11 Ways Halloween Is Completely Different Now From What It Was in the 1980s
Back in the days of the character costumes complete with matching plastic masks that you could barely see or breathe in — better known as the 1980s — Halloween was a pretty different experience for kids. When you take away the social media pressure for perfection and the never-ending snapshots as proof of how spooktacular you made every detail, this beloved Fall holiday has also evolved in many other ways into the celebration that kids know today. From spending way more money on unique store-bought looks than any other generation could even comprehend to dedicating months planning the perfect pumpkin-inspired food and décor, these are the 11 major ways that things have definitely changed.
Store-bought Halloween costumes in the '80s weren't cheap, so parents often went the homemade route to save money — which is why kids showed up in the same duds year after year. Now, thanks to Pinterest, parents opt to go DIY, no matter the cost or time commitment!
Just a few decades ago, the costume lineup was usually filled with a few head-shaking choices. People weren't as aware of political correctness during Halloween as they are now. There was a plethora of kids dressing up as Native Americans, Hispanics, Geisha girls, and more now-offensive looks.
The Fear Factor
This was the decade in which Tylenol tampering led to the safety seals we now see on medications, so parents back then were rightfully focused on making sure that treats weren't dubiously handled. Parents still focus on safety when inspecting candy these days, but it's now more often about sugar intake and nutritional restrictions than razor blades in apples.
Back during the good old days, you could throw a pumpkin on your doorstep and call it a day. But now, you have to turn your home into a Pinterest-inspired haunted house.
There was no month-long parental debate and vote over the exact age you and your group of friends would go trick-or-treating alone. Back then, you were only instructed to make it back home before the older kids started TP-ing or egging the houses!
There was no traveling to neighborhoods that gave out the king size bars because that just didn't happen. Now when children come home, there's more of kids handing over the haul for parents to ration then complete sugar highs and fast consumption of the loot.
It didn't matter if Halloween fell on a school day or not, most kids didn't wear their costumes in the classroom and there was no pressure on parents to make the spookiest Halloween-inspired breakfast, lunch, and snack before setting up the ultimate Halloween bash that they've been planning with fellow parents for what felt like months.
When it comes to Halloween prep, one pack of candy, a pillowcase, and a half-rotted carved pumpkin won't do it anymore. Crafting and decorating plans now typically start weeks in advance and you're considered the grumpy house if you don't take part in all the Halloween cheer.
The Candy Bags
There certainly weren't personalized, Halloween-inspired, or costume matching (and expensive!) candy tote bags to collect all of the goods. Once you graduated from the plastic pumpkin, you and your friends would just grab a pillowcase and head out in search of your candy.
Halloween was pretty much an out-of-school celebration and every part of the day wasn't documented with pictures and social media updates of all of the festive details. Most people didn't know how adorable you looked that day unless they actually saw.
People now get beyond ambitious with their jack-o'-lanterns and there's no waiting until the last minute to pick out the perfect pumpkin. These orange works of art aren't limited to just insane carving, but many homes completely transform pumpkins with paint, glitter, and every other craft supply imaginable.