Back in the day, the word, costume, was used very loosely. You might even wear the same one a couple of years....and that was after your big brother had worn it a time or two. Such was the case with our black cat outfit. My mother made it using a McCall pattern. She called it a "panther" when he wore it, so to appeal to his manliness. Have you ever seen a panther with pink ears? It was a "black kitty" when I wore it. By the time it was passed down to me, I remember some repair work had to be done to the tail. I guess my brother stepped on his own tail one too many times. Clumsy panther.
Everybody knew where the good houses were that passed out the awesome candy...... the Bottle Caps, peanut butter logs, Sugar Daddies, and tiny Lifesaver rolls. Then there were those houses that you'd come to expect nothing more than an apple or some old peppermint out of the coffee table candy dish or even worse.....homemade popcorn balls. You could get homemade junk any ol' time.....this was a night for store bought delights with legit wrappers and artificial colors. Halloween was for stained teeth and red tongues.
When we got home, we'd dump all the candy out on the floor, organize it into categories, and our mother would go through it carefully. Back in the 70's, parents didn't care if you wore a seat belt, rode your bike without a helmet or if you smoked candy cigarettes, but they would snatch loosely wrapped candy out of your little fingers so fast it would make your head spin. As far as my Mama was concerned, all apples had razor blades or needles in them and loosely wrapped candy had been dipped in lethal poison that would cause you to die a slow and painful death. These were confiscated right off the bat.
I enjoyed Halloween so much as a child that I really had fun when my children came along. I loved getting my their costumes together. Of course, their trick or treat time was before the days of Pinterest, so you had to come up with your own ideas. Over the years, we've had a pumpkin, Superman, a cowboy, a puppy, a princess, a queen, a storm trooper, Miss America, a football player, Bob the Builder, a pirate, the creature from the Black Lagoon, Baby Bop, Jasmine, macaroni and cheese, Spiderman, a bride, a red M&M, a fireman, Darth Vader, and Mulan. My goodness, when you write it out like that, it seems like we must have trick or treated for 25 years.
And Halloween has never been complete until we've watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. How can a cartoon released in 1966 never lose its appeal? 25 minutes of pure film genius, I tell you. To this day, it still gets me when Sally has realized that she's missed her trick or treats by sitting out in that field with Linus. Every year, I just wanted to yell at the TV....."no, Sally....don't go"! For 48 years now, it's never turned out well for her.