We’ve survived another Halloween. We purchased enough candy to feed the hordes. We put up the graveyard on the front lawn and the Headless Horseman in the front window. Dracula and our many spiders were well in evidence. The dogs were barricaded from the entryway, so as not to terrify the visiting ghouls and goblins. And we did all we could to make our visitors feel welcome.
As the evening wore on, I checked in online. One restaurant offered a discount for those wanting to escape the trick or treaters. People on social media compared numbers of those knocking at their doors. And I began to ponder those who feel the need to escape and those who complain.
I live in a neighborhood that is safe for the little ghosts and witches who want to run up and down the sidewalks, knocking on strangers’ doors. That means we not only host our own neighborhood kids, we host those whose parents drive in and drop them off. Or those whose parents drive in, look for porch lights that are on, unload the entire carload, run to the front door, load up their buckets and bags, and then run back to the car to drive on to the next lit house.
Yes, I live in THAT neighborhood. I have for many years and I’ve lived in other neighborhoods like it in other cities for most of my life.
I’ve had friends and neighbors who have complained, over the years, about having to buy candy for kids who are not their neighborhood kids. I’ve known people who have refused to give treats to anyone they do not know, leaving their porch lights turned off on All Hallow’s Eve, gifting their friends earlier in the day. But, somewhere along the line, I had an epiphany…
I am so incredibly fortunate to live in that kind of neighborhood. I’m so very thankful that I’ve been able to live in places that are considered safe enough for kids to run around, sometimes unaccompanied by adults. I love it that kids can run amok and have fun and just be silly kids and ask for candy. Just because it’s Halloween. And I’m so very thankful when they knock on my door.
I’ve not always lived in places where that has been possible. And, when I did not, I was always a bit sad. And so, whenever I’m stocking up on bag after bag of Halloween candy, I remember those days. And I think of those kids who currently live in those situations who just may be visiting my home.
We’ve survived, nay, celebrated another Halloween. And I’m so very grateful. Because my neighborhood welcomed so many families with graciousness, humor, hospitality, and porch lights a blazing.