Until this year, we really didn't have much reason to celebrate Halloween (i.e. We didn't have kids old enough to grasp the concept of free candy).
Just before going out for some trick-or-treating, Isabelle, our little Angel (costumed and otherwise), decided to projectile vomit all over the hallway of our flat. Funny... I thought that happened after the excessive candy ingestion. So Gabrielle and I joined some of the neighborhood kids for a little door-to-door begging.
We discovered, however, that it's not begging at all. There was none of this ring the doorbell, say 'trick-or-treat,' and get a free handout, no. The children are invited in - sometimes as far as into the living room, but usually into the entry way - and asked to perform their 'party piece,' which may be anything from a song, a dance, or a joke. These kids have to work for their treats.
This is really a very cool tradition. It fosters deeper connection within the neighborhood. After living in our new flat for exactly a month, Halloween couldn't have come at a better time. We've already been in our neighbors' flats. We've met them in more intimate ways than just a passing hello on the street. And I got to show off my kid... the one not covered in puke, for now.
For a holiday that catches a lot of flack from some, and is an excuse to be a menace to a few (our flat was also egged by some local youths that decided to hit just about every flat on our block), and is just a downright celebration of evil to others, our first experience trick or treating proved to be a great way to meet our neighbors, and have some good clean fun.