From my personal postcard collection
Sadly, Halloween is not the carefree children’s holiday it was when I was growing up. I remember the excitement every time Halloween rolled around.
I think my teachers realized that not much learning would happen on 31 October, but we still had to at least pretend to get classwork done in the morning, as that teacher threat was ever present – I don’t want to have to cancel our Halloween party this afternoon!
Our trick or treat bags were usually brown paper bags that we had decorated as an art project a few days before. Since the teacher kept them stacked in a pile in the back of the classroom until the big day, no one was without a bag to collect our goodies.
My elementary school had a morning session and an afternoon session, but we were dismissed to walk home for lunch. There was no school cafeteria. However, that was a huge plus on Halloween because after lunch, we were allowed to walk back to school, wearing our Halloween costumes. AND we got to wear them all afternoon in the classroom.
The primary grade students had a Halloween parade, with the kindergarteners leading the way. They visited all of the classrooms up through grade 6. I have only vague memories of those parades, but there are distinct classroom party memories tucked away.
Everybody brought candy, enough for a piece for each student in the class and we took turns walking around the desks placing a piece in each trick or treat bag.
I honestly can’t remember if we had cupcakes and punch or anything like that, but it seems to me that by fifth and sixth grades, we did have those treats, too.
Needless to say, we were plenty sugared up by the time we walked home and couldn’t wait for darkness to come – so we could visit neighbors and collect still more candy!
The future of Halloween was already coming into doubt by the time I was in sixth grade, as I remember my mother telling me not to eat any candy from neighbors I didn’t know until she had a chance to examine the wrappers. There had been a news report of candy with a razor placed in it.
By the time I was in junior high school, my trick or treating days were over, but it then became my job to take my brother, who was five years younger than me, around for his Halloween fun.
However you choose to celebrate Halloween tonight, have fun and be safe.