Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me candy to trade for cash
October 31, 2014 1:05 PM   Subscribe

Halloween is not good for the teeth of trick-or-treaters. There's a plethora of candy, and kids will eat candy they wouldn't normally eat, because hey, it's there. What's a parent to do? Offer cash for candy, with the help of a local dentist. Halloween Candy Buyback, complete with zip-code dentist search, the website for the movement that has expanded from it's quiet start in 2005 with a single dentist in Wisconsin. Now, thousands of dentists across the U.S. buy back tons of candy at a dollar a pound, then send the candy with toothbrushes and toothpaste to Operation Gratitude to be added into care packages for active U.S. Military. If you're having trouble getting a younger child to part with their candy, there's the Switch Witch, who will take a pile of candy and switch it for a special switch gift. And if you want to start at the source, you can always make your own candy with one of the various sugar substitutes, or go with a teal pumpkin and avoid the candy all-together.
posted by filthy light thief (148 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
One night of eating candy isn't all that harmful. Talk about kill-joys. And those "healthy" substitutes aren't particularly more "healthful" than the regular stuff.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:12 PM on October 31, 2014 [62 favorites]


So now it's War on Halloween? For chrissakes.
posted by ReeMonster at 1:13 PM on October 31, 2014 [8 favorites]


They'll also pay cash for your child's joy and sense of whimsy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:16 PM on October 31, 2014 [74 favorites]


Who eats all their candy? Even as a very small person I would dig out the best chocolate and give my parents the rest of the junk.

Was I doing it wrong? Are there people who actually eat those nasty Tootsie Rolls and the bracelet candy things that are made of Tums?
posted by winna at 1:19 PM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


Wait'll they get a load of me.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:20 PM on October 31, 2014


Ok then, TRICK.
posted by chavenet at 1:21 PM on October 31, 2014 [14 favorites]


What's a parent to do?

Get a fucking grip. That's what a parent's to do.
posted by drlith at 1:21 PM on October 31, 2014 [16 favorites]


You know how in some of the cash-for-guns programs, cops actually sell those guns back to the streets?

Is there an equivalent program for getting loads of cheap candy from these initatives?
posted by el io at 1:21 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


Now, if I were a particularly conniving youth, I would imagine that upon hearing this, I would wait until the day after Halloween sales and buy candy at $0.50 or less per pound, and make a profit off of the dentists. But I'm an adult who buys candy old Halloween candy for himself because I can.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:23 PM on October 31, 2014 [6 favorites]


Where the hell is the Great Pumpkin when we need him?
posted by jonmc at 1:26 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


A dollar a pound? What a total rip-off.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:31 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


Bad for our kids. Fine for our military. Why do they hate America?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:31 PM on October 31, 2014 [8 favorites]


Thanks for reminding me about the teal pumpkin! We spray painted ours last night but I didn't know they had fliers. I just printed out the "we have candy and non-food treats" one. We've got an assortment of good candy because I want to make a good impression in my new neighborhood, but we also have glowsticks which I would have totally freaked out about as a kid. Obligatory pumpkin pic.
posted by Mizu at 1:32 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


There's a clear possibility of moral hazard resulting in leaded candy.
posted by 7segment at 1:35 PM on October 31, 2014


you can always make your own candy...

This reminded me of a wonderful megapost from last December: Many recipes for candy. *cracks knuckles* Time to get to work.

No child needs to have a shopping bag full of candy, Kammer argues.

This is a damnable lie. All children need shopping bags pillow cases full of candy.

Seriously, even though my childhood was spent poor and food insecure, there never came a point at which I would have rather had money than sweet, sweet candy. As far as I've ever been concerned, money is just a thing you give to someone in exchange for additional candy. So if you would have given child-me a few bucks, or forced me to give up my painstakingly collected candy at the insulting exchange rate of $1/pound, I wouldn't have stashed it in a piggy bank dreaming of better days, I would've hopped on my bike, headed over to the penny candy counter ~5 miles away, and with god as my witness, I would have used that filthy dentist money to buy more candy.

Paper dots, those godawful styrofoam UFO wafer things, chalky candy necklaces, any and everything that "tastes like red." Ring Pops. Apple-, Orange-, and Lemonheads. Swedish Fish. Sour Patch Kids. Skittles. Twizzlers. Airheads. God, I love it all. I eat at least one piece of candy every single day, keeps the spirit young. Chocolate candy is total bullshit, fruity candy is where it's at. I love Halloween itself because I'm a goth, but the day after Halloween is the best day of the year because ALL THE CANDY IS ON SALE.
posted by divined by radio at 1:38 PM on October 31, 2014 [85 favorites]


glowsticks are the best! great idea! i was trying to think of non-candy things to give out that kids would actually want, not because i hate halloween and childhood, but because there's only so many snickers bars you can get excited about. but nothing fun was coming to mind that was anywhere near affordable. i would have totally loved to get glowsticks as a kid!

when we were young, the dentist on our block handed out pencils with either toothbrush erasers or mirrors that sat on the ends of the pencils. we liked those too, what kid doesn't want to see inside their own mouth?

what other non-candy things are people handing out?
posted by andreapandrea at 1:38 PM on October 31, 2014


Thanks for the link to the teal pumpkin posters! I was just thinking "where the hell will I find the time and supplies to paint a pumpkin TEAL?" but I can print a poster on our color printer!

Last year and this year I am giving out treats and Cartozia All-Ages mini-comics.
posted by jillithd at 1:40 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


what other non-candy things are people handing out?

Aerosol whipped cream
Airplane glue
Random pills

You know, the usual.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:41 PM on October 31, 2014 [39 favorites]


Razors, cigarretts, hypodermic needles in carmel covered apples.

You know, the usual.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:42 PM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


My friend's wife is doing no-candy Halloween gifting this year. The kids' health will benefit from having less refined sugar in their diet, I admit, but let's not neglect the equally-substantial health benefit of the exercise the kids get when they have to run all the way back home for eggs and toilet paper.
posted by roystgnr at 1:44 PM on October 31, 2014 [39 favorites]


I got a rock.
posted by ckape at 1:47 PM on October 31, 2014 [44 favorites]


I give kids a quarter and a pamphlet from Nationwide about planning for retirement, because what is scarier than a reminder that youth is fleeting and a financially precarious old age looms in the distance
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:49 PM on October 31, 2014 [102 favorites]


The Rifftrax candylion impersonation has been getting quite a workout this week.
posted by dr_dank at 1:51 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


“So now it's War on Halloween?”

