A family van pulled up outside the front of our house on Halloween night in 2020. A tiny fairy, dressed in white, leaped from the van completely beside herself, jumping up and down and waving at us in our living room window. She and her buddies ran to the goodie tray, picked something, and ran back again pausing to wave again before piling back into the van.
Generations of children have enjoyed Halloween over the years and perhaps the planning of costumes took priority in their lives even when their worlds seem to be falling apart.
For example, the children dressed in costumes depicting soldiers and nurses during World War 1 –
While during World War 2, the costumes became a little more intricate like this young boy dressed as an airplane –
Every year, I dusted off the sewing machine and happily pursued my daughter’s Halloween costume project. I especially remember the cat costume and the dalmatian (Walt Disney’s 101) costume as two of her favourites which were enjoyed time and time again afterward as part of the “dress-up” box.
In 2020, the whole world was held hostage by the Coronavirus. Halloween became a real challenge to those who wanted to celebrate the children’s special night. You really had to use your imagination if you wanted to distribute candy to the “trick-or-treaters”. Some folks even invented cardboard chutes that delivered candy to the children safely distanced from their front doors.
But we had something else in mind.
Our grandkids in England spent the evening safely at home in costumes with a feast of ghoulish fajitas, carved “jack-o-latern” red peppers and witches fingers for dinner with “vampire teeth cookies” for dessert. Their photos inspired us to make something special happen for our local children daring to go door-to-door during the pandemic.
We set up our display at the end of the driveway on Halloween afternoon. Our painted pumpkin displayed high on a stool and, a little lower down at kiddie height, a small table with a goodie tray filled with chocolate bars and chips and a sign inviting the children to help themselves.
As the final touch, we brought out a tall double lamp and plugged it into the house outlet with a long extension cord. The upper lamp pointed towards the sky and the lower lamp aimed directly on the pumpkin and candy.
I proudly posted a photo of our Halloween setup on social media. “Is this an all-you-can-eat buffet?” commented someone jokingly. Perhaps, but that would depend on if the children were greedy or not. If the first child emptied the tray into their bag then it would be lights out for the rest of the night.
But that did not happen.
A steady stream of neighbourhood children on foot were the first to stop by. Their mothers gently urging them to only take a couple treats. Then they happily skipped away after a quick wave in thanks.
After a few hours, my husband checked on the candy supply and reported that we still had half our stash left.
Near the end of the evening, another van pulled up filled with slightly older kids. Again they all waved their thanks to us in the window after helping themselves.
We both became quite emotional every time a child waved back at us, and during those moments, everything seemed right in the world.
At the end of the evening, we were delightfully surprised to find a single bag of chips left on the tray. No one was greedy afterall.
Everyone had left something for the next person.
And for one magical evening children and adults alike could forget what was going on in the world.
I still smile whenever I think of that tiny fairy.