Halloween dying in Newton?
Last night I drove from our borderline home to Needham Street in Newton Highlands, via Cherry, West Newton hill, and Walnut, and on the way instructed my daughter to keep an eye peeled for interesting Halloween decorations. On Cherry there were a slew of houses that were decorated with witches, inflated pumpkins, lights, and other paraphernalia. West Newton hill had a couple scarecrows, but once we passed Comm Ave. the spirit seemed to fade, with the exception of a fake graveyard on someone's lawn on Walnut near Newton Highlands, and a Frankenstein on the approach to Needham Street.
I heard the Underwood elementary school banned Halloween celebrations for some reason -- too pagan? Too materialistic?
But I think there's another trend at work here: the decline of families with kids in many Newton neighborhoods. My parents' place near West Newton Square hardly gets any kids for Halloween, and very few young kids live on the adjacent side street anymore. Young families can't afford to live there, and many couples who had kids in the 70s, 80s, and 90s (my parents included) want to stay where they are.
In our borderline neighborhood, on the other hand, the doorbell rings at least 20 times on Halloween. I have seen cars driving up and dropping off kids from other neighborhoods. The houses are more closely spaced, and there are lots of two family houses, and lots of other kids -- good pickings for our little ghosts, superheroes, and goblins.
We are taking our kids out with neighbors' kids from both sides of the border, and look forward to continuing the tradition. The kids love it, it brings back good memories for us, and we get to meet neighbors we seldom see or talk with otherwise.
And it gives us a chance to worship Satan, and instill in our children a sense of respect for the Dark Lord. ... mu ha ha ha ha