Or as I call it, the War on Terror.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:53 PM on October 31, 2014 [19 favorites]


How about apples? That's nature's candy!
posted by Renoroc at 1:59 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


We just let that candy be the kid's candy stockpile for the year, control access to it then surreptitiously dispose of the excess by taking it into work or whatever.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


KEEP OW* IN HALLOWEEN

*you know, for cavity pain
posted by resurrexit at 2:01 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oy vey. I grew up in a household of back-to-the-land parents, we grew half our food in a huge garden out back, and junk food was permanently persona non grata in our home—no candy, no soda, no ice cream, no industrial snack cakes, no cookie jar, no processed food, et cetera—but on Halloween, we could eat whatever the hell we brought home, and boy, did we eat the fucking fuck outta that pillowcase full of candy, even the homemade popcorn balls, and then we ate the remaining Mary Janes from the big yellow bowl by the door. We lived healthy and somehow were not destroyed by this annual bacchanalian night of joy (see also: Easter candy).

The concept of everything in moderation has pretty much been abandoned, it seems.
posted by sonascope at 2:01 PM on October 31, 2014 [43 favorites]


Was I doing it wrong? Are there people who actually eat those nasty Tootsie Rolls and the bracelet candy things that are made of Tums?

entourage gtfo.gif
posted by resurrexit at 2:03 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sounds more like Hella Weenie
posted by Splunge at 2:03 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Truth about Tooth Decay

The reason is that sugar doesn't rot your teeth. Surprised to hear that? Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria in your mouth that feast on carbohydrates, be it sugar from candy or starch from wholesome foods such as bread.

Potato chips and raisins cling to your teeth, giving the bacteria something to savor. But a simple chocolate bar can get washed away naturally with saliva. The faster a food is removed, the less chance it will have to feed bacteria and cause decay.

posted by Foosnark at 2:05 PM on October 31, 2014 [6 favorites]


How about apples? That's nature's candy!

Don't you know there are razors in the apples?
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:05 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


I would love to receive a care package that included chocolate that was lifted out of the pockets of kids back home. Mmmm, I can taste the tears now.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:08 PM on October 31, 2014 [10 favorites]


what other non-candy things are people handing out?

I live in a largely kidless apartment building and so am skipping Halloween, but my parents used to give out little sticker sheets and assorted bits and bobs from the Oriental Trading Company catalog.

But also candy, because they weren't joy-leeching communist puppy-kickers. Good grief.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 2:09 PM on October 31, 2014 [10 favorites]


I got a rock.

Now all you need is a piece of string.
posted by jefflowrey at 2:10 PM on October 31, 2014 [11 favorites]


What's the exchange rate for Chick tracts? That's what I always wanted to get rid of as a kid.
posted by Sternmeyer at 2:12 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


We just combined everyone's haul into one big bowl and rationed the stuff a couple pieces a time for weeks after. All the lollipops got put in a mug and lasted much longer than everything else.
posted by Small Dollar at 2:16 PM on October 31, 2014


Run all the way back home for eggs and toilet paper.

I'm giving away devilled eggs. That way they'll run home, stay there, and use the toilet paper.
posted by mikelieman at 2:18 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


Anti-candy Halloween killjoys is, oddly, a topic I am kind of fond of.

See, a few years ago some friends and I did a Halloween puzzle hunt (puzzles, pics) that basically was riffing off of this theme. The whole idea was some stupid jerk of a ghost was haunting the neighborhood and turning all the candy into stupid shit nobody wants. So teams of players had dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treat at the affected houses, who would give them crap like apples, raisins, popcorn, pennies, coupons, coloring books, etc. Those turned out to puzzles which if solved them let them catch the ghost and save Halloween! (We couldn't figure out a way to make a puzzle out of a toothbrush, but we did try)

I also usually keep a bowl of potatoes by my door on Halloween. I also have candy, and if you've got even a half-assed costume, you can have some candy. But the people who only have excuses (e.g., "I was gonna be a genie but it was too cold"), they get potatoes.
posted by aubilenon at 2:20 PM on October 31, 2014 [34 favorites]


Mizu, I have given out glowsticks the last few years and the kids love them. Well, two years ago they loved them. Last year we got two inches of rain during trick-or-treat hours, and no kids.

(I also hand out candy, because I want to eat the leftovers.)

I start the glowsticks before I hand them out. That way I can throw away the duds and no kid will be disappointed later.
posted by elizilla at 2:21 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's tempting to vilify these dentists merely for being well-meaning about kids' health, which is why i say FUCK DENTISTS AND EVERYTHING THEY STAND FOR
posted by Greg Nog at 2:21 PM on October 31, 2014 [14 favorites]


Just this morning Glenn Beck was hawking a promising new CASH FOR GOLD M&Ms program.
posted by delfin at 2:22 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Man, that Switch Witch video has to be the least enthusiastic product endorsement I've ever heard. Sounds like someone's community service project.

And of course it involves buying the book/doll/whatever. Must be a cousin of the Elf on the Shelf.
posted by gottabefunky at 2:25 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]



what other non-candy things are people handing out?


I was gonna give out mini bottles of vodka to all the exhausted cranky parents (and nannies, esp in this neighborhood) but I decided to just lock the door and pretend not to be home instead.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:31 PM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


Speaking of beverages... The comedian Dana Gould talks about Halloween a lot on his podcast, as it's his favorite holiday. On the most recent episode, one of his guests mentioned that they had a wet bar on their porch for the parents.

I can easily see how somebody could ruin it for everyone, but that seemed like a nice gesture.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:35 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hasn't Halloween already been sufficiently bowlderized? These days, the kids are all accompanied by parents. Back in the day, we would have rather DIED than go trick-or-treating with our parents. Where is the mayhem? At this rate, in a few years people will be handing out freaking MATH PROBLEMS to these poor children. And they'll enjoy it because they won't know any better! That's probably the only thing left about Halloween that's truly scary.
posted by Edgewise at 2:36 PM on October 31, 2014 [41 favorites]


I went to the dollar store and bought a load of (Halloween and non-Halloween) pencils, erasers, bouncy balls, rings, self-inking stamps, stickers, Play-Doh, glowsticks and more, all for surprisingly a lot less than candy costs. Last year we spent $75, I think...all the toys and stuff were $25. We'll see how popular it all is :-D
posted by Calzephyr at 2:51 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


7:30am an express train traveling 60 miles per hour leaves Santa Fe bound for Phoenix, 520 miles away. At the same time, a local train traveling 30 miles an hour carrying 40 passengers leaves Phoenix bound for Santa Fe. It’s 8 cars long and always carries the same number of passengers in each car. An hour later, the number of passengers equal to half the number of minutes past the hour get off, but three times as many plus six get on. At the second stop, half the passengers plus two get off but twice as many get on as got on at the first stop.

