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Posted by: Anonlady ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 01:52AM

We are fairly new to Utah. My daughter said that some of her friends are having "Trunk or Treat" parties at the Mormon church. She said they trick or treat in trunks. Explain. Please!

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 01:59AM

A bunch of ward members/neighbors take their cars to the church parking lots and park them in various spots around the lot. They come bearing candy for trick or treaters. They stand by their cars the way most people would stand by their front door, giving out candy to children in costume that come to their car. It's similar to what nursing homes do with their residents - having them wait at the door to their rooms for the children to come by and trick or treat, then passing out candy. One of my good friends works at a nursing home and every Halloween afternoon, for two hours, they invite children to come and trick or treat for free in a safe environment.

Trunk or treat is like that - a safe place for kids to go trick or treating, away from traffic, no stranger danger and safe candy handed out. It's not nearly as fun as the way we did it in the olden days but it's not entirely a bad idea IMO. But I always took my kids to the nursing home too - it really made the residents' day to see all the cute kids in costumes so it was a win-win situation.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 02:09AM

I was lucky enough to have family in nursing homes and then my mother worked at one for a while. Some of my best memories. We would also do Easter there when possible. There is a unique bond between the old and the young. Some of my best memories.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 04:46AM

1. There are incidents of trunk or treat kids getting drugs and dirty candy from trunks in higher percentages than from houses where parents and kids know something about the residents.

2. Kid costumes don't totally hide their identities. Kids need to stay near their watchful parents. The trunk or treat events don't usually invite outsider, non-religious or non-closed group participation. Outsider kiddies are effectively shunned. This is hurtful to the closed group kids as well as those who are looked down on.

3. Far more children are hurt regularly by cars than by tainted treats. Yet, these days almost no one seems to care about traffic safety on Halloween as they once did.

I've recently spent time with an elderly friend who is moving to a retirement/care facility which invites trick or treat-ers. This woman's great grandchildren plan to go there for treats on Halloween and the residents and staff are as delighted as the kids will be by the attention.

My mother is also in a facility where all Halloween kiddies are welcomed. I heard the residents chatting last week about the event over walkers and in their wheelchairs. I hope there's a good turnout for everyone's sake.

In my opinion kids need to be protected from lighted candles, cars backing up, driveways, dangerous intersections, tripping on dragging hems, poor visibility of many masks, and the us-vs-them attitudes of many Halloween events. These risks are far greater than the poison candy scares which are minimal or non-existent. People who object to candy can go for tiny trinkets and healthier snacks although they are more expensive.

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Posted by: otedge ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 12:13PM

Cheryl Wrote:
> 1. There are incidents of trunk or treat kids
> getting drugs and dirty candy from trunks in
> higher percentages than from houses where parents
> and kids know something about the residents.

This is absolutely fascinating! Please provide some reference for this fact. Higher percentages than in houses where you actually know the residents? Wow, higher percentages, you say.

I wouldn't believe this -- but I read it on the internet so it must be true.

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Posted by: Itzpapalotl ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 12:56PM

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 01:26PM

Thanks, Idzpapalotl. Every year these investigations prove the facts. Unfortunately, gossip and urban legion carry more weight. That's what sells TV time.

Also, gullible religious nuts and those who make a profit from scare tactics love urban legion. Reminds me of the three Nephites.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 01:26AM

Yhere.was an incident in Utah a.few years ago when someone was dealing at a trunk or treat. As I understood it, they were selling, not passing it out to unknowing kids.

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Posted by: Frightened Inmate #2 ( )
Date: October 27, 2013 03:13PM

Please cite these instances of tainted candy. Otherwise you just sound like you're a step beyond paranoid. Also, I've noticed that I know far more people at the trunk or treat than I do going door to door, and we don't even attend church.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: October 27, 2013 06:27PM

Is it about tainted candy at trunk or treat?

If so, no one is saying that's a huge problem, only that it's more of a problem in cars than in homes where there have been virtually no problems.

Last year there were two trunk or treat cases reported here that I recall. One, a teen was showing kiddies playboy foldouts he had hidden in his trunk. Two, another teen gave a kid drugs from his trunk.

Cars are mobile. They drive in and leave. Bowls of candy in a home is typically cleaner than an average car trunk.

Houses are there for keeps. If a homeowner does something wrong, the permanent address is on the front of the house and the mailbox. Police can easily locate the culprit.

