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Small Talk: More trick than treat this year

I suppose things will still go bump in the night on All Hallows Eve, even though we can’t celebrate it as usual.

Yes, I am pouting just a little bit because Halloween is my favorite holiday. I have always loved dressing in costume. I get real joy seeing the young’uns from my neighborhood as they proudly show off their clever, adorable costumes. It is a cuteness overload that feeds my soul.

I have been battling in my head about how to handle the holiday this year. I don’t want to encourage any unnecessary breathing on each other, but I suspect there may still be trick-or-treaters. I’m trying to figure how to give out candy safely without an overzealous third-grader snatching it all up at once or too many little hands touching it. I’m thinking individual bags, but we will see.

After the death of my mother, to keep my dad entertained on Halloween, we began serving hot dogs. That turned into a delightful tradition. It connects me with my neighborhood, especially the parents who had no time to eat while getting kids ready to trick-or-treat. But, of course, there will be no hot dogs this year, nor, I suspect, many coming by to eat them.

As it happens, my hot dogs were not the highlight in my ’hood. We have many who decorate lavishly and gather in their driveways, anchored by my neighbors who have, for more than 30 years, decorated their garage, dressed in costume, invited friends and family, handed out big candy bars and served Hot Buttered Rum. Another has begun showing scary movies in their front yard.

I am confident it will all be back next year and I am ready to calmly but sadly pause festivities for now. But, hey, it is the perfect night for a mask.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who has found this entire year pretty spooky. Contact her at [email protected].

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