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Will treats on hand match the guests at the door?

Joyce Walter writes about Halloween and tasty treats
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

The dilemma began back in August when we first started seeing boxes of assorted Halloween treats in local stores.

With all that is going on with a miserable pandemic, and the uncertainty of when normal and traditional activities would be allowed, shoppers of mostly adult years wondered if they should buy a box or two in August, just in case there was a shortage closer to the actual date of trick or treating.

Shoppers with a sweet tooth easily gave in to the marketing campaigns and arrived home with the treasures of early treats, knowing definitely those 32 assorted chocolate bars would be devoured long before Oct. 31.

And so it continued, through August and September and October — treats came in and treats disappeared, in and out, in and out, regardless of traditions that suggest it is better to give than to eat it all without sharing with those who might come to the door.

While we do have some treats available for Oct. 31, there is no guarantee anyone will ring our doorbell that evening. We live on a street that has never produced hordes of children looking for hits of sugar. With a church and a school on the opposite site of the street, discerning Halloweeners figured out they would get more treats if they visited residential areas with houses on both sides of the street.

That might be a correct assumption, but over the years they have missed out on excellent treats being offered on the east side of our block — but leaving them for consumption by the householder(s).

Despite the uncertainty of house-to-house collection this year, the spirit and excitement of Halloween is evident in the city. Just drive along most streets and see the numerous yards decorated with ghosts, goblins, witches and other creatures that gawkers of my generation will have difficulty identifying. 

Shop keepers are happy with this surge in Halloween creepiness, brought about by folks who are sick and tired of staying home and being deprived of regular activities. Rather than whining, they have decided to do something for the community and have put their imaginations to work for the pleasure, or horror, of others.

I’m perfectly happy that in my trickster days no one in our community ever went beyond jack-o-lanterns as the main Halloween decor. They were ugly enough to deter most of us from bringing forth tricks in retaliation for receiving only two or three candy kisses rather than a handful.

It took artistic talent to dig out the insides of the home-grown pumpkins, then to carve eyes, noses and mouths, being careful not to leave blood stains on the finished product. Once the candle was anchored inside and lit, our Halloween decorations were complete. They were not just one-night wonders. No-suree. They were retained until they shrivelled and emitted an odd odour of dying vegetable.

So we await the evening of Oct. 31 to see who comes calling. An outside light turned on means “please stop for a treat.” No light means “sorry, we’ve eaten all the treats. Better luck next year.”

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  

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