Read the links above provided by Ilzpapalotl. Handing out poison treats in homes to trick or treat kids is an urban legion.

If you don't know your neighbors and your kids don't know them, you and they need to get out and be friendly. In earthquakes, fires, blackouts, storms, and sudden illness, neighbors need to know each other and be available to help.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2013 06:32PM by Cheryl.

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Posted by: anonnam ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 02:02AM

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Posted by: forestpal ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 06:37AM


"Third, provide hotdogs, chips and sodas. This is an extremeley cost-effective way to keep the families around that much longer to be able to evangelize, invite and minister to them."

Yeah, a good recruiting ruse. Our old ward sponsors a members' chile cook-off, which is more "extremely cost-effective" than buying hotdogs.

Trunk or treat allows kids run around in a parking lot (where the most car accidents and pedestrian hits occur) at night. It teaches kids that it is OK to take candy from strangers in cars.

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Posted by: sophia ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 02:04AM

Ward members get together in a parking lot, typically, and the kids go trick-or-treating from car to car instead of from house to house.

This got started in a couple of ways, I think. One was concern about bad stuff that gets put in kids' candy sometimes. Probably safer when it's the ward members who also likely have kids.

Another is that sometimes Halloween falls on Sunday. In that case they typically do their thing on Saturday evening so they can skip defiling the sabbath with such mundane or devilish things.

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Posted by: JoyAGE ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 02:25AM

So if you live in a mostly Mormon neighborhood and all of the Mormon families are at Trunk or Treat, not at home, where do the non Mormons trick or treat? It seems that very few houses would be participating in regular trick or treating if they are all at the church. Not so great for the nonMo kids.

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Posted by: Dead Cat ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 03:13AM

It happens at schools and other churches as well.

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Posted by: Quoth the Raven Nevermo ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 03:44AM

JoyAGE Wrote:
> So if you live in a mostly Mormon neighborhood and
> all of the Mormon families are at Trunk or Treat,
> not at home, where do the non Mormons trick or
> treat? It seems that very few houses would be
> participating in regular trick or treating if they
> are all at the church. Not so great for the nonMo
> kids.

No one cares about non-mormon children destined for outer darkness. Not getting any candy will toughen them up for all they will suffer after jesus comes back. WWJD? Jesus would only give candy to mormons, no one else is worthy enough.

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Posted by: Joyce ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 12:09AM

It is rarely on the night of Halloween so actually it is like double trick or treating.

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Posted by: enoughenoch19 ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 04:10AM

Tailgate parties for kiddies.
The best part of trunk of treat is that nobody know which kids are TBMs and which are not so it seems like all kids can go get their goodies since they are in costume.
Around here (Colorado) some of the street malls have trick or treat (before dark so little kids can come). The kids go from store to store and get their goodies. It is also good publicity for the stores. They even have prizes for best costumes in different categories etc. Lots of kids AND PARENTS go. It is fun.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2013 04:13AM by enoughenoch19.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 07:09AM

Trunk or treat would bum me out. I love handing out candy to the kids. (I feel that I have a debt to society after the giant candy hauls I used to pull in when I was a kid.) But also it gives me a chance to meet the other parents in the neighborhood, and I want to meet all of them -- not just the members of one religion, which I suppose is the real point of doing "trunk" or treat. That way they can exclude all those ne'er-do-well non-Mormons that might be handing out apples with razor blades in them or whatever Mormons are telling each other.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2013 07:10AM by Makurosu.

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Posted by: NewToUtah ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 09:57AM

Where I used to live, the churches (no Mormon ones were in town) would get together and have a trunk and treat that included useful items in addition to candy. Each church chose a practical item that disadvantaged children might not have, and they gave those out to all attendees (not need based, but it was heavily advertised by the social workers). My church chose to give socks, and we generally gave a few hundred pair out each year. Other churches gave hats, gloves, school supplies, etc. There was hot chocolate and cake too.

Last Halloween was my first in Utah, and I was thrilled with all the little kids in their costumes that came by. Of course, I live in Davis county in a very suburban neighborhood - lots of kids!


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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 12:08PM

We're doing it tomorrow after church (UU). The kids can wear their costumes to church. The funny thing, though is that it's almost more for the adults than the kids. It's turned into so much fun and also competitive to see who can come up with the most creative car, along with costume to match the theme. I'm doing The Love Shack tomorrow.