Train conductor: Ticket, please.
posted by mikelieman at 2:51 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


At this rate, in a few years people will be handing out freaking MATH PROBLEMS to these poor children. And they'll enjoy it because they won't know any better!

Yeah that's pretty much what the puzzle hunt thing was, except they were adults, not kids.
posted by aubilenon at 2:54 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, my dentist sends out great locally made pecan pies to patients for their birthdays.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 2:59 PM on October 31, 2014 [8 favorites]


divined by radio: Chocolate candy is total bullshit, fruity candy is where it's at.

Trade ya.
posted by kristi at 3:00 PM on October 31, 2014 [8 favorites]


And pour out a 40 ounce of sugary cola for all the kids who mistakenly eat tons of sugar free chocolates sweetened with sugar alcohols. They'll be spending Nov. 1st dealing with hellish bowel movements.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 3:05 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


One night of eating candy isn't all that harmful.

Depends on how much.

Also, I don't know about you, but the amount of candy I would get trick or treating would be like 100-200 pieces. That's 10+ pieces a night for two weeks straight. That's harmful.

I'm always amazed that it takes 3 forms of ID and an oath of allegiance to get a fucking box of Sudafed, but any kid of any age can walk into Walgreen's with $10 and buy enough candy to send her to the ER.

Who eats all their candy?

I certainly did. Each and every piece. And now I have serious eating issues around candy and sugar.

As far as I've ever been concerned, money is just a thing you give to someone in exchange for additional candy.

This would be funny if it were not true, and has not lead to serious medical conditions on my part. Good lord, my liver.

So we'll let the kids keep 20-30 pieces of candy and give the rest away. It's not easy being a parent.

joy-leeching communist puppy-kickers. Good grief.

I am also a communist, and don't really appreciate being associated with animal abusers. Thanks.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:11 PM on October 31, 2014


Yeah, my parents never had candy, soda, white bread in the house, but halloween candy was sacrosanct.
posted by geegollygosh at 3:14 PM on October 31, 2014


Chocolate candy is total bullshit, fruity candy is where it's at.

I do hand out candy in my neighborhood, and based on an anecdotal survey of the past few years, fruity candy (sour patch, laffy taffy, spree, other good Wonka stuff) is definitely preferred by the kids.

Or maybe the fruity candy lovers are just more vocal about it.

kids who mistakenly eat tons of sugar free chocolates

I'll be honest. Been checking the kids trick or treat candy for 7 years now, and I've never seen any sugar-free candy. Now THAT would be an outrage.

Or PENNIES! Please, for the love of god, do not give money. Even a hand-written poem would be better.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:15 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit: " On the most recent episode, one of his guests mentioned that they had a wet bar on their porch for the parents. "

Haha, there are neighborhoods where people DON'T do this? You are all Doing Halloween Wrong.

My block is known as one of the best for trick-or-treating in the area. My neighbors across the street do up this crazy, crazy haunted house involving a rented hearse and a guy pretending to be dead; my next-door neighbors turn their house into a pirate ship with a cannon that can be fired by remote control and go full on pirate cosplay; and a couple doors down they set up a wet bar on the porch and anyone who drops by can grab a beer or whatever. Almost all the adults on the block consume alcohol on their porches or front steps (if it's above freezing) while they hand out candy, and generally we take turns going up and down the block to chat and every. single. house. offers you whatever they're drinking. I usually have wine.

We get like 200 trick-or-treaters in a good year; 120ish when it rains.

I actually hate Halloween and it's coooooooold this year so this is going to be a sucky three hours handing out candy, but I do my part. I will drink myself warm.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:18 PM on October 31, 2014 [11 favorites]


Ghoul slinks around stone
Rotten brain like epitaph
Frankenstein joyful
posted by Mblue at 3:18 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Trade ya.

Deal!

*dumps out pillow case filled with Hershey's minis, Tootsie Rolls, Peppermint Patties, and M&Ms; crosses fingers for Jolly Ranchers and sour Skittles*
posted by divined by radio at 3:31 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have two buckets of candy, one sour/fruity, one chocolate and I let them pick. But now I have to go create a band of zombie children.
posted by dejah420 at 3:43 PM on October 31, 2014


OH GOD I'M SO COLD ALREADY I DON'T THINK ALCOHOL CAN HELP SEND FIRE.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:45 PM on October 31, 2014 [11 favorites]


I was going to post an rather obscenity-laden Leary-style rant, but I'm not. I was getting all ready to, but realized that almost everybody here is pretty much on the pro-candy side, or at least on the 'give something that the kids would find fun or interesting in lieu of candy' side.

You anti-candy people, wherever you are, maybe you really mean well with all this, but you're not doing anything to help your cause by handing out toothbrushes or literature on Halloween - you are just establishing yourself as the enemy in the eyes of these kids, and you're adding your message to their list as well. (Glowsticks and little weird toys and such get a pass, of course - it's nice to mix it up a little)

This day of binging has a positive purpose. By having a day where there are no limits, you can end up actually reinforcing the idea in these kids that eating a ton of candy is not something you do all the time. They learn all sorts of other lessons firsthand, like cause and effect, from eating too much candy too fast. Groups of kids learn about bartering and economics by trading what they don't like for what they want, with some of them learning about what happens when you make an unwise trade or get the short end of a bad deal.

So go ahead, dentists. Make war on candy and Halloween. You'll probably win eventually at the rate kid's fun is being corralled into safe, regulated, monitored, scheduled, nutritionally sensitive 'free fun zones', and who cares if you're seen as the bad guy in this - it's not like kids ever liked you in the first place, so it's not as if you are losing any fans by doing it.
posted by chambers at 3:47 PM on October 31, 2014 [12 favorites]


My block is known as one of the best for trick-or-treating in the area...my next-door neighbors turn their house into a pirate ship with a cannon that can be fired by remote control and go full on pirate cosplay

Officially jealous.

