Yesterday afternoon, it finally happened. We were Boo’d.
If you’re not already familiar with this Halloween tradition, it’s a modern take on the old childhood game of ding-dong-dash. It involves ringing a neighbor’s doorbell and running away, but when booing, you also leave a small basket or bucket of Halloween goodies on the doorstep. Usually there’s a note that reads something like this:
Our homes’ locations made us meet.
You now have been Boo’d but who could we be?
We’ll never tell, it’s a secret, you see.
We placed these goodies for you and yours
Then we ran fast after knocking the door!”
Once you have been Boo’d you have to place a sign on your door so everyone in the neighborhood knows you have been “hit.” Tradition dictates that you reciprocate by making two boo baskets and leaving them on some other neighbors’ steps.
In my old neighborhood outside Boston, the booing began early in October. By Halloween just about every house with children in it had a sign on the door. My boys were obsessed with which houses had been hit; who had Boo’d whom. So when Halloween decorations started appearing on the homes in our new neighborhood in New York they started asking: “Mom, do you think we’ll get Boo’d this year? Do they do that here?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer. With so few young families on our new street, I was doubtful. I considered starting the tradition and then…thought no. What if our identity was discovered and they all thought we were crazy? Maybe they didn’t want to have this new tradition forced on to them from some Massachusetts transplants! So we went about decorating our house—putting spider webs on the bushes, pumpkins on the steps, turning our lamp post into a ghost—and forgot about it.
Until yesterday. The boys were all smiles when they saw the bucket on the steps and they yelled out “thank you!” as the kids from next door scampered up the driveway.
Now I’m off to the store this afternoon to get some goodies for two Boo baskets and wondering which houses we should target. I guess some Halloween traditions are meant to live on!
What’s your favorite Halloween tradition?