To the People Passing Out

We went Trick or Treating and GOT THAT CANDY. Many fond memories were made last Thursday night. None of these memories would have been possible if strange people didn’t sit outside their homes and pass out candy. My terrific toddler still hated his costume. He also hated a little red wagon almost as much.

Hate on the wagon

Hate on the wagon

He started off by being carried two houses down where something magical happened. They put candy in his neon green pumpkin bucket. They put A LOT of candy in the bucket. Suddenly, his costume wasn’t so awful anymore. Within this very moment, he obtained one goal for the evening; to get more candy in his bucket.

Block after block, he either walked or was carried. Each house with a light on and people waiting outside was an opportunity. The terrific toddler would slowly make his way up long winding sidewalks to a strange house. He would stand sometimes in a line, other times by himself, and stare at strangers.

He never learned to say “Trick or Treat” in time. He would instead walk up to houses and greedily say, “I gettttsss.” After he received a treat from one house, he toddler-waddled his way back down the sidewalk, and began to clap. He stood there giving Halloween a standing ovation.

The spontaneous applause came because neighbors were giving him treasured candy. He had no real understanding of the long standing tradition but he was thrilled to participate. He also quickly learned “no, we do NOT crawl into strangers’ houses. I don’t care how much candy they gave you.”

These words are for the people who still hold true to the tradition of Trick or Treating. To the people who made one little boy’s first Trick or Treat a success. We noticed many houses with lights off and no one braving the autumn evening chill. But within a few short steps were neighbors with happy, pleasant and warm smiles. These people spent small fortunes on candy.

Once I read how fate intervenes daily. A smile can change a day. A kind word can lift a spirit. Every action with another is not by chance. Every person we encountered on our first Trick or Treat evening made the night a little more special.

To the people who still pass out candy, I am grateful. I often wonder if this ritual will hold out much longer. Many communities and churches sponsor ‘trunk or treats’ or they have a designated safe street blocked off where vendors come and pass out candy. As a parent, I understand the necessity in these safer versions of Trick or Treat. As a person who went house to house with my little sister and saw our neighbors, almost all we knew by name, I don’t want this tradition to go away.

A little magic still remains in the old ways. Good people are still left in our neighborhoods. They gather on their front porches, put candy in plastic pumpkin buckets, and they make one evening shimmer with Halloween magic.

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6 Comments on "To the People Passing Out"

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Charli Mills

Oh, I love it! For years my children thought Reese Cups were awful, and Mom so brave for eating them out of their stash! Then they tasted one and that ended my yearly Reese spree. I just really think you’ve captured what it is at the heart of Halloween.


You said it perfectly. Oh, I really appreciate the neighbors who pass out candy and make my kid’s night. I would miss this tradition too. My toddler didn’t want to wear a costume last year. This year, as he approaches three, he was very into the trick or treating and costume wearing.

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