I am also a communist, and don't really appreciate being associated with animal abusers. Thanks.

You're not invited on the pirate ship Mr. Aptly Named.
posted by Edgewise at 3:52 PM on October 31, 2014 [11 favorites]


This day of binging (sic)
go ahead, dentists. Make war
you're seen as the bad guy
posted by Mblue at 4:04 PM on October 31, 2014


OH GOD I'M SO COLD ALREADY I DON'T THINK ALCOHOL CAN HELP SEND FIRE.

I'm 300 miles north of you and I just moved here from San Diego (current temp: 69) a couple months ago, and I'm staying inside. I might rig a dispenser through our dryer vent or something.
posted by LionIndex at 4:34 PM on October 31, 2014


My sister just texted me to say its snowing where she is. That's just wrong, snow on Halloween.
posted by dejah420 at 4:40 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would have totally preferred aubilenon's potatoes to candy, because I was a weird kid who didn't like sweets. Do other people do this potato thing? If I just wander around my neighborhood today in my regular clothes, ringing doorbells, will people give me potatoes? "I was gonna dress up as the Fair Housing Act but my printer broke."
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:47 PM on October 31, 2014 [10 favorites]


Halloween Field Diary, 2 hours:

40*, winds of 36 mph. 100 goblin children, unaffected by the cold, have already come past my lair and stolen the Twix bars I am subsisting on in a vain attempt to ingest enough calories to keep warm. I have been whacked by three sword-wielding ninja goblins. They are clumsy, but persistent. The sun has set and the wind is rising. My fingers are rapidly growing too stiff to text. If I don't make it back to the Heated World, tell my family I love them and that I was a fool to attempt this mad journey to the Outside to befriend the goblins with food. So cold. I don't know how much longer I can wri
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:55 PM on October 31, 2014 [46 favorites]


Dejah420, our costumes were always planned to accommodate snowpants growing up. This morning my coworkers were fondly reminiscing about the Halloween blizzard of '91, and the candy binges/neighborhood potluck drinking parties (depending on age) that ensued when everyone was snowed in for the next few days.
posted by superna at 5:00 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


For a long time, I've been tempted to hand out copies of this, at least to the older kids.

With candy of course, I'm not a monster.
posted by Hatashran at 5:05 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


There hasn't been many Trick or Treaters lately from my memory at least but it could be because I live in apartment building too.

For me it was more about spending time with school friends than candy because I could always buy as much candy from the local stores on my own. Extremely elaborate costumes and decorations were interesting too.

Sometimes stores had Halloween-themed displays and items which is probably a sign of the materialism in society but I thought it's neat even though I'm too old for it now.
posted by chrono_rabbit at 5:13 PM on October 31, 2014


ATTN: EAST COAST/CENTRAL TIME ZONERS

What are the prevailing themes this year, costume-wise? It's only just getting dark here. I would like to know what to expect. (I'm expecting a lot of characters from Frozen, yes?)
posted by mudpuppie at 5:32 PM on October 31, 2014


mudpuppy: princesses from Frozen, superheroes, star wars soldiers.

Best costumes of the night here in NJ were two young teens dressed as the Knights Who Say "Ni." Warmed the geeky cockles of my heart.

600+ trick-or-treaters tonight, per usual.
posted by papercake at 5:38 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Re: Frozen. A drinking game was proposed whereby we all had to take a drink for each frozen character. We had to give up the idea, or put 911 on speed dial to deal with the alcohol poisoning...
posted by dejah420 at 5:39 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


Do you want to build a snowman?
posted by Artw at 5:41 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Last year, I had a Minecraft creeper who came to the door with a friend. I was so pleased with myself to recognize a gaming reference that I said "Oh ho, looks like someone plays Minecraft!" The creeper nodded his big boxy head. His friend, who was dressed as a character from a game I did not recognize, then very huffily said, "And someone else plays ________!" (Don't remember which game it was, since I didn't recognize the costume.)

I'm going to try to do better not to offend the wee ones this year.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:45 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]



>> Trade ya.

> Deal!

> *dumps out pillow case filled with Hershey's minis, Tootsie Rolls, Peppermint Patties, and M&Ms; crosses fingers for Jolly Ranchers and sour Skittles*


YAY!

*sits down on floor, dumps out huge plastic pumpkin, sorts everything into two piles*

Sorry, only one pack of sour Skittles, but there's a bunch of Jolly Ranchers and Twizzlers, and a few boxes of Lemonheads. Oh, and lots of Pop Rocks. And some Life Savrs. Want the Smarties and the Lik-M-Ade too?
posted by kristi at 5:50 PM on October 31, 2014


I still love the Lik-M-Ades.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:52 PM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


If I just wander around my neighborhood today in my regular clothes, ringing doorbells, will people give me potatoes? "I was gonna dress up as the Fair Housing Act but my printer broke."

I would give you all the potatoes if you lived by me.
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:55 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Officially jealous
Me too. On my street there are 4 people that give out candy. If it weren't for the helicopter parents driving their kids around, we'd get no one.

i guess the kids walking, scope our street, see no lights and continue walking. it's what we used to do back when we were squirts.

this year, I'm happy to say, we've almost run out of candy. actually at one point i was panicking that we would run out too soon. but we rationed out a bit and now we're good for any latecomers that visit.
posted by bitteroldman at 5:58 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm giving away bags of chips because frankly, a salty crunchy thing is a nice break from all the SWEET (but it's still junk food!)
posted by vespabelle at 6:06 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


I haven't had any kids come trick or treating for years, so I didn't bother getting anything and worked late instead.
posted by angerbot at 6:09 PM on October 31, 2014


Tab of acid, carton of eggs, xeroxed map with directions to the police station.

