A gaggle of trolls and hobgoblins show up on your doorstep and threaten unbetold woes on your household if you do not provide sweet sustenance. This is summed up with the phrase they scream as you answer the door: Trick or Treat. In some parts of the country this isn’t a threat at all but a deal in which the a beggar must offer a Trick prior to receiving their Treat. In the end, everyone usually gets their Treats.
But what are the treats?
If you came to my door in the last few years its been a regular sized Snickers, Milky Way or 3Musketeers. But not everyone is willing to shell out fifty cents for each kid that comes to your door. The economics of it are on your side if you have kids. In theory, your household should bring in more value of candy than it doles out. This is assuming your kids Trick or Treat in your neighborhood. Most people in the same neighborhood will be from the same economic class, and therefore provide similar valued treats. The tipping factor here is that there are several homes that hand out candy but don’t send kids out. If you hand out the big candy bars, this may not be true because there will always be more of the types that hand out the cheap, small candy. People who are on a budget don’t earn my ire here for handing out tiny treats, but the penny pinchers who could afford the full-sized candy and hand out a single Dum-Dum do.
There are some snacks you should not hand out on Halloween.
Healthy snacks are hard to do. Fruit is not a good treat because most parents will toss fruit immediately due to the mostly false rumors of tampering. Ditto to anything you make at home. Popcorn balls, crisped rice treats and cookies are all in this category. It will just lead to a sad kid as they watch part of their stash go straight to the trash. Save the homemade treats for close friends and people you’d trust to give you a candied apple.
There are some things you can give out that are healthy and not earn the ire of the kids like a toothbrush will. Prepackaged fruit cups are sold in the stores near the yogurt. These are tamperproof so they don’t go to the trash. Granola Bars are a little healthier than candy bars and if you look hard enough you can find mini-versions made just for Halloween. But, let’s be honest. People who give out healthy foods for Halloween are just sticks in the mud.
Avoid the all-natural candies that look like all-natural candies. There are some out there that are nice and colorful and will do fine. The colorless and beige varieties may earn you the appreciation of the diet attentive parents, but the kids won’t touch it and it will go into the trash sometime late next October when it comes time to empty the candy bag so it can be refilled.
The best treats are sugar laden candies of either the chocolate or non-chocolate variety. If you live somewhere that is over 90 degrees on Halloween night, giving out chocolate is a little sadistic. Oh well, it’s Halloween and a little playful sadism never hurt anyone. Or maybe it did but it was fun for all involved so does it really matter?
Think about it, if the parents didn’t expect their kids to get fully processed unhealthy candy, they wouldn’t be out walking around door to door. Okay, I am aware of a small fraction of people who do trick or treating for the experience but then toss all the candy gathered and replace it with stuff they bought for their kid. So Wasteful. If you are one of these people, I will pay for a standard shipping box at the post office and you can send the gathered candy my way instead of trashing it. Please remove all fruit and popcorn before shipping. Don’t just send me the leftovers after you’ve picked out your favorites either. If you want to pick through and take out the good stuff first, you can donate the leftovers to charitable organizations like food banks and Treats for Troops who’ll send it out for Christmas. I’m not sure a soldier in Afghanistan would eat a MaryJane either but they may be useful as torture devices. They should be against the Geneva Convention.
Avoid the bite sized and mini sized candy bars. They aren’t the bargain you think they are. Go with the at least the fun-size. (Here’s where my friend Jason will invariably say that that’s not fun size. He’ll hold his hands two feet apart and say that this would be fun size.)
Candy Mixes offer a variety of candies for a few bucks a pound. Don’t be stingy when doling out the loot, though. 1 piece of this does not constitute a treat unless you’re on a very tight budget. If you are on a budget, kudos for participating. However, no matter how dire your budget is, it’s not acceptable for adults to ask for treats too in most areas. (Again Jason will tell me how in his hometown the kids got candy and the adults got beer.) I’ll give an adult candy if they’re in costume and ask, but I won’t think highly of them for asking.
The best candy comes in air-tight packaging and not just because tampering would be obvious with such. Honestly the best stuff comes in that kind of wrap. Tomorrow I’ll post my lists of top ten treats and bottom ten treats. I’ll skip the apples and popcorn on that list.