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Posted by: YBU ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 01:32PM

I hated all of the "exclusive" mormon events while I lived in SLC. The first year we bought tons of candy and were all ready for trick-or-treaters only to realize that the little kids were ushered past our house because we were not in daWARD or whatever! Now I realize that they are all taught to be fearful and suspect of ANYONE who isn't part of the cult! They don't even join gyms but have all the little ward ladies go to a neighbors basement and workout to videos instead! GAWD I AM SO HAPPY to be outta there! WHAT an awful, hateful environment!

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Posted by: caedmon ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 01:43PM

I hated trunk or treat when my kids were young. The Mormon families weren't home to pass out candy and we didn't feel comfortable attending their affair because people were weird and overly-friendly OR they ignored us. The condescension was palpable.

My son attended once with his good friend (bishops kid) but people kept asking him weird questions. Even his friend was embarrassed so they left quickly and hit the local neighborhoods.

Although maybe their costumes were a problem - they went as ugly BYU cheerleaders!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2013 01:44PM by caedmon.

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 02:04PM

My daughter is friends with my nice TBM neighbor's daughter of the same age. My neighbor invited us to their ward's Trunk or Treat last night, so I took my daughter.

I had never been to a Trunk or Treat before, but it was definitely fun for the kids in attendance. Everyone was nice. I could see a few people looking at me with that " I know her?" look, like they were trying to place me, but not in an unfriendly way. There was nothing to publicize it--no sign outside the church, etc., so my impression was that it was intended just for members and wasn't a prosletyzing/reach-out event.

I later joked to my neighbor's husband, "Maybe they think I'm an excommunicated Mormon or something." He laughed and said something like "You'd be surprised, actually, how many people never attend, or hardly ever." I then asked, "How many people are in your ward?" He replied, "I'd say about 200." His wife chimed in, "No way--definitely more than that." He said, "Well, probably 600 on the rolls, but only about 200 regularly attend."

I also noted some pretty cool costumes, on both adults and kids, plus plenty of guys with facial hair, etc. I also didn't see anyone looking askance at my six-year-old's shockingly bare shoulders, even though it was a bit cold out. ;-) Then again, these are CA Mormons, so they're probably a little (or a lot?) more relaxed than Morridor types.

I also noted the ubiquitous missionaries--two guys in this case--and felt sorry for them. They looked very awkward and out-of-place. There were also younger kids--including two girls--dressed as mishies for their costumes. (Dressed up as male mishies, that is.)

It was fun for the kids, but there was nothing outstanding about it. It didn't compare to trick-or-treating or to a Halloween carnival with games, etc. I do think it was at least nice that they held it on a night other than Halloween, so that kids can still enjoy trick-or-treating with neighbors. I have a friend whose Presbyterian church always holds a Trunk or Treat on Halloween itself, which I've never taken my kids to because I'd prefer them to see our neighbors that night.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 02:13PM

Nice for kids to be on friendly terms with folks they might be able to count on in a pinch.

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Posted by: traditionalist ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 02:31PM

I am not a fan of trunk or treat. When the area of Utah in which I live first went crazy for this idea, they did it on Halloween and if your kids wanted to trick or treat it was at the ward house or not at all. I took my kids once or twice so they didn't have to completely skip trick or treating. Even when they were little, they thought it was boring to walk around a parking lot to collect their candy. (Of course, candy is candy and they were all too happy to eat it after the required trudge around the sad circle of cars.) But my oldest actually once said it me, "Oh, are you talking about church Halloween? I don't really like that. Instead, can we just go to the store and you let us pick some different kinds of candy and you just buy it?" We actually did that on at least one Halloween because there weren't good options available in our local community. It was sad.

In my area, it seemed it was done more for convenience of the parents. I actually overheard other parents singing praises of trunk or treat "because you can get a ton of candy in a very short time and be done with it." To me, the candy is just the co-star of the show, not the whole point of the whole thing. Both as a kid and now as a parent, it was an adventure to get dressed up, go out in the dark (with parent in tow) and set out on sort of a candy treasure hunt. It was fun to see whole yards and houses prepared to greet the trick-or-treaters.....I know some of the people at trunk or treat dress up and decorate their cars, but it just doesn't seem as grand to me as it did back in my day. It was also sort of a game....finding the houses that was giving out the best loot. It was a safe way for a shy kid to learn to do something a little scary.....actually having to walk up the front steps, ring the bell, say trick or treat, and then interact briefly with the neighbor as we chose treats from their baskets was more of a challenge than parents in a line shoving sugar into one bag after another as quickly as possible so they can pack up their kids and get back to their TV shows or whatever.

