"What do you mean I can only have two pieces!! Why do I have to save MY candy?" Ohhhh the humanity!
Somehow I survived those Halloweens, and as I got older, the plastic masks were left behind for the more popular face paint... and stuffed pillows under the old clothes. Then eventually, Halloween became something completely different for awhile. Parties with adult costumes and adult beverages and loud music.
Then something made it all become magical again. In 1994 when my daughter was four years old, we went on our first Halloween event at the local zoo. She was too young to really understand, but the years that followed we would decorate the house in cobwebs, pumpkins and witches. We would stuff leaves into our spooky scarecrow. On Halloween we'd meet up with my brother and his two boys and troll their neighborhood in search of candy; the kids in their costumes and to their utter embarassment, my brother and I in our costumes. In those years, the neighbors watched out for each other and went all out for Halloween. Decorations inside and out, rocking chairs on the front porch that rocked when you passed by them, recordings of howls and growls... much more sophisticated stuff than when I was a kid. There were life-like bats, monster masks made in the likeness of someone's horrifying nightmare! Costumes that could have come right off of a Hollywood movie set! My daughter suffered the indignity of her mother and uncle dressed in old clothes with pillows stuffed up in them and face paint for a mask! We were MONSTERS! Yes, daughter - only 4 pieces of candy. You must SAVE your candy!
We didn't put candy out at our house because our neighborhood was mostly summer homes, empty and without children nearby. No one ventured down our dark street. Our spooky scarecrow was left to guard our dark house, unappreciated for his toothy grin and scary milkman pants. When my daughter moved away, I didn't decorate as much. A pumpkin maybe.
The new neighborhood has children.
I may have to get those old clothes out of the closet and find a good pillow.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween folks.