A Halloween Do-Over

November 12, 2012 in Parenting

Hurricane Sandy blew in two days before Halloween and with it, took many of our trees, along with power in the majority of our community. With numerous downed electrical lines, spooky dark streets and trees blocking roads, trick-or-treating would have been dangerous. The Village cancelled Halloween, promising to re-schedule it at a later date.  We spent that night visiting with friends who lived way on the other side of town, and who miraculously had power, as did most of their neighbors.  These residents ignored the town’s cancellation and decided to carry on as if a storm never decimated our community. So, my kids were able to trick-or-treat on a few select streets and came back with their usual bag of Snickers and Kit Kats.  But still, Halloween felt different this year, mainly because I knew that on our side of town, the streets were dark and depressing, with nary a costume in sight. I knew that people on our street were huddling inside, using flashlights to see their food, and feeling the fall chill seep into their homes.

Our village kept its promise and Halloween was re-scheduled for this past Friday November 9th from 4-6pm. Even though some of our residents were still without power, including neighbors on our very own street, I was glad the town was moving forward with a Halloween Do-Over and doing something for our children who desperately needed to be back to their normal routines and rituals. However, I worried that distracted residents would not participate and hand out candy or that the kids were “over” Halloween and already thinking about their Christmas lists.

But then I snapped out of it. Who was I kidding?! This was a holiday all about candy! And sure enough, at 4:00pm on the dot, our doorbell started ringing. An adorable Elmo came to our door, probably his very first Halloween, and he had that starry-eyed look of wonder and joy as a smiling mom (me) offered him an assortment of candy. His mom said to me, “I’m so glad they are doing this.” Choking back the tears I said, “me too.”

I offered my boys the opportunity to trick-or-treat again, but they all declined, preferring to hand out the candy with me. They seemed to enjoy stationing themselves “behind the scenes” this time and being part of the community that wanted this to happen for the mini Elmos and tiny princesses. Some of the boys’ friends came to our door to trick-or-treat, but they still wanted to stay at home and be part of the greeting committee. I was proud of my youngest son who said, “No, I don’t want to trick-or-treat. I already got candy when we went last time. I don’t need to go again.” I thought that was just his ploy to stay inside and play Xbox, but he answered the door with me every time, eagerly offering our candy bowl with the scary rubber hand in the middle, which creaked, “Happy Halloween” every time someone reached in.

On “normal’ Halloweens, our neighborhood is packed with trick-or-treaters and I always need to buy an obscene amount of candy to make sure I don’t run out.  For this year’s “do-over” I worried that we wouldn’t get our usual traffic and I’d be left eating Milky Ways for months. Once again, my worry was short-lived, as we had a steady flow of trick-or-treaters for the two-hour window. My only other concern was what to say to our little costumed visitors. At first I said, “Happy Halloween – Again!” Then, I realized it wasn’t “again.” This was it, their only Halloween this year. So then I came up with, “Happy Halloween #2,” but again that didn’t quite fit. I also tried, “Happy Halloween Do-Over” (my personal favorite), but that seemed to go right over their little masked heads.  So I finally settled on the only phrase that could work on that brisk, November 9th evening: “Happy Halloween!”

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Janine Huldie November 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Oh great post Emily and so glad the kids in your neighborhood were allowed a do-over. We didn’t need one, because we did get to Trick-or-Treat even with no power, but that was so very nice that your town did that for all the kids. Just glad the nightmare is over and don’t want to go through that again anytime soon.


ohboymom November 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Yes, it’s one of the things I love about our community — it’s very family-oriented and Halloween is always a big deal around here so I knew the village would come through with a do-over. And I agree, hope to not go through that nightmare again any time soon!


Amy November 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I’m glad that your town did this! It’s so hard to miss Halloween. My brother drove all the way to our house (an hour) so his son could trick-or-treat with my girls because their area (Portchester) was a disaster. Hope everything gets back to normal for you and your neighbors soon. It always takes me a week or so to get back on track after so much time without power. (We were out 9 days last year following the freak snow storm and 5 after Irene blew through).


ohboymom November 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

You are right about needing a week to get back on track after losing power for that long. I think I’m finally caught up on laundry, food shopping, and paying bills…when they rescheduled Halloween, it felt too soon since some people were still without power, but it seemed to work out for the majority.


Julie DeNeen November 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

This is terrible, but I think I was the only mom in CT who was happy our town cancelled. I didn’t have costumes for my kids!!! So we just carved our pumpkin, went out to dinner, and ate about three bags of candy together afterwards.


ohboymom November 13, 2012 at 1:18 am

Julie, That doesn’t sound terrible at all (believe me, I was happy to be off the hook to not carve a pumpkin on the day of Halloween). It sounds like you had a lovely, cozy Halloween with your family, especially eating those bags of candy!:)


Cari Lorine November 12, 2012 at 10:47 pm

It sounds like you live in a fantastic community! It’s so sweet to hear about everyone participating for the kids. And I commend you for raising such good boys! It takes quite a bit of character for kids to turn down free candy!! :) Great post!


ohboymom November 13, 2012 at 1:19 am

Thanks Cari, it was a nice do-over, but I will say my boys did surprise me that night. I’m not sure I could have turned down a 2nd night of trick-or-treating!


Cyndi November 13, 2012 at 2:30 am

Aww, how endearing. The boys seemed like they learned a really cool lesson about helping out others in the community, too. :)


ohboymom November 13, 2012 at 2:33 am

Thanks Cyndi, I hope so…either that or they were plotting to eat all the leftover candy after handing it out.:)


Melanie November 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm

That’s awesome! I’m so glad you got to celebrate Halloween – even if it was a bit later. :)


ohboymom November 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Thanks Melanie, Yes, in this case the phrase, “better late than never” definitely applied.:)


Rich Rumple November 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Emily, so many of the youngsters didn’t care what day it was. All they knew was that it was their chance to celebrate and get the energy food to keep parents awake all night! I know it had to make you feel great seeing their smiles after having been through so much. It’s funny how we, as adults, forget how important some things are to our kids. Btw, your kids showed great maturity, as you know. You’ve got to be proud! Great post!


ohboymom November 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Thanks Rich and so true how sometimes adults lose sight of what is important to our kids…in this case, I think BOTH the adults and kids needed the Halloween Do-Over.


Roshni November 16, 2012 at 12:42 am

Trying to catch up on my blog reading and finally made it to your blog!! So glad that you finally all had your Halloween!! It sounds like a lot of fun! Next time, I should get that creepy hand too!!


ohboymom November 16, 2012 at 2:52 am

Thanks Roshni and yes the creepy hand is fun though the little kids are sometimes too afraid to reach in the bowl and take the candy!


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