Happy Halloween. We’re getting ready to go over to my sister Leisha’s house in about an hour. It is becoming a tradition. This will be the third or fourth year we’ve gone over there. Mom, Dad, and my other sister Vanessa go over as well. The kids show off their costumes and we have some pizza. Last year, my kids Jacob and Jillian, and Jacob’s friend Cameron went trick or treating around the neighborhood. Leisha lives in a upscale neighborhood so, in addition to the candy being better, there are fewer safety issues. This year, Jill is going as a witch, and Jacob is going as a Chief’s fan. We’re bring along Cameron again and also another one of Jacob’s friends, Breanna. Jill is 9 years old, and Jacob and his gang are 11 years old. We’ve only got a good couple of years of costumes and trick-or-treating left before they get “too mature” for this so I plan to take lots of pictures. (Which I will post on my other website http://www.geocities.com/tdouthat). Our neighborhood has gained a recent influx of smaller children, so I will get to hand out some candy in the next few minutes since it is already starting to get dark. We’ll be leaving just in time to miss the obnoxious older kids who don’t even bother with costumes anymore. I’ve been seeing a lot more of that in the last few years. Older kids in their early teens who rove around in packs of 4 or 5 with maybe 2 masks among them just going door-to-door for candy without even bothering with the formalities of the season. I heard on the radio today that Halloween was becoming a big holiday in Europe now. I had been under the impression that Halloween was an old Catholic holiday (All Hallow Saint’s Eve) that had been perverted over the centuries into the celebration of the macabre that we have now. I wasn’t aware that trick-or-treating and costumes was a uniquely American tradition that we’ve taken to exporting. Mexico has the Day of the Dead, that I have to admit I learned about from the Disney Channel’s Lizzie Maguire, so I assumed that all European-descended cultures had some version of Halloween. Too bad I missed the whole story and just heard the preview for it. Although, I did also see an article about the French trying to de-Americanize the holiday that had been commercialized about 5 years ago. I hear the first kids at the door, so time to go.