penguin’s Halloween next year if I can help it. I love Halloween. It’s actually one of my favorite holidays, if not my all time favorite. But, I like the real Halloween, not what Halloween has become. Most places have skipped the décor and have gone straight to the costumes. You have to set the stage people….a fall festival does not equal Halloween…..no matter what kind of costume you have on.