Thursday, November 3, 2011


When I was little, we lived in the country and only Trick-or-Treated at a few houses: our two neighbors, our grandparents, sometimes our parents' friends. It was a magical time, and we'd always come home with a small stash of something or other: cookies from Grandma, a couple of Snickers bars, sometimes a dollar.

Now, we live in the suburbs. We live in a big neighborhood with a hundred families, and on Halloween night, it's a huge block party. Half the parents walk the kids around while the other half stay home to hand out treats, play spooky music and keep costumed kids from going ablaze as they stumble by driveway firepits, their capes and princess dresses swinging in the wind. Halloween night is just as magical now as it was when my mom used to drive from our house to Grandma's and we'd giggle under our plastic masks as she would try to "guess" who we were before handing over the goods.

The only possible thing wrong with Trick-or-Treating is that it's only for kids. When teens get frowned on for going door-to-door and begging for candy, you can imagine the reaction that an adult trick-or-treater might have. I've only heard about this phenomenon - adult trick-or-treating - but never experienced it myself. I'm not sure that I would mind if I gave out candy to a grown-up or two on Halloween night. My thought is that a person must really have it bad for sugar if they dress up and go door-to-door for Tootsie Pops once a year, and that they shouldn't be judged.

I'm just saying.

I have a mild obsession with candy, and I stay home to hand it out to the neighborhood kids every year because I do not trust myself to keep from Trick-or-Treating along with the kids.   I do not eat any of the candy I am handing out, for I know that my time will come. My kids are compassionate, and when they come home from Trick-or-Treating on Halloween, they allow me to inspect their treat bags like a bomb-sniffing dog. I am a baboon mother looking for lice on her babies' heads, but instead of lice, I am picking treats. For later, for me. In the past, my kids would bring home a few things that I like, and we'd throw away the stuff that nobody will eat, like Gummy "severed" body parts, weird or broken lollipops, loose jellybeans, half-wrapped Hershey's kisses, questionably-aged hard candies, anything scarily sticky. This year, we threw nothing away - my kids got some pretty awesome candy, and a lot of it. Every piece is someone's favorite; my personal stash contains a full-size Butterfinger.  Full-size.  It was a Halloween miracle.

Thank you, neighborhood, for really pulling through this Halloween. You made this candy fanatic a happy lady.  Happy Fall, indeed.

Right after this picture was taken, I dove in.
About half is left.



  1. My kids are 4 and 1. They have yet to realize how much candy their little trick-or-treating pumpkins loose overnight. Since they still need me to cut up the majority of their food, I figure it's an even trade!

  2. It gets much harder as they get older. My kids, even though generous, are forever inspecting their bowls to count the Milky Ways.