Once upon a time, Halloween was a hallowed — and very neighborly — holiday.
Some kids wore mom-made costumes. Others had store-bought masks. The younger ones went out with parents. But everyone 8-ish or older roamed their road, and one or two nearby, on their own.
They scarfed up as much candy as they could, in an hour or so. A few pennies were collected for UNICEF. Sometimes a pumpkin got smashed, an egg tossed.
Then the arms race began. Costumes grew more elaborate. Parents drove their kids to Westport’s densest neighborhoods,* maximizing the candy-to-ground-covered ratio.
Adults joined in the fun, opening their homes (and liquor cabinets) to friends and srangers chaperoning ever-older trick-or-treaters. With so many parents (and security cameras) around now, kids have no idea how to smash a pumpkin or toss an egg.
Last year, the pandemic threw Halloween for a loop. Would trick-or-treating on crowded streets turn into a super-spreader event? Was it dangerous to grab candy from a communal bowl? Wasn’t everyone sick of wearing masks,, anyway?
Some parents said: Go for it. Kids have lost so much already, let’s not take away Halloween.
Others said: Not this year. COVID before candy.
Which brings us to Halloween 2021. The virus still lurks here. Many in their prime candy-grabbing years have not yet been vaccinated. What’s a parent to do?
Full steam ahead? Only with friends? Sorry — no candy this year, kids?
“06880” wants to know how your family is handling Halloween. Click “Comments” below.
Whatever your choice — and speaking now as an adult, not a youngster — let’s hope it does not involve eggs.
At least, not at my house.
* If you don’t know where, I’m not going to tell you.