Dr. Bill Atwood

Halloween spirit

BOO! As this weekend approaches, there will be the usual pre-Halloween parties and then the big day arrives for the kids to enjoy. Where I live, a group of parents organize a cadre of spooks, goblins, witches, cowboys, assorted monsters, and other costumed kids and drive the Tricksters around to the various homes that have called in to tell them we are interested in the festivities. It is wonderful. The kids are organized, well-behaved, polite, and they all arrive at one time. I only have to get up once to answer the door and take care of 75-80 young ones.

Halloween is a great day for kids. They get to dress up in weird costumes or pretend that they are a princess, doctor, or the latest Star Wars hero or villain. Unfortunately, some have decided to bring politics into this childhood merriment. Now parents have to worry about political correctness and heaven forbid if your child dresses up in a costume you might be offended by. I have never met a kid (pre-teen) who selected his/her costume to mock someone or to show that they hated a group. Kids select costumes because they think it’s cool, wonderful, great, awesome, or just plain fun.

During my early days, I would dress up as Mickey Mouse, hobos, cowboy, train engineer, and once I dressed up like a ghost. I did not like the ghost one because the sheet was a big pain to keep over my head with the eye holes in the right spots. Once my brother and I were considered “old enough” to trick or treat alone, our dad determined that our trick or treating days were over. It was a holiday for the youngsters.

I don’t have a problem with older kids dressing up to attend parties, but I do have a problem with 16- year-olds standing at the door begging for a piece of candy.

Carol really gets into the Halloween spirit. She will decorate the foyer of our home and have the lighting dim enough to make it eerie but bright enough to make it safe. I will have the theme music playing out a window when the caravan arrives to help set the tone.

The caravan planners place us at the end of the roster because we tend to go a little overboard. We have a witch’s caldron filled with treats and each child gets to take one handful. Whatever gets into the bag is theirs and whatever hits the floor remains mine. I will be dressed up this year as a wizard. Please don’t attack me for promoting witchcraft or sorcery. I Just happen to have a black graduation gown and a wizard’s hat from Disney’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

The kids who have come multiple years enjoy the challenge of getting as many pieces of candy and they have learned the trick of holding it palm side up. It’s fun to see the smiles and share in the glee.

Trunk or Treat will take place on Highway 49, and there will be other places handing out the stuff. We need to remember to keep this childhood joyous occasion exactly that, a childhood joyous occasion. We need to drive very carefully in neighborhoods where kids are walking from house to house. They are so excited that they tend to forget to look both ways so we must be ever alert.

If you don’t want to hand out candy, every kid I know loves coins, pencils, erasers, stickers, and little toys.

Enjoy this wonderful holiday. BOO!