I'm a traditionalist at heart.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:21 PM on October 31, 2014 [14 favorites]


I'm telling you people, Tropical Nerds Rope is where it's at. It's kind of big to give away for halloween, but it's the king of fruity candy.
posted by aubilenon at 6:31 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


The guy next door to us gave out glow bracelets in lieu of candy. In addition to the visible and audible displeasure of the kids at his door, his lawn looks like someone put a raver through a woodchipper.
posted by buoys in the hood at 6:41 PM on October 31, 2014 [30 favorites]


Whew, the Play Doh and glow sticks are a huge hit. The kids see the toy basket and make requests :D Hubs brought home candy, so it's a double bonus. Next year I will be more organized with those little paper treat bags!
posted by Calzephyr at 6:48 PM on October 31, 2014


No trick or treaters so far, but at least I have wine and 210 pieces of premium candies to console me?
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:55 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


Butterfingers are the best...
posted by mikelieman at 7:00 PM on October 31, 2014


I've probably posted it before, but it's appropriate. My favorite classic Halloween Story, Chainsaws, Fog Machines and Stage Lighting by BigBlockMopar for your enjoyment.
posted by mikelieman at 7:02 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've always thought that trick-or-treating was a great way for children to be introduced to probabilistic and game-theoretical thinking. When else, as a kid, do you have to plan a geographic route under time constraints, in order to maximize your amount of reward, based on only prior history as statistical evidence. Half the fun of going out as a kid was planning your optimal strategy to win the competition of who could get the most candy.

Who cares if it rots your teeth? Kids these days should be flossing anyways.
posted by fryman at 7:03 PM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


New neighborhood. We gave out candy, snack-sized cans of Pringles and two glow sticks. Mr. theBRKP insisted on full sized candy bars from Costco, as we live near a high school.

Less than 2 hours and 151 kids later we had to shut our lights off early. The Pringles went in 25 minutes. Next year more Pringles and glow sticks.

Best costume was a girl who made her face up to look like it was unzipping. She got extra candy.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 7:13 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


There's someone in my neighborhood who's giving out snack-sized bags of Frito-Lay brand chips.

Most interesting costume so far was "Creepy Unicorn."
posted by mudpuppie at 7:23 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am internet egging filthy light thief's house.

vapidave 0--> |/\|

That took me way way too long, it was worth it though.
posted by vapidave at 7:25 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


For me it was more about spending time with school friends than candy

Not me, it was definitely all about the candy! We never had sweets in our house growing up, possibly related to being pretty poor but mostly to my mom wanting us to eat healthily. But I never remember any restrictions on Halloween candy. I was a hoarder and would obsessively organize my haul and allow myself one or two pieces a day, so maybe that's why. Though my little brother may have downed it all in one go, I don't recall.

Eyebrows McGee, your street sounds amazing! I love the idea of a wet bar for adults. Now that's how you do Halloween!
posted by JenMarie at 7:49 PM on October 31, 2014


I'm really kind of shocked at how many people here seemed to have totally unfettered access to their Halloween candy as kids -- I thought that was sort of a TV/movie/comic conceit. Didn't your parents assume control after a bit and then parcel it out one or two pieces at a time afterwards (and of course quietly dispose of a good chunk of it in the process)? My parents definitely did and I think that's a) pretty normal and b) not too dissimilar to the proposal in the FPP.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:59 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am doing that RIGHT NOW.

(Also checking for nuts)
posted by Artw at 8:04 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


We were only allowed limited access after Halloween, but I believe my mother grossly underestimated our ability to actually climb the pantry shelves. I'm kind of surprised nobody ever got killed doing so, but they were at least sturdy enough for it and I think we wouldn't have done it if they weren't. So--the good treats routinely went on the top shelf of the pantry and I think we were teenagers before my mom figured out that we were helping ourselves.

The part I find strange about all of this is that I have never in my life lived somewhere that had trick-or-treat on actual Halloween, unless by some chance it happened to fall on a Saturday or Sunday, but not even always then. The stuff around here was last weekend.
posted by Sequence at 8:13 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Only-in-Anchorage Halloween drama just now: two 8 year-old mermaids trapped on the porch for 5 minutes to safely wait out a moose hanging out in the front yard.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:13 PM on October 31, 2014 [42 favorites]


Just got back from Trick or Treating with the kids...the trick is to make them carry their own candy so that they feel the weight (a dollar a pound? what a rip-off) and tire naturally, and not to let them eat it all at once. FFS I say
posted by aydeejones at 8:15 PM on October 31, 2014


A dollar a pound? What a total rip-off.

You took the words right out of my mouth, KEANU_WHOA
posted by aydeejones at 8:18 PM on October 31, 2014


I was SO excited to be in a house for Halloween this year, rather than an apartment. And also not living in some weird place where they move Halloween around for bogus religious or "school night" (PSHAW) reasons. I've been handing out treat bags with Halloween pencils, a couple pieces of CANDY DAMMIT, and Cartozia's Halloween mini-comics (and probably will again next year, because they were awesome).

I have now run out of treat bags, pencils, maki-e decals, novelty erasers, weird European Costco candy, random stickers, and notepads. Someone please let me know if kids like tea and/or tinned fish, because otherwise, I'm out of business.

(I have random Japanese candy on reserve, but the LIGHTS ARE OFF.)

(P. S. CANDY.)
posted by wintersweet at 8:24 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


The concept of everything in moderation has pretty much been abandoned, it seems.

To evoke that special subset of everything, I say "everything in moderation, including excess."
posted by aydeejones at 8:34 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm really kind of shocked at how many people here seemed to have totally unfettered access to their Halloween candy as kids -- I thought that was sort of a TV/movie/comic conceit. Didn't your parents assume control after a bit and then parcel it out one or two pieces at a time afterwards (and of course quietly dispose of a good chunk of it in the process)? My parents definitely did and I think that's a) pretty normal and b) not too dissimilar to the proposal in the FPP.

I was the oldest of three sisters. Halloween was one of the best nights of the year where we had control. We only got treats and junk food on holidays and barely ever were allowed candy through out the year. Of course Mom and Dad had the money to buy this stuff but on Halloween? It was all us, muh ha ha.

Halloween night was the same every year. After returning home there was the living room floor sort. Each of us claimed a space and meticulously sorted and counted. Then the trading and bargaining began. I don't remember what our favourites were but I do remember all the careful calculations and negotiations that went into determining the value of each kind. 5 of candy A might be worth 1 of candy B. Once that was done and Mom said don't eat too much because we would get sick it was carefully packed away and we'd find hiding spots. For several years I think Mom took control of my youngest sisters because she would eat it all at once but for the most part it was up to us how fast we'd eat it.

Some might think this is a bad thing but it really taught me a lot. Things like if you eat a lot at once it doesn't last long and if your sister is better at portioning she'll still have candy into March and April and OMG that was upsetting and she was sooooo lucky but really it was your own fault because you'd eat three mini chocolate bars at a time when she'd eat one and maybe some days she wouldn't have candy at all and so next year I'd better try harder to save it longer.

