|Flickr: terren in Virginia|
I always go through a bit of agony when I buy my Halloween candy. I didn’t grow up in a kind of normal ‘don’t eat too much candy but if you have a Ding-Dong, I won’t disown you’ type of household.
There was so much anxiety surrounding sugar at home, when Halloween came ‘round and I could get free candy from adults by looking vaguely cute, I counted the days until I could be released upon the streets. I was Halloween-obsessed.
At first, everything about Halloween was a struggle. I had to wear a plastic princess costume rather than having a home-sewn one like my friends with more ‘crafty’ mothers. I had to cover up my gypsy costume with a sweater—even though it was 60 degrees outside.
As I grew older, though, I collected great childhood memories as well as great Halloween stashes. The year that I dressed up as Sherlock Holmes, with my long hair stuffed in a deerstalker and an Inverness cape slung over my shoulders was particularly inspired. It was so cold that year that my magnifying glass got frosty, but the lack of trick-or-treaters plus the unusual nature of my costume translated into an insulin-inducing pillow bag full of candy.
One woman with a particularly beautiful, expensive house lined with glass picture windows and a spiral staircase in a very exclusive part of town actually took my friend and I on a tour of her home (I know, I know, not safe). As well as doused us with chocolate.
I still love Halloween, and I aim to please the kids that come to my house now that I’m grown. I want to be the ‘cool candy house.’ To be honest, my adult chocolate preferences tend to be dark, dark dark, and bittersweet as my heart. But as evolved as we are as a foodie culture, I’ve yet to hear a ten –year-old say: “Look what I got! Sea Salt-infusused 86% cacao bars!”
Thus far I’ve bought some mini-Twix and for those strange children not that fond of chocolate, some white chocolate Hershey’s cookies and cream bars. More may be forthcoming for the goodie bags—that is only a preview.
I’m always very annoyed by people who make a big deal about hating Halloween. For those of you who know my father and stepmother, you will be unsurprised to know that they disdain All Hallows Eve for being ‘not Greek.’ Tiny portions, giving to strangers=not Greek. Thanksgiving, of course, because they like the food better and the portion sizes, has become an unofficial Greek holiday.
My personal philosophy is: if you make a little girl in a Strawberry Shortcake dress and her brother in a teddy bear costume cry because you’ve turned off your light and aren’t willing to part with a five cent fun-sized piece of candy… what cold, dark soul you must have…
I also don’t understand people who refuse to give candy to kids who are too old/not in a ‘real costume.’ For heaven’s sake! It’s Halloween! Kids have cellphones at age six and are worried about getting into college at nine! A fourteen year-old is wearing a black t-shirt and enjoying the last gasp of his childhood and you won’t give him a itty bitty crunch bar because he’s too self-conscious to put on a superhero cape? Get over yourself!
I take a controversial stand that toys like stickers and pencils (but not plastic spider rings) are okay, provided they accompany candy and are not given in lieu of sugar…but I will end by saying one thing that has not changed, no matter what the decade or nutritional fashion: is that it is NEVER NEVER okay to give out tiny boxes of Sun Maid raisins. NOT okay. I actually love raisins but raisins=universal Halloween coal.