Saturday, October 29, 2011


Halloween in the 1990's
In my earlier post today I explained what Halloween was like when I was a kid. I went through my first Halloween in memory and then what the holiday was like as a trick or treating child.

As a married adult in my own home, I bought several bags of festive fall color wrapped kisses, peanut butter cups and fun-size bars early in October and finished them off by Halloween night (or sooner). I bought Halloween color M&Ms and dipped my hand into the bowl each time I passed it. It needed many refills. The 'holiday' themed treats were tricking me into gaining weight. 

When my children were trick or treating I had my own candy rules: Do not eat anything mommy and daddy have not checked first; toss out the unsealed items and dump the Palmer chocolates. Each child got three pieces of non-chocolate candy and all the good-brand chocolate they had collected. The rest of the sugar candies were tossed without question. This still left the kids enough treats for several days and I thought I was 'saving them' from extra sugar. I didn't have to buy candy for trick or treaters because we were out gathering and not home when the little ankle-biters came to the door. Any that arrived after we returned home got a sampling of our rejected Palmer chocolates.
Evil Candy!

2005 and later: 
When the kids were too old to go out trick or treating anymore it was time to buy candy for the trick or treaters who came to our door. That first year I bought candy I loved and had to buy more by the time Halloween actually arrived. Then I had too much and I ate the leftovers. The following year it stormed and I was 'stuck' with several bags of candy because very few people were as die-hard-core candy addicts as I am and did not brave the storm. The third year I bought candy I hated and gave away handfuls at a time. 

Two years ago I gave away quarters. That really added up and cost me $50.00 @ one quarter per child at the door. Last year I was lamenting to my mentor on my resentment over choosing a Halloween candy that year when he suggested to me "Why do you need to give anything?" 

At first I sputtered that it was inconceivable not to give out treats. I said I would buy the (hated by me) Tootsie Roll and be done with choices. I put off the purchase for  few days thinking over the idea of not being home to trick or treaters. It sounded un-American. Certainly the United Candy Manufacturers would consider me public enemy #1. But the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. 

But at the last minute I realized each time someone entered our block our dog would be at the window barking to let them know we were home. That would be a dead giveaway. I bought Tootsie rolls and Dum Dum lollipops and answered the door until nine that night. Walking the dog earlier that evening I noticed we were the ONLY home on our dead-end block to be open to treaters. At nine we shut the outside light and the light in the front room and closed the window shade so our dog would not be in barking position. No one rang our bell for the rest of the night. 

Halloween 2011:
In recovery from obesity I take a strong stand against candy for addicts (like me) and I do not want to help create the next generation of little suffering addicts by giving out candy anymore. I am cool with giving out crayons, dimes (not quarters) and rub on tattoos. I do not want to give out candy just for the sake of giving out candy. This year I am not giving out anything. I am going out for the evening and will not get home till about nine that night. Then I will shut off the outside light so as to not invite the later treaters to ring the bell.

The alternative is to leave a very large bowl outside with no candy in it and a note that reads: Out for the evening. Please take ONE. That would be me tricking someone else's treats. I do not like mean. It is better I just enjoy my evening out this year. I deserve a treat.

What are you doing with food this Halloween?



Vickie said...

added to my halloween posts collection for next year. thank you.

we have given out many non food items over the years - glow in the dark tooth brushes (which were a hit, because they were glowing as we gave them). and a variety of other things.

funny your dog was an issue, would not have thought of that. And can't imagine having to listen to the doorbell AND the dog (doorbell is too much for me, we usually sit at end of driveway, weather permitting).

Jane Cartelli said...

I like the glow in the dark tooth brushes!

Cathy said...

We have a neighborhood full of families with younger kids, and Halloween is kind of a big deal. Everyone is out on their porches, giving out candy, and we give out candy as well. Any leftovers we have from our give out stash, I will bring to work.
The biggest problem in our house is that candy goes to waste. I have chocolate (good quality) from 2 Easters ago that I have to throw out. We just made Halloween cookies, and we decorated them with m&m's from Easter.
Candy just isn't a trigger/weakness for me. I have a very odd trigger food .. eggplant dip. My husband would bring it home from a Lebanese restaurant and I would go into a feeding frenzy and eat about 800 - 1000 calories worth of pita and eggplant dip. We have agreed not to buy it anymore. In general I tend to lose control with salty foods.

RedPanda said...

As an Australian (and I hope none of the Americans take offence) I think trick or treating is a very odd tradition. I'm not sure that young children should be encouraged to ask virtual strangers for stuff, or OD on candy.

We were horrified when some trick or treaters rang our doorbell a few years ago. Mr RedPanda told them in no uncertain terms that we had no candy. Luckily, they did't set fire to our letter box (that happened another time).

No, it's just plain weird.

I would go out for the evening too (but then I'm an old curmudgeon).

Cathy - I hear you on the Lebanese dip! I used to bring several tubs of Lebanese dip and loaves of Turkish bread to work for special occasions, and ended up taking so much home which I "had" to eat (because we all know that Turkish bread goes mouldy very quickly).