Oh and we learned that we'd have to hide it because youngest sister would eat all her candy fast and think it was perfectly okay to eat your candy without asking and that wasn't cool so it was important to find the best hiding spot ever. It had to be different every year because part of the fun was searching for sisters candy stash and bugging each other about taking one of their favorites which meant said sister would run and carefully do a count to make sure it wasn't true and then find a new hiding spot which meant the treasure hunt began again.

I'm smiling so hard right now remembering how much fun my sister's and I had with our candy. Thinking back on it now it was something that really felt like we had control and responsibility over because it felt so precious. It was our once a year huge sugar treat and we knew it.
posted by Jalliah at 8:54 PM on October 31, 2014 [22 favorites]


There's only one glowstick left, but there is SO MUCH CANDY. Every kid keeps taking ONE PIECE. How? How?? I'm just shoving a bowl in their faces and they very carefully choose one? Oh my gosh, it's just wrong. I have more than half of my candy left and I was concerned that I didn't have enough. I should have thrown handfuls at the small mobs of short people that came by earlier.
posted by Mizu at 8:57 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Every year my damned, beloved dog Maggie would eat all my candy by Nov. 3 and the barf it on the carpet. The only year she didn't, my mom proposed this scheme of packing up my candy in brown lunch bags and saving them for future days. I never saw a single one of those bags again.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:04 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


This year our oldest (15) invited two friends to come out with us, and when we gave up after two hours, we went home for a fire outside and s'mores. Forty-some degrees, a breeze, and more treats: everyone was delighted, joy upon joy!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:08 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


It is pouring down rain here in Los Angeles. Kids are shrieking and running all higgledypiggledy all over the neighborhood. I can't remember the last time it rained here on Halloween. It is glorious.
posted by ApathyGirl at 9:11 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


My kids came home hid their candy and gorged on pork ribs and rice. They still have candy from last year. Meanwhile the treats I bought to hand out didn't even make it home unsullied. While stuck in traffic I busted that bag open and ate about ten mini candy bars.

I swear my real kids must have been replaced by pod people on some previous Halloween.
posted by wobumingbai at 9:19 PM on October 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Halloween is my favorite day of the year. I give candy to children, mulled wine to their parents, and biscuits to doggies.

It rained all day. During trick or treat time, it snowed. We had 3 trick or treaters. I have a HUGE bucket of candy, the Hounds got extra biscuits, and I am pleasantly shitfaced. So it wasn't a total loss.
posted by MissySedai at 9:36 PM on October 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


I guess candy access rules have to vary by kid. My kid will pig out the day of, some the next day, then kind of lose interest in it. But he has no siblings to steal it and we don't make a big deal about forbidden foods in our house (though we don't usually keep candy/cakes etc. around either). I usually end up throwing out the dregs a week later, and he never notices.

My parents sorted through our stash for their favorites, which were seldom mine (malted milk balls, those weird peanut butter striped things) and then we'd eat whatever we wanted till bedtime. I'm sure it was terrible for us, but it was only for that night. I don't actually remember eating candy the day after; I certainly didn't hoard/portion it. I think I was like my kid and kind of assumed Halloween over=candy over.
posted by emjaybee at 10:08 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mizu, you totally have to either GIVE them many pieces directly or tell them, "Take two!" (Or, for the bitty ones, "Take one for each hand.") One of the things about Halloween is that it really illustrates how polite Kids Today (TM) are! They all take just one and they all say thank you, even the teenagers in questionable costumage, and all the ones over the age of six make small talk about their costumes or the weather!

The teeny ones are all being assiduously coached by their parents to say "trick or treat" and "thank you" even when they're barely big enough to climb my steps.

Halloween is like a giant plot to teach children manners with bribery.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:15 PM on October 31, 2014 [17 favorites]


Didn't your parents assume control after a bit ...

We were allowed Halloween night of candy gorging and that was it. They didn't want long, drawn out days of sugar mood swings.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:30 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


We have, like, ten kids on our block, in a nice residential neighborhood a couple blocks from an elementary school, and didn't get a single trick-or-treater. I barely even saw any walking around. I got a pretty sizable bag of candy thinking we'd get slammed, but nothing at all?
posted by LionIndex at 10:32 PM on October 31, 2014


I was allowed total access to my Halloween candy. One year I ate ALL of the chocolate at once. Then I spent a day moaning on the couch, and then I never did that again.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:32 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


My favourite child of the night was the little girl who, overwhelmed by the glorious excess of it all, shrieked to the heavens, "I HAVE SO MUCH CANDY!"
posted by atropos at 10:35 PM on October 31, 2014 [30 favorites]



Yes I should have added that to the list of things we learned. While eating tons and tons at one time because I could and was so yummy the consequences......

Yeah I remember learning pretty quick that candy was both good and evil and which way it leaned depended on my own choice.
posted by Jalliah at 10:38 PM on October 31, 2014


The line between good and evil runs through the Kit Kat bar. It's all about slowly re-dosing, gotta pace yourself. Change up the candies. Embrace chocolate and that other sugar-junk. Sour Patch Kids bring balance to the You-Niverse.

I got "candy issues" myself, parents are basically secular humanist hedonists who were survivalists at one point and mostly made healthy food, but used "treats" (dessert, but it was always called a "treat" which now sounds suspiciously Pavlovian) to manipulate good behavior and made a big deal out of the enjoyment of said treats themselves. Years later I found that unfettered access to a Costco sized "fun-size" bag was a depression trigger of sorts (over the course of a few days, and shared, but still enough), "LOL."

