See, we just don't have the same enthusiasm for 'Trick or Treating' in Jolly Old England. Mind you, with communication through twitter and facebook telling every child under the age of 18 how to get free candy, it is catching on rapidly. Personally, I think it's a ploy by dentists to drum up business, judging by the sheer volume of chocolate, lollipops, and all sweets in between that landed in my granddaughter's 'pumpkin' basket. The child could be on a suger high for months! There is a fine line between rationing out the goodies, and being a real kill joy; so I have found that in order to prevent the child from having the candy version of delerium tremens, it is easier to eat the stuff myself. I have rationalised this to myself as saving little teeth from decay, but I live in fear and trembling of being caught with my hand in the pumpkin, so to speak.
Here in the sunshine state, it's a lot easier to participate. The child, in cute costume, holds out receptacle, utters the password 'Trick or Treat', and vast amounts of the sweet stuff cascades into the basket. Most participating families actually make quite a party out of the whole event. Chairs are set up in the driveway, and huge pots of goodies are ready to be dispensed to visiting vampires, super heroes, ninjas and a goodly percentage of princesses. Downside is that if one is a chaperone, the most one is likely to get is a number of free mosquito bites. I would recommend wearing a protective costume with lots of flowing skirts or suits of armour, as the witching hour is also the time that the local 'beasties' have a feeding frenzy.
I suppose that the reason this event fails somewhat in the old country is that the weather is not of the most clement. It is hard to keep cheerful during the schlepp round houses when torrential rain is pouring down the neck of your Mary Poppins costume, umbrella or not, while small person is trying to keep the rain out of the candy basket.
Hats are off to those kids that will be entrepreneurs in years to come. Candy baskets? I don't think so! These days, many kids use huge trash can liners, or pillow cases. No wonder the chaperones were riding on golf carts - the sheer tonage of candy received by any one goblin or equivalent - requires heavy duty transportation. It's enough to make dentists lick their lips.....and that's not because they can taste the candy, either.