I grew up in the South; I now live 7 hours north of my hometown. I used to say “only 7 hours” but the longer I live here the bigger distance those 7 hours are. I daily face reminders of the differences in HERE and THERE; and while I love some very dear people here, I don’t like a lot of the differences.
When I grew up, where I grew up Halloween night was on – are you ready – Halloween night. Sunday night, Tuesday night, whatever night it said on the calendar that was Halloween. This is still the case, talked to my mom for a long time about this topic, just last night. Halloween night. Also when I grew up, where I grew up it was (and is) called Halloween, not Beggars Night.
Here the “schedule” “Beggars Night” around their own issues, I supposed. Yes, they call it “Beggar’s Night”; like we want to encourage our children in the concept it is ok to beg door to door. This year for example “Beggar’s Night” was on Saturday the 30th. Strange. The first I encountered this was in like 2003 when a dear friend I grew up with moved to Virginia, and they did it. She and I marveled at MOVING A HOLIDAY. When we were kids our families did not have Church obligation on Wednesday or Sunday night; so I can’t tell you what the kids of families’ that DID have though obligations did; that was for the parents to decide. Up here the government decides and Halloween is never celebrated on a Wednesday or Sunday night. As a parent I’d rather choose for myself if I wanted to skip Church one night, or Trick or Treat before going, or tell my children NO. My call as a parent; it really bothers me that the town wants to take that responsibility for me.
I have lived in this foreign land for 7 years now (since 2/2004); and it still strikes me as so strange to see signs posted in the post office and library telling people what night Halloween, I am sorry, Beggars Night, is to be celebrated.
Also, here, Up North, they set a time for it!!! Again in the Dark Ages when I was a child going Trick or Treat (not ‘begging’) the time was whatever your mom and dad would allow. Usually when the sun started to go down till it was so dark they made you come home. Whenever the neighbors put on their porch lights; that is after all how you know where to go, also late enough that parents were home from work, and more people were home to hand out candy!!
Another difference, at home, in the Dark Ages (and according to my mother, still to this year, 2010) kids Trick or Treat DOOR TO DOOR, oh the amazement. Up here, in the North where I live now, they “assign” Trick or Treat locations (the park or downtown) and while the ‘hoods still have some traditionalists that light the porch light and hand out candy, that is also limited in the hours it is “acceptable”. We live between two small towns, both set the hours for Trick or Treating (park or downtown and neighborhoods too) and they all ended well before sundown.
Alright anyone that knows me even slightly knows I am one of the most obsessive and over protective moms out there. I LOVE that some communities forbid registered sex offenders from decorating and even make them post NO CANDY signs. I am all for that and more. Nevertheless, as obsessed and paranoid as I as a mom, even I think things are just plain silly. “Beggars night, at the park, 4 to 6???? “ Even I am more relaxed that THAT, and THAT is saying a lot, a lot. Again, I am the mom, I can make choices for my own family if I think they are old enough to Trick or Treat door to door (I said not this year, not alone, I can’t chase them both) and when I want to do it (time). As I said above, the town doesn’t need to make choices for me as a parent.
I just have to shake my head, ah living in the North is such a culture shock to me, and continues to be. I also, in the greater scheme of things, worry more and more about the Big Nanny (or a smaller one) try to raise my children for me.
Here are the photos of the boys at “Beggar’s Night” – one small town at the park (lame, lame); other small town on the main streets of downtown (better at least people dress up, and put up cool decorations). Auntie Pam sent the costumes from China. I told Big Brother that they were “Green Archer” since he is all in to superheroes; as soon as he put it one he said “I look like Peter Pan” one person asked if they were the Keebler elves. We did decide that for Christmas we’d dress the boys in these costumes, with red shirts under the green ones, for Elf photos. Both boys loved them.
I dressed Big Brother first and Little Brother ran back into the bedroom, got his off the floor and came and shoved it at me and laid down on the floor in front of me. 🙂 He was excited to get his on. So adorable.
Little Brother did a couple of cute things. He found a little girl (maybe 2, maybe not yet) in a ladybug costume. A great costume, really. He followed her and tried to get in front of her to look at her; he had to look down, oh my. I think all the rest of the kids looked like kids to him, dressed up kids; the boys love dress up and play that a lot. This little girl, I am thinking he was less sure about. He was nice to her, but it was really cute how he kept tilting his head and trying to get in front of her to look right at her. Also many people had their dressed up dogs out for the evening. I am not really into that – there is enough chaos with a ton of kids and sugar and customs, do we need to add dogs? Really, dogs that can die from eating most of the treats being handed out to sugar crazed hyper silly children? Great idea. Anyhow there were several dogs out and each one Little Brother saw he’d make an effort to go to and meeeooooow at. I don’t know if he thought he was communication (he can MOOOO or Meow, so I guess the Meow was closer) or if he meant to taunt them. Cute though.
Big Brother counted the number of Ninjas we saw; and pointed out to me (several times) that Dar Vader had the wrong colored light saber. Big Brother was so excited to see an adult dressed as a Ghost Buster. He loves that movie and was delighted to see that adult. I think he had a good time; I think he was expected to get to play more he kept telling me “I didn’t get to make friends”. I love the photos of Big Brother helping Litte .
Both came home tired and happy and we were blessed with just awesome weather. Remembering more than one Tricker Treating in a coat, I could not have been happier for the boys (and momma).