I have been on both sides of this line and I can tell you which one is way more fun to be on. Years ago, I lived in a home in a quiet area that was close to some pretty rough neighborhoods. Since it was my first experience with adulthood and home ownership, I didn't think too much about the fact that we had a LOT of trick-or-treaters that we were certain didn't live in any of the houses on the block. I was excited to get dressed up as a wicked witch and show all the kids my pet rat, Gus Gus! I did notice that some kids were dressed in costumes like trash bags and some of the older ones were not dressed up at all. This kind of jerked my chain a little bit but I didn't withhold candy. Now, I understand a little more about what I thought was a lack of effort from these kids.

Since my early Twenties, I have had a child of my own and I take great pride in constructing a homemade, pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) set of costumes for our family. It takes time and a lot of spare change. Many times buying a costume is even more expensive, unless you buy secondhand. It didn't really dawn on me that not all kids have parents who create or even purchase Halloween costumes. Some parents aren't in a position to buy a costume and so those kids were probably doing the best they could with limited resources.

I also now understand that not all neighborhoods are terribly safe for kids to go door-to-door, especially on a night that many adults are consuming alcoholic beverages. I'm glad those kids felt like my street was not only safe but welcoming. Now, we Iive pretty far out and we don't get trick-or-treaters. And, I might have to be the one who drives my child in to go trick-or-treating in a relative's neighborhood. It really bums me out that there aren't sweet Princesses, Superheros, monsters, witches, ghosts, and ghoulies at my door.

Childhood is magical and fleeting. Dressing up each year and pretending that I was my favorite person, place, or thing and visiting friends and neighbors to gather sweet treats is a collection of my favorite memories and is quickly becoming a new favorite collection of memories with my child. Looking back, I feel pretty blessed that I got to play a small role in the life of a few kids who were seizing up the little crumbs of childhood. I hope Gus Gus and I are part of their collection of Halloween memories.

Candy is cheap and even cheaper at places like Rural King so spend the extra $10 and be a good sport. And, if you still feel like being a Halloween Scrooge, then shut off your porch light and we'll get the hint!