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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

13 Days of Halloween - Trunk or Treat

I'm not sure when the whole Trunk or Treat thing started.  I'm guessing it was shortly after 9/11, because I remember everyone was afraid to let their kids go trick-or-treating in neighborhoods, and they were taking them to the mall, or to private parties. 

Trunk or Treats are, in my experience, usually put on by churches, but I think some schools also do it.  In case you've never been to one, here's how it works.  Everyone parks their cars in one lot, and the lot is then roped off, so that you don't have to worry about traffic and the kids can run freely from car to car.  This is much safer than kids running up and down residential streets, like they do with traditional trick or treating, with traffic or people backing out of their driveways.  Everyone opens their trunk, decorates the trunk and/or their whole car, and the kids go from car to car, trick or treating. 

Last night was my church's trunk or treat event.  It was a blast!  In addition to the decorated cars, we also had carnival games like a ring toss, cake walk, etc. and food.  That would be me, in the above picture, dressed as The Grey Lady (a common title for a female ghost) standing in front of my haunted abode.  I took a piece of cardboard from a TV box and, using poster paint, painted the house onto it.  Then I cut out the windows, so that the light from the trunk would shine through the windows.  The kids had to reach through the front door to get a piece of candy.  Even though there wasn't anything in the trunk to get them, I'd hint that something might get them, so they'd better be quick. (I only did this with the older kids.)  Funny how our own imaginations can give us the biggest fright.

I also had a game for them to play; a trick in order to get the treat.  They had to throw three squishy balls into the jack-o-lantern's mouth. (You can see it to the right of the photo.)  It was just a box that I also painted with poster paints, then cut the mouth out.  I sat the box on a folding chair so it would be at the right height.  I was surprised at how much this was a hit with the kids.  Although, maybe it was because I was hamming it up, in character, and talking about how my jack-o-lantern was hungry and needed to be fed...  We also played creepy Halloween music through our car speakers to set the mood. Again, it was a lot of fun.  In fact, I think I had just as much fun as the kids did.

Now I know this is going to surprise you, (Ha!), but when it comes to Halloween, I'm usually a traditionalist.  When I first heard of Trunk or Treat, I reacted thusly: "No, no no. Trick or treating is done door to door! Where's the fun in going from car to car? How can walking up to a car replace knocking on the door of a spooky dark house, not knowing who is going to open the door?"  But having experienced a couple of Trunk or Treats now, I'd have to say, they're growing on me.  It's nice that it's a controlled, safe environment, but I think my favorite aspect of it, is that I get to celebrate trick or treating and Halloween with 60+ of my closest friends and acquaintances.  I remember when I was little, my parents would drive me all over the neighborhood, just so I could trick or treat at our friends' houses, so they could see my costume, etc.  Well, now all your friends are just one or two parking spaces away!

What do you think?  Do you prefer Trunk or Treat over the traditional door-to-door approach? 

8 comments:

Laura said...

I'm waiting for you to tell me!

D.L. White said...

D'oh! What happened to my post!?!? Argh! Curse you, Ghost in the Machine! Guess I'll have to re-write it when I get home. Err...

D.L. White said...

Okay - the content of the post is back up...

Laura said...

I don't know exactly when Trunk or Treat started but my mom said they had one when they lived in Boston and that was in 2000. I believe the tradition was started by churches who were concerned about the safety of door-to-door trick or treating.

Personally, I view the Trunk or Treat at our church as a party and not a replacement for Halloween trick or treating and I don't think we'll stop doing the traditional door-to-door knocking until the kids get turned down for being too old. I enjoy going with the kids and seeing how excited they are to say "trick or treat", which they didn't really do at the Trunk or Treat party. I also love seeing all the neighborhood kids walking up and down the streets... it's so nostalgic and I'm all about that.

By the way, your ghost costume and haunted car were my favorite at this year's Trunk or Treat. I showed my mother the pics and told her how awesome you were with the character and all... it was the perfect Halloween experience. :)

My second favorite car was the Jessop's with their homemade scarecrows and harvest baskets. They were awesome.

chandy said...

Davina, you never cease to impress me with your creativity and willingness to participate fully, no matter how much it requires of you! You just don't do anything half-way! I love your 'trick for the treat' game idea, and you look very spooky in your costume!

Great job!

D.L. White said...

@Laura - I love the nostalgia of trick-or-treating. I hope Trunk or Treat parties don't replace it or phase it out. This year we only had maybe 15 or 20 trick or treaters come to our door, which is really low for our neighborhood. It made me sad. :(

@Chandy - Aww... thank you for the compliment. It's easy to do when it's something I enjoy so much. :)

hyacinthinemoon said...

Your costume is wonderful and you look very spooky. I loved your hanuted trunk house and the pumpkin trick idea. I think I want to try to get this kind of activity going at my church next year. That would be so fun! Either that or I am going to YOUR trunk or Treat with my kids next year. :)

D.L. White said...

@Kat - We definitely need to do Halloween together again (even if it's not a party). In the meantime, you'll have to google Trunk or Treat - people come up with some pretty creative ways to decorate their cars!