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Reverse Halloween

Halloween as a rural child meant we would go trick-or-treating around the country neighbourhood. Eventually we would all end up at the same home for an impromptu party. This was a home where an older brother and sister lived. She would bake all kinds of things as well as buy some treats for the neighbour kids who always showed up there. Their dining room table would be full of all kinds of goodies by the time we arrived, and we would eat and visit there until it was time to go home (with extra treats in our bags of course).

Years ago before we had our own children, I used to prepare special baking and treats in preparation for Halloween for our nieces and nephews who lived nearby. As they got older they didn’t come by anymore and the extension of a tradition temporarily ended with them. With our own children we go to town like most others and use it as an evening of short visits to many people we know. We explained to our kids that it is an evening of fun, dressing up and speed visiting – not getting as much candy as possible. I always felt a little guilty about not giving anything back as no one comes to our house for treats anymore.

A few years ago I decided to try something different which I call Reverse Halloween. When we go to town we take goodies with us and give homemade treats to those we visit. It’s enough for each household to enjoy (whether one person or five lives there). I pack the items up according to a list of where we plan to stop that evening. It’s fun to see the surprise on peoples’ faces when they receive their treat. It has become a new fun family tradition. The kids often help with decorating if I make something that requires it. So far we have made cinnamon rolls with orange icing to look like pumpkins, sugar cookies decorated as jack-o’-lanterns and mini multi-grain breads. I try to come up with something new each year.

– Michelle Buhler writes from Boissevain, Manitoba

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