Halloween Treats - A Last-Minute Primer

Halloween "dos" and "don'ts" to consider.

In my youth, I spent each Halloween trick-or-treating the mean streets of Westborough, going from house to house with the soul goal of stuffing my goody pillowcase with as much loot as possible. I always got more than I could possibly eat, and remember throwing stuff out shortly before Christmas (yes, I should have been a better sharer).

I remember the joy of the rare times when a generous treat-giver would give out a full-sized bar. Equally ingrained in my memory are the doors where I'd leave with a couple hard butterscotch candies wrapped up in that crinkly plastic wrapped and tasting like crinkly plastic wrap.

If you're a last-minute candy shopper, here are some "dos" and "don'ts" of treats to give out to avoid being tricked later in the night. Along with my personal memories and preferences, I consulted my kids (ages 12, 10, and 9), noted current experts on the subject.

Among the best things you can give out:

  • Peanut butter cups. This was unanimously the first thing the kids all said.
  • Twix. Chocolate and cookie. How can you go wrong?
  • Full sized candy bars are still a huge hit, and you will be loved.
  • Skittles and/or Starburst are popular, and also give the non-chocolate lovers (not sure how such people go through life) and peanut allergy kids something.


Things to avoid:

  • Cough drops. They get some of these every year. This may be worse than Charlie Brown getting rocks.
  • Raisins, apples, or anything resembling something healthy.
  • Potato chips. "We want candy, not potato chips." Plus, if you get them early in the night, they'll be crushed by the candy piled on top of them.
  • Jawbreakers.
  • Juice boxes. It's happened. I'm guessing it was someone who forgot to buy candy and just rummaged around the house to have something to give out.


Next, a word about UNICEF money. It's a nice idea. Everyone's heart is in the right place. But, in my personal experience, it never lives up to its noble intent.

As a kid, I always had a UNICEF box, and always had some loose change floating around at the bottom of my bag. I usually found it around mid-December, and, by then, my little cardboard box had been sitting under a crumpled sweatshirt in the corner of my room for six weeks. I probably ended up using the money for a few superballs in the vending machine at Julio's grocery store (where Tatnuck currently resides). My kids don't even know what to do with the change.

Finally, if you're an anti-Halloweenite, that's fine. I understand. Before I had kids, I had nothing to do with the holiday, and when they're old enough to not care, I won't, either. But don't leave hopeful kids exitedly looking up, waiting for your door to open.

If you're not giving stuff out, go out for a few hours or sit in the back of your house with the front lights out. There's nothing sadder than the disappointed face of a Snow White or a Buzz Lightyear sulking down the sidewalk, their bags light, their hearts heavy.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

TBH October 31, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Houses that give out full sized bars get mentally "bookmarked." So if you generously choose to go down that road, do so knowing there is no turning back!
Anne Deysher November 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I enjoy your insights as always! It was a relief to know that we did okay according to your guidelines - phew!


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