I think these kinds of parties can be fun, but I was so happy when the local ward FINALLY moved it to a night other than Halloween and at least some of them started to participate in turning on their porch lights for trick-or-treaters, mormon and nonmormon alike, on October 31st. It's a somewhat fun activity to do ****in addition****** to traditional Halloween trick-or-treating. If it is an excuse to hijack Halloween and turn it into a "come to our Mormon party or just don't do Halloween" then my opinion is that it sucks in a very big way!!

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Posted by: traditionalist ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 02:36PM

....sorry for the million typos and the awful grammar in a spot or two.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 10:10PM

Nice post. Thanks.

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Posted by: bordergirl ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 05:42PM

I agree that if you have fairly safe normal neighborhoods, it is better for parents to take their kids trick or treating to neighbor's homes. It is a good chance to teach your children manners and a lot of fun for parents. Also, it helps tone down the grasping after candy that is often a part of the holiday for some kids. Many homes really go all out to decorate and make it fun. We would go out to neightbors' and family's homes and some others and then back home where my daughter passed out candy. My daughter usually ate a bit of her candy on Halloween and a piece or two a day for a week, and then (if her dad hadn't eaten the rest of it LOL) it went somewhere else. Around here the more fundamentalist churches, feeling it is pagan, try to control things with carnivals and trunker treating. The one time my daughter went to a trunker treat, she thought it was really lame.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 09:06PM

I hate trunk or treat. Last year a Mormon family went around my neighborhood and invited all the children except for the black boy to go to trunk or treat. Two minivans pulled up early Halloween evening and took the children. Only the little black boy rang my doorbell. He was dressed as a gansta rapper, so I suppose the Mormons wouldn't have liked his costume. I showered him with candy and praise. I hope he grows up and remembers people being nice to him.

The Mormon family has moved out since, so I'm hoping for more trick or treaters this year.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2013 09:08PM by donbagley.

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Posted by: traditionalist ( )
Date: October 27, 2013 01:37PM

I'm so glad that young man happened onto your house and that you made sure he got royally "treated."

It's not quite the same, but I remember kind of having this situation in reverse in my very mormon neighborhood growing up.....I think as a young child I knew probably 1 or 2 nonmormon families in our community and the rest were all LDS. There was a very, very nice Catholic family who lived on our street and I think most people just skipped that house (probably not for hard-hearted reasons......too be fair, the parents probably just hadn't gotten around to getting to know this long-established family because all of most people's social contacts came exclusively from the ward). This was a rural community without sidewalks and very few streetlights so parents drove the kids around trick-or-treating in cars for safety reasons and I think parents just stopped at houses where they knew the people well. My parents were friends with these Catholic neighbors and we stopped there. It was in the cultural heritage of this family to be very demonstrative with their feelings of affection. I remember them throwing their hands out and exclaiming how happy they were that we stopped at their house, grabbing our scary faces and kissing us on either cheek and then presenting standard size candy bars (rather than the one-bite fun size candies that were what you got everywhere else). Back when I was a kid, getting a full-size candy bar trick-or-treating was unheard of, though my kids now always find at least a few houses giving out big stuff.

We were awe-struck that they were so enthusiastic about anyone stopping and that they were giving out big candy bars. We always felt like we were in on this great secret no one else seemed to know.....that such nice people lived in that house and, probably even more important in the mind of a kid on Halloween night, that these people were giving out such great loot and everyone but us was just stupidly passing them by. I think we made their night by stopping as much as they made ours with their great addition to our stash! It's one of my favorite trick-or-treating memories from my childhood.

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Posted by: Surrender Dorothy ( )
Date: October 26, 2013 10:40PM

I got baptized on Halloween and was so worried we would get home too late for me to put on my costume and go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Obviously, I was worried about the wrong spirit(s). ;-)

I also remember when the razor blade scare was a big thing and some area hospitals offered to x-ray the kids' candy for free. I think trunk-or-treating would be a huge let-down but going to a nursing home where the old folks are so delighted to have visitors that they ooooh and ahhhhh over the kids would be a total win-win.

