The highlight of the Halloween Holiday is, of course, the "Trick or Treating" ritual. Oh, how I loved this when I was a kid! I loved getting in my costume (My Ben Cooper™ Mickey Mouse costume was the best! I wore it three years in a row.) and wandering the neighborhood collecting candy from our neighbors. It was more fun when I was a kid than it is now. Since parents back then apparently were not concerned about the safety of their children, you could roam the streets without adult supervision. Nowadays, thanks to overprotective parents and a nationwide surge in the kook/pervert/nutjob population, kids are forced to drag some lame grownup along for their "safety". What fun is that?
Now that I am an "adult" (Save the derisive comments), I still enjoy Trickin' and Treatin'. I love seeing the little kids in their cute little costumes, especially the ones who are too young to really understand what they are doing. "Why am I dressed like this?", they must wonder, "and why do Mom and Dad keep pushing me up to strange houses?" They are so innocent, it is adorable. It's such a nice contrast to the sullen teens who come to your door without a costume, and just thrust out a pillowcase without even saying the obligatory "trick or treat". It feels like you are being robbed by a door-to-door candy burglar. Here's a note to these "kids": By age fourteen, you are too old for Tricks and/or Treats. Why aren't you out drinking and getting high behind the convenience store or something?
Of course, the most important aspect to this ritual is the CANDY! At our house, we take pride in offering something really good, that we ourselves would enjoy. This is because we care about the children. It has nothing to do with the fact that we always have a lot left over and end up eating it ourselves. Really.
There were a lot of candies I looked forward to getting. I loved Dots™, Twizzlers™ and Dum Dum™ lollipops. Also, Reese's™ peanut butter cups, Hershey™ bars, Baby Ruth's... actually, anything with chocolate as a main ingredient was okay by me. Unless there was coconut in it. No Mounds™ or Almond Joy™ for me, thanks.
That brings me to things I didn't enjoy getting. A big no-no was anything homemade (A lady in our neighborhood used to make and distribute Rice Crispie Treats™. We avoided her house on our route). The fact of the matter is, if you pass out something homemade, kids will think you're a witch and are trying to poison them. I know we did.
Also, no fruit please. Even if there isn't a razor blade in that apple, no kid wants something healthy on Halloween. Don't give out non-candy items either. No toothbrushes, crayons or stickers. These put a crimp on the fun, and there may be retaliation.
Worse than all of that stuff, though, is the crummy kinds of candy. While I hate coconut, I recognise that there are some out there who enjoy it, so I can understand giving out candies containing it. Especially if you anticipate leftovers. No one, however, wants rubbish like Bit-O-Honey™, Ribbon Candy, Granola Bars, Paydays™, Mallowcups™ or, worst of all, MaryJane™ candy bars! These are the candies your Grandma serves, and you know the kind of crud Grandmas eat.
Of course, there is one other thing that is even worse than crummy candy, and that is no candy at all. As a child, and to this day, I HATE the childless neighbors who turn off their lights, and pretend they're not home so they won't have to be "bothered" giving out candy. Kids, if you encounter a grouch-house like this and suspect the occupants are hiding inside, don't let 'em off easy! Ring their doorbell hundreds of times, then knock continuously, for fifteen minutes or so. If they still don't surrender some candy, this means war! If you brought toilet paper and/or eggs with you, now's the time to use them. If you'd like to try something a bit unconventional, that will really teach them a lesson, I recommend pouring a chocolate milkshake on their windshield. As a finishing touch, write "Happy Halloween" in it with your finger. I can tell you from experience, this is a major pain-in-the-pumpkin to clean up, and it may teach those "Hallowscrooges" the error of their ways.
Or you could get arrested.
Whatever you do, keep it happy, safe and fun!
...And stay away from witches with Rice Crispie™ Treats!