My Dad particularly disliked Halloween and always referred to it as 'imported Yankee twaddle.' I tend to go along with him with this sentiment - when exactly did Halloween get to be so big in the UK? When I was a child there was no such thing as trick or treat - though there was a local ghost story about a statue of a woman that stands on top of an old barn (Sally on the Barn) who would come to life and walk the surrounding fields every Halloween. It used to scare me half to death as a child (but then, I was a very easily scared child! Just ask my sister, who would torment me with shouting out things like 'Cybermen' (my personal Dr Who monster bete noir) or 'Green Noah' (a particularly scary Jackanory story that I hated) everytime I went upstairs on my own!!)
There is something I very much dislike about trick or treating - like it's begging but with menaces. At least with the old 'Penny for the Guy' routine (and surely Guy Fawkes night is what we should be 'celebrating' at this time of year - being English and all that) children had to have made a decent looking guy before adults would cough up any money (and they had to sit around on freezing cold pavements for hours on end to get any decent takings, too.) When I was in Switzerland the other week, I noticed signs of Halloween creeping in there as well - and Halloween was a totally unknown concept in that country until very recently. No doubt it's all down to 'globalisation!!'
I doubt we'll get many trick or treaters bothering us this evening - we rarely do - but those that do ring the bell will get rather slim pickings here. I have wrapped up some pink and white marshmallows in white kitchen roll, secured them with elastic bands (courtesy of the elastic-band dropping local postie) and drawn some ghost faces on them. They're nothing wonderful but I'm darned if I'm going to lash out on buying a bag of Cadbury's mini chocolates at an extortionate price just on the off chance that some kid in a fright mask will ring the bell (especially as I can't eat up the chocolate that's left over these days due to ye olde gall bladder problem!!) If any more than four children come to our door, then they'll have to make do with an apple or a banana. Not sure they'd see that as a 'treat'!!