So anyway
posted by aydeejones at 10:45 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised at the pro-candy response. I figured people on Metafilter would be handing out literature by Robert Lustig, or at least be giving out organic chocolate made from fair trade harvested cacao beans from the indigenous farmers of somewhere.
posted by FJT at 11:08 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


One guy up the street decorated his porch very spooky (the 6 year olds were freaked out by the fake spiderwebs), and not only did he give out a couple pieces of candy, he gave out pairs of green light-up fingernails and the most awesome light-up LED skulls. Super bright and flashy. Which were great, because by 7:00 it was really dark. (This year it was nice because at 15 degrees F, it was relatively warm. A couple years ago it was a bit below 0 and that's really not pleasant. No moose, though.)
posted by leahwrenn at 12:03 AM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


One of the things my kids most look forward to is the science experiments we do with their candy: what candy dissolves? Does it dissolve faster in cold water or hot? What happens to the dyes in the candy? How long can you really get away with leaving it on the window sill before mom gets *really* fed up with the rotting, disgusting mess? By the time we're done the experiments they have pretty much zero appetite for the rest. Score one for science!
posted by simra at 12:03 AM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


And the state troopers always come to our neighborhood and pass out glow sticks. Do they do that other places?
posted by leahwrenn at 12:04 AM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I live in Santa Monica, so this year I'm giving out vaccines.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:13 AM on November 1, 2014 [20 favorites]


any kid of any age can walk into Walgreen's with $10 and buy enough candy to send her to the ER

man if it were possible to eat enough candy to require emergency medical attention it would have happened to me

i've seen a *peeps eating contest* (which took place at the tiki bar started by boyd rice, which is a fact I'm just going to leave here) and all that happened is they threw up at the end
posted by atoxyl at 12:53 AM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm throwing up just thinking about it. Peeps are nasty.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:13 AM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


We live on a double yellow lined road, so we only got four groups of trick or treaters, but one of them was four teenagers in head to toe themed bodysuits (Spider-Man, American Flag, two others I forget because it was weird as hell) and they did a two minute long dance routine to music that an accomplice was playing off to the side. They got handfuls of candy.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:18 AM on November 1, 2014 [8 favorites]


Why Australia hates Halloween
(We are losing the war against Halloween here. There were TWO families in my street last night, dressed as ghosty-things).
posted by Mezentian at 2:58 AM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


My wife (being a teacher) gave out pencils and erasers (in addition to candy). We had to shutoff the lights and lock the doors after the first 200 kids came by because we ran out.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:55 AM on November 1, 2014


I take the 4 year old out trick or treating so it's always nice to set up the house so that the neighborhood thinks my wife, who answers the door, is a psychopath. This year the 4 year old got in on the action! My First Loa.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:14 AM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


My sister, who lives in the apartment next to mine, always contributes the bowl of stuff-that-is-not-candy to our collective door-answering party for my small apartment building (the place looks like a house and I decorate the entryway to assauge and encourage strolling parents) and I always roll my eyes a bit at the surfeit of kazoos, because, c'mon, kazoos are (a) lame and (b) annoying when they're not being lame, but this year, when given a choice, the kids went nuts for stick-on mustaches.

Apparently kids these days are really into the Tom Of Finland aesthetic, which is progress.
posted by sonascope at 5:15 AM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Not gonna read the whole thread but can I just say:

Fuck all of this. Let them eat candy!

For fuck's sake.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:50 AM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


small_ruminant: still love the Lik-M-Ades.

Lik-m-ade, fun dip, and pixie stix brought out the mini-Scarface in all of us.
posted by dr_dank at 6:02 AM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


I got to take some of most astute high school seniors to see the Dalai Lama at MIT yesterday, and on the T we were talking about the Cash for Candy idea.

One of my favorite kids (yes, teachers have favorites ANDDON'TPRETENDYOUDIDN'TKNOWTHAT so shut up) said thoughtfully:

"Oh right. Because kids didn't already have enough reasons to hate going to the dentist. Now they're going to TAKE ALL YOUR CANDY??? ARE THEY WEARING VOLDEMORT COSTUMES TOO?"
posted by kinetic at 6:04 AM on November 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


My kids love the dentist buyback, because they are picky. We pool and sort, and everything that no one likes plus the leftovers from we were giving out (I only buy candy no one in our house likes to give out, so no one eats it beforehand) goes to the dentist. Last year, each kid got $5 to keep, plus they still had the candy they actually like at home. Win-win.
posted by candyland at 6:33 AM on November 1, 2014


That's how my parents did it, candyland. I guess it only works if your kids don't instinctively glom in all the candy.

Also I feel this picture is relevant to the Tootsie Roll: nasty candy or disgusting candy? debate.
posted by winna at 6:38 AM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


No glow sticks this yeah, which is a shame as the kids love those. Couple of stickers and plastic spider though, and one place just giving out handfuls of marbles which was extremely well received. Oh, and one kid DID get a rock - some kind of semi-precious shiny thing.

The actual candy itself was disapointingly uniform - I guess everyone just buys the same bags of stuff from Fred Meyer.
posted by Artw at 6:44 AM on November 1, 2014


They sell these bags of trick-or-treat candy at the supermarket, that look like what some kid should have AFTER trick-or-treating. I give those the side-eye.

Say four kids come to your door, and you give every kid a couple things from this bag. If I was one of those kids, and just by luck of the draw, I saw my friends get candy bars, while I got a couple pieces of that awful dry bubble gum? I would feel so cheated!

If you hold out the bowl and tell kids to pick, some kids take forever to choose, which is slowing down the kids behind. The kids are in a hurry out there, they only have so much time and they need to get to the next house!

Also, at the end of the evening, you are stuck with leftovers that include a lot of inedible stuff. Especially if you've been letting the kids pick; they'll have left you with a bowl that's got nothing left worth having.

No, it's better to give out the same thing to every kid. That way no one feels cheated, and efficiency is maintained. They can get on down the street as quickly as possible. And give out something you like, so you can eat the leftovers.
posted by elizilla at 7:18 AM on November 1, 2014


Took my nearly 2 year old out yesterday. She didn't really understand what was going on, but she had a great time walking/running between houses, getting shy, and giving high fives to the candy-givers. She was one of only two Elsas we saw out.

When we got home, we sat on the front step and went through her bag of candy (no prompting!). No one in our neighborhood gave out non-food, but she got a few bags of chips. She found a dum-dum and got the wrapper off and excitedly put it in her mouth. I let her have it for a few seconds, then took it away. I'm not going to ruin Halloween for her, but I normally don't let her have any candy at all. She's still a baby!

This week she got some less than stellar reports on her behavior at day care. I asked her teachers why, and discovered that one day they gave her three lollipops! That's crazy, right? No wonder she was acting up.
posted by Night_owl at 7:25 AM on November 1, 2014


I never thought of this particular holiday as one for travel, but next year lets organize a meetup trip to Eyebrows McGees street!