Don Bagley, you are a good man. I'm sure that young man remembers your kindness.

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Posted by: AngelCowgirl ( )
Date: October 27, 2013 02:38PM

This is a tough one and I think it depends on the area you live in. In our current area, we are way out in the boonies so it is impossible for my kids to trick-or-treat (unless they want to walk six miles in pitch blackness to get a handful of houses). Since the ward here holds it on a Mutual Activity night rather than Halloween, my kids enjoy it. Then on Halloween night, we usually drive them over to some more well-to-do neighborhoods where the homes are closer together and the people hand out gobs of goodies. The kids think of it as a double bonus since they get two nights of fun. But if the church T-or-T was on the same night as Halloween, I think it would be a different matter.

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Posted by: Southern ExMo ( )
Date: October 27, 2013 02:51PM

Here in the Bible Belt, most of the Protestant churches do Trunk or Treat.

But they invite ALL children, regardless of religion or race. Parents go from one church to another, and their kids hit all the local church trunk or treat events.

It's great.

Also, we live in a small town, and the local Police Department has an officer's wife who stands in front of the PD each Halloween and gives candy out to the kids. She does NOT have any power to ticket or arrest people, and everybody knows that, so folks are very comfortable driving to the PD so their kids can get candy from the local police. They will hit the PD as they drive from one Trunk or Treat event to another.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: October 27, 2013 06:41PM

The problem with trunk or treat is that the Mormons have pretty much taken it over and there is no trick or treating because no one shows up. Some other churches do it too,but everyone doesn't belong which leaves a lot of kids out. Of course everyone is invited to the ward trunk or treat,but many people don't feel comfortable with going for many reasons. Why can't they do it on another night and allow kids to go door to door? It is.perfectly safe in most neighborhoods if parents use common sense

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Posted by: Trick-or-treater ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 01:36AM

I agree with the poster who thinks it's a dumb idea to teach children to take candy from unfamiliar adults in cars in dark parking lots at night! Could this be any stupider? Maybe, having kids approach a stranger's open trunk.

Actually, most child kidnappings and molestations are not from strangers, but from somebody the child already knows!

The bishop's son tried to molest my daughter, while she was asleep in her sleeping bag at a campout. I was always being grabbed or chased or robbed on the BYU campus. IMO, an inadequately lit Mormon parking lot is the last place I would want my children to be--traffic notwithstanding.

Our neighborhood ward has its trunk-or-treat on a different night than Halloween. It is not very well attended. It's in competition with fun Halloween parties, haunted houses, school Halloween parades and carnivals, and homework on a school night. My daughter took her little kids over there, when she first moved into the neighborhood, and people thought they were non-Mormon party crashers, and were very unfriendly. They never went again, or to the Christmas party, either. Her husband is the ward clerk, but has always refused to go to any of the Mormon parties or activities, except the sports, which all have been discontinued now.

Our neighborhood is about 50% non-Mormon. Each house is unique. My son is that guy that buys those big Home Depot decorations, and various monsters and creatures are all over his yard, and in the trees, and there's a graveyard. His house attracts a lot of kids. One house has a spook alley, that the parents take their kids through. One house cooks fresh donuts for the whole neighborhood--but word is getting around, and people come from everywhere for free donuts, and there's usually a huge traffic jam in front of their house. Another house has scary sounds blasting through the neighborhood. The kids like to see the neighbors, and they like to have their costumes appreciated. Some neighbors dress up, like I do. My grandchildren know which neighbors give out full-sized candy bars, cans of pop, and treat bags. The littlest kids come early, before dark, and the teen agers come after 9:00, carrying pillow cases, and with no costumes, and they are bigger than I am.

We lived in a great trick-or-treat neighborhood in California, with lots of houses and decorations and lights. There was a neighbor who served hot cider and treats at a table in their driveway; a retired couple who had both worked for Disney and wore authentic Disney costumes of the Tasmanian devil and the Disney buzzard, and they would jump out of the shadows, and the kids would scream; a kid that rigged up a ghost that would automatically fly up a wire to the top of his roof; and an old lady who made a scary monster out of her vacuum cleaner--I mean, these things were priceless! Carloads of Mexican kids would be let out on our street, and we always would give them double treats, because they went to the extra trouble. No wonder my son became the neighborhood "Halloween guy."

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