Genealogy & Halloween

An Idea for YOUR Genealogy & Halloween

Write a memory or several memories of going Trick or Treatin’ when you were a child.

If the memory is a good one & your children or grandchildren are small, share the memory with them. NOW!

If the memory is not so wonderful, write it anyway and share with your children or older grandchildren.

A Genealogy Halloween Story Example:

I was a kid when there were 5 & dime stores (Remember those!). Buying a costume! Are you kidding!!! My mother was a fabulous seamstress but time was not given to sewing a “Princess” or any other costume. But it wasn’t the TIME involved — it was the money. Like most people in our area, money spent on something you wore for literally less than an hour on Halloween night simply wasn’t even considered.

I lived on a farm so I got to go to maybe 5 or 6 close neighbors with my parents driving me. Halloween ceased for me at age 11 or 12 as I was “too old”. I was a ghost when I was little and a gypsy the last couple of years. I liked the gypsy best since I got to wear a lot of Mother’s jewelry and a pretend earring hanging off my ear. And I think a little lipstick. Compare THAT to being a ghost! Of COURSE I liked the gypsy costume best!

Churches & schools in “ye olden days” didn’t have Trick or Trunk events. It was a RARE thing to get store-bought candy. People made their own treats. I remember helping my mother make delicious caramel popcorn balls. I do remember one neighbor I always went to see — they lived right up the road. But she was a horrible cook so I always hoped I could say “Trick or Treat” and then “Thank You” and wouldn’t be pressed to eat the treat right then. “Just take a bite!” <Shudder>

A fairly fancy outhouse.
A fairly fancy outhouse.

Now the “big boys” celebrated Halloween differently and usually got into a bit of trouble for their actions. On the morning after Halloween, outhouses were found on top of sheds or barns or even country schoolhouses.  Considered cool by the boys — but sometimes those outhouses were still in use!

The one memory that sticks in my mind was when some of these “big boys” decided that stealing watermelons (I suspect it was pumpkins but I remember watermelons.) from a farmer’s huge patch and smashing them in the field was great fun. THAT got a dimmer view by the adults. As a kid, I couldn’t understand why. It seemed to me that the outhouses on top of a school or shed would be hard to get down. And Phew! Stink! What I didn’t understand was that watermelon [pumpkin] destruction cost that farmer MONEY as he had planned to sell almost all of them.

Is the above for my grandchildren?
Not quite. 5 & dime? They have no IDEA what that is. They were born in the days of Walmart, Target and Kmart. Outhouses? I’m wondering if they would read outhouse as a typo as in “out [of the] house”. Not sure a picture would explain it either.

The above needs editing to make it more interesting to younger readers. But the idea is to tell them how Halloween was back in those ancient years :-). Remember we didn’t have to worry about people putting dangerous or yucky stuff in our treats either. Well — except for that one bad-cook neighbor…

Is the above for my own grown children — Still not quite. I wrote the above for YOU, the genealogy reader. For my children I would personalize it even more. Perhaps add a memory of creating THEIR costumes which I have to tell you beat my childhood ghost & gypsy outfits! Remind them that how long they USED their favorites. About the one great Halloween party we went to at our children and EVERYONE — even the pastor & his wife — was in costume. Oh — and one more thing, I would add the exact locations of where I grew up. Maybe pictures as well.

What kind of memories can you create — right now — for YOUR family? Oh and one more thing…I just might point out to them in a postscript that what you have just shared with them is a “genealogy story”.

This post is (or will be soon) on the author’s blog.
I wrote it for the NEAGS site first.
~ Lynda

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