Monday, October 25, 2004

Cauldron of Plenty

Come Halloween, this will hold the treats, not
the decorations.I promised to explain about the treats we give out at Halloween.

As you may have guessed by now, John and I have both struggled with our weight for decades. We know candy isn't good for us, and so we normally don't buy it,  except sometimes in low-carb, no sugar varieties. For some adults, it doesn't matter much if the family buys bags of candy for Halloween and the parents eat some of it. For us, it's a Bad Thing. A couple of times, I've successfully bought and hidden the candy until Halloween, but that doesn't mean I haven't touched the stuff myself. Other times, John has successfully deduced the location of the candy, and eaten a quantity of it. It's better, in his view, if the stuff isn't around at all. He's right, of course, especially now that John has lost over 100 pounds and it working so hard to get and stay fit. (I really should follow his example!)

box of delights.At the same time, John doesn't feel that it's right to completely deny kids their candy at Halloween. He probably remembers as a "gyp" (if I may use that dated, non-PC term) the houses that gave out apples instead of Tootsie Rolls. Me, I liked the apples, as long as there was lots of candy too, from other houses. Of course, this was before, and just at the beginning of, the annual razor blade, poison and LSD scares that caused parents to distrust each other's treats. This is mostly an unfounded fear, as can be seen on Still, anything but wrapped candy tends to be looked on askance. The tv series Boy Meets World once had a gag in which Mr. Feeny handed out rulers instead of candy, and just last year, I saw mini-toothbrushes promoted as "treats" at a supermarket checkout. No. Don't do this.

It's true, though, that the candy isn't much better for the kids than it is for us, and it's also true that we don't want a lot of candy sitting around. So we compromise. Each kid gets about two small pieces of candy, and a packet of
stuff that won't be looked on as either poisonous or overly heathly: toys.

We don't need no stinkin' candy!
Not all of it is toys, technically, but it's all in that general vein. In our packets you'll find stickers and trading cards, play money, spider and bat rings, tiny plastic figures, friendship bracelets, tiny yo-yos, noisemakers, balloons, and whatever else we have available that year

This stuff is almost as much fun for us to assemble as it is for the kids to get.  John culls his dupe baseball cards and our unwanted trading cards (we often buy sample packs of things). This year, we looked at Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids, but decided they were too gross and unfunny to buy and give out. But we do have football cards and Harry Potter cards and Lord of the Rings cards. We go to party supply stores and buy neat things by the card or the handful. I stop at the amazing Yikes! Toy Store, and pick up plastic aliens, snakes and tiny pigs.

The only tedious part of the process is assembling it. John doesn't help with this. Some years, I try to do girl-oriented packets and boy-oriented ones, so that the girls get the friendship bracelets, the boys the football cards. I generally don't approve of this practice, though. I know that when I was a kid, I loved Creepy Crawlers as much as the average boy. So this year, the packets will be Unisex. If some girls end up with football cards, they can either trade them away or learn to like football. And if boys get the few friendship bracelets I have left, they can either trade them to their sisters, or learn to like girls.

And the candy? I'm going to buy it no earlier than Sunday afternoon.


All photos by KFB

P.S. I just made my Yikes! pilgrimage at lunch. This year's additions to the toy treats include plastic sea life (from sea lions to whales to hermit crabs), dogs and cats, parachutists, ladybugs and marbles. I think I'll keep one of the whales for myself.


cneinhorn said...

Great idea!  I'm sure the kids love it!  I have to buy candy the day of or I'll eat it, it's just so hard for me to have it laying around the house!  
I love how you did this entry with the back ground and photos!  

daephene said...

One year I waited until Halloween day to buy candy, and it had all been put away to make room for Christmas stuff.  Really, Christmas stuff should have the decency to stay away until at least November first.  Late November would be preferable.  After Thanksgiving even.  But you certainly ought to be able to buy Halloween candy on Halloween!

sistercdr said...

I bought two bags of Halloween candy on Friday of last week and put them on the very top shelf of our corner cabinet -- the one you pretty much have to crawl on the counter to reach.  I pinched one mini Three Musketeers bar.  By Saturday, it was all gone,  the hubs had a chocolate fit.  But he is quitting smoking.  But still, I wanted more than one!

ryanagi said...

Our jumbo bag of Hershey favorites is about half gone. The M&Ms variety sack is still untouched. We shall see. LOL I hope I have enough glow bracelets. I gave a bunch away July 4th. I still haven't hung Frankenstein on the front door. I'm not as ready this year as I've been in the past. Ya know? I still have a spider ring somewhere in this house that I got one Halloween as a kid. I scared the crap out of my mom with that ring. Never been able to part with it. LOL