Now off to the day after half price sales.
posted by sammyo at 9:44 AM on November 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


My town is big on the booze for parents thing as well. With the cosmic confluence of a Friday night Halloween, more parents were stumbling after their amped up kids than usual. I was busy corralling 4 kids on the autism spectrum from house to house, and had to drive some folks home after, so I couldn't avail myself of the adult treats, but it's good to know our town's not anomalously alcoholically oriented.
posted by mollweide at 10:05 AM on November 1, 2014


My daughter, as I've discussed ad nauseam (ha! see what I did there?) has a digestive disorder that means that she can't have fruit, fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols, or too much sucrose. She can, however, have all the dextrose/glucose she wants, and in fact the more of it she eats, the more it helps her absorb incidental fructose from sucrose or other dietary sources. This led to the hilarious scene of me lining 8 snack-sized boxes of Nerds up in front of her and telling her "After the amount of sugar you've had today, you can't go to bed until you eat ALL of these."

We walk down to the local Main Street, which gets closed off by the fire department and all the businesses do trick or treating -- it's just over a mile from our house -- and then trick-or-treat through the neighborhood on the way back. Non-candy faves for the kids included glow bracelets, LED rings, puffy stickers, temporary tattoos, and yes, stick-on moustaches. Non-candy fave for the grownups was definitely the shots of port the local wine shop was handing out.

My daughter was Elsa. My son is difficult to do costumes for because he has some sensory issues, but we put him in green sweatpants and a green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hoodie. And then at the last minute I was struck by inspiration and something I'd seen a friend's mom do, and I whipstitched unconnected 22" glow necklaces down each leg of the sweatpants, down next to the zipper of the hoodie, and around the edge of the hood; I was going to do them out each arm but they were too long, I would have needed 15" lengths. This meant that when it was still light out, he was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but in the dark, he was a (highly visible albeit armless) WALKING STICKMAN!!! This was a MASSIVE hit, we got probably 100 compliments on it. I think next year I will buy EL wire and wire up both kids over their costumes, as well as me and my husband, because not only was it a big hit but it was AWESOME for safety.
posted by KathrynT at 11:06 AM on November 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


I think we had about 15-20 kids this year. WAY less than in past years, but it was miserable out for most of the night. So now I have the leftovers of an enormous Costco bag of candy to deal with, hope every meeting I have this month enjoys Butterfingers and Snickers.

The saddest part was this morning as I walked the dog, I found the remnants of somebody's Amazon package--it had been ripped open and was laying in a yard about 2 blocks away from where it was supposed to be. Put it back on their porch, but it was too early to knock and say that I'd found it.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:37 AM on November 1, 2014


It was the first year that my two-year-old got to join her four-year-old brother in the Halloween festivities. She couldn't really form her mouth around the words of "trick-or-treat," but after she caught onto the concept, she'd toddle into each store hollering "Yummy!" I let her have two lollipops and a mini-Reese's cup that night, and today she joins her brother in a strict one-a-day policy.
posted by Liesl at 1:26 PM on November 1, 2014


I have to say, when I had to buy the candy for the first time, I was shocked at how expensive one bag of, say, M&M packages is. One not-large bag. Our neighborhood never does trick or treat. So we went down to a trick or treat hotspot where the vintage homes are and there were hundreds of kids checking out the over-the-top decorations the neighborhood does, and of course getting candy. I felt bad, though, thinking of those expensive bags, and wished they put out tip jars or something. I think we'll find a less-crowded venue next year. I guess it's kind of an upside that my kid got to see lots of people in costume, some epic house decor, but actually didn't get that much candy (they were rationing for obvious reasons) which he didn't seem to mind.

They are almost at the point they need to just block off the streets and charge admission, though there were plenty of houses that were dark, too. But it's rapidly turning into an unregulated street fair.

Meanwhile, lots of neighborhoods like mine are ghost towns.

I'm sure this all means something in sociological terms, but damned if I know what.
posted by emjaybee at 5:50 PM on November 1, 2014


Grocery Outlet has good deals on name brand candies, like M&Ms.
posted by small_ruminant at 8:35 PM on November 1, 2014


"I felt bad, though, thinking of those expensive bags, and wished they put out tip jars or something."

Naw, as someone in a "good" trick-or-treating neighborhood that draws out-of-neighborhood kids to trick-or-treat, I basically just feel like Santa. I'm not delighted to buy $80 of candy, but I consider it a small price to pay for helping little kids enjoy the magic of childhood where they get to dress up, knock on doors, and friendly grown-ups admire their costumes and give them candy. I would pay way more than $80 for the chance to help little kids enjoy being little kids and help them create those happy childhood memories they will one day reminisce about on their hyper-implant super-internet message boardaramas.

And yeah, I go to a restaurant supply outlet to stock up on candy, it's cheaper.

I would prefer SLIGHTLY LESS FROSTBITE next year, though. I do value my fingertips a little more than the magic of childhood.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:19 PM on November 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I admit, my memories of Halloween are as much from ET as anything, but I always assumed it was at a sunnier time of year for North America, regardless of what seasons mean. Or what Ray Bradbury taught me.

Damn, yet another trauma from ET to get over.
posted by Mezentian at 11:04 PM on November 1, 2014


E.T. was filmed in Southern California where it would normally be in the 70s. On Friday we had our first rain (during peak treak-or-treat hours, of course) but it was probably still in the 60s. This "weather" thing, as I understand it, is something that happens elsewhere in North America.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:36 AM on November 2, 2014


Chocolate candy is total bullshit, fruity candy is where it's at.

Yes, chocolate is terrible and therefore should be sent to me, because I care. I only want to put an end to the suffering.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:02 PM on November 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Edgewise: "Hasn't Halloween already been sufficiently bowlderized? These days, the kids are all accompanied by parents. Back in the day, we would have rather DIED than go trick-or-treating with our parents. Where is the mayhem? At this rate, in a few years people will be handing out freaking MATH PROBLEMS to these poor children. And they'll enjoy it because they won't know any better! That's probably the only thing left about Halloween that's truly scary."

My son is three.

I still sometimes have to forcibly drag him across the street to avoid traffic because even though he specifically stated he wanted to go in one particular direction, halfway across the street he changes his mind and digs in his feet. He actually slows when the "No Walk" sign starts flashing, just like the Dustin Hoffman character in Rain Man.

If invited he would probably willingly climb into the shovel of a digger, and considers himself totally ready to steer and drive a fire engine. On the other hand, he is frightened by even the most innocuous costumes, even expressing fear when encountering a grown-up dressed as Curious George.

I had to remind him, more than once that the proper way to get candy is by saying, "trick or treat", not "Want candy, please!"

Long story short, my son is currently in no shape whatsoever to trick or treat on his own. He's hopeless.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:48 PM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


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