Opinion: Halloween not so scary

There was a time when Halloween and the Nov. 1 holiday, Dios de las Muertos, Day of the Dead, were the scariest days of the year. Considering we are now approaching the second anniversary of the COVID-19 Pandemic, these celebrations seem tame by comparison.


According to Yahoo, Halloween is a celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31. It begins the three-day observance of All Hallowtide, the time of year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, martyrs, and all the faithful departed. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, decorating and carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns.


Día de los Muertos originated in ancient Mesoamerica (Mexico and northern Central America) where indigenous groups, including Aztec, Maya and Toltec, had specific times when they commemorated their loved ones who had passed away.


During my childhood our parents turned us loose in our neighborhoods to trick-or-treat without worrying about us too much. Since I lived, what was then out in the country, I would either meet up with my cousins, Kary Kirk and Lori Woody, who lived on Fresno Street, or Jeff Dal Cerro, who lived on South Street.


I vividly remember going house to house and coming home with a huge sack of treats. In addition to store-bought candy, we received popcorn balls, cookies and other home baked snacks. Some people even passed out fresh fruit that we were not nearly as excited to receive. Unfortunately, times have changed and homemade treats from strangers have been deemed unsafe.


As a kid on Lake Street, we would go to Joe Vickers’s Store where he passed out the same candy we bought from him all year. As a little chubby kid, one of my fondest memories was taking 25 cents to the Sure Save Market, owned by the family of my classmate Wayland Chu, and buying enough penny candy to last several days.


Imagine taking a Pixie Stick, which was a straw filled with a powdered candy similar to Kool-Aid and biting the end of a licorice stick and filling it with pixie dust. Both sweet and sour made for an excellent taste, or so I thought at the time.


Now the thought of it is fairly nauseating. Many people dislike black licorice. I have always been fond of the taste. We also had purple and red licorice. Red Vines are still available, but I haven’t seen the purple variety in a long time.


When we were first married, we lived in the Dixieland area and were lucky if we got one or two neighbor kids ring our bell. When we sold the ranch and eventually settled in Parkwood, we would often have 200 or even 300 trick-or-treaters.


For a couple of years, we lived in gated communities and again only saw our neighbor’s kids. We moved into another gated community in November last year so I am not sure how many ghosts and goblins to expect come Sunday night. I bought a big bag of assorted chocolate just in case!


If you’re going to a Halloween party this weekend, please select a designated driver. A DUI can cost more than $10,000. Ending up in the bucket is a very sad way to end Halloween evening!


Long days and pleasant nights, have a blessed weekend.


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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.