As a kid All Hallow’s Eve, better known as Halloween, my nights of costume-infused mayhem used to involve a party at a friend’s house in the suburbs with pizza for dinner and trick or treating for our dessert. The candy bars were always enormous and I had friends to trade candy with before I went home. When I was a freshman in high school, my father ended the trick or treating tradition and I was pulled into the job of handing out candy while hanging out with friends or watching Halloween-themed movies. This abrupt change may have occurred because of my dad worrying about what kids my age would get up to with little supervision, but who knows.
As a young adult at college I didn’t have the constraint of a parental figure keeping me in at night. So all of a sudden, my version of Halloween changed significantly. I was invited to parties that were an excuse to drink, costume get-togethers with friends who lived off campus, and events on campus that were made to entertain the thousands of young adults that call this town home. Of course, staying home with a movie and passing out candy was still an option if I so chose to do so.
For myself personally, I didn’t really care how my evenings changed for that one night of the year because I was more interested in hanging out with friends than causing mayhem. Especially since I live in the Pacific Northwest. Halloween here is usually a pretty cold night of the year, which means that most costumes involve jackets over them if they are store bought. Even if they aren’t store bought it was all too frequent that I’d want to find a way to involve a jacket that I could put on or take off depending where my evening took me.
Honestly the largest change for myself over the years has been the costumes I’ve been able to get. I was raised by a single father so most of my costumes were store bought. When I became a young adult and started to go out again I had the money to create my own costumes that weren’t just Pacific Northwest appropriate but also were versatile enough to work in cold or warm situations. This not only made the holiday more enjoyable for me, but it also meant that I got to enjoy the holiday for longer than just one night. Instead, I got to enjoy the holiday for almost the whole month while I looked for random pieces of that nights outfit in local thrift shops, talked to friends about how I was going to pull said costume together, and of course the conversations weeks prior of how my friends and I were going to spend the night together. Even if it meant finishing a 25 page paper before I actually needed to, just so I would be able to enjoy my evening without worrying about what I had to do the day afterward.