Tag Archives: Halloween

The Science of Halloween Candy

TomummyHalloween has changed a lot since I was running the neighborhood with eye holes cut out of a sheet with my brother dressed as a hobo. (Modern translation of hobo: a more delicate and antiquated word for homeless person). Now it’s a major production on both sides of the door, so it’s important to know key candy distribution guidelines. Pay attention, kids, this can be the difference between a bag of worthless suckers and a full-sized Hershey bar wrapped with a $5 bill.

Here’s how it works now. Little bitty kids who show up before it’s even dusk get fussed over because they’re beyond adorable in a costume that mom spent a month making or a month’s salary buying. They get one or two pieces of the good candy – name brand chocolate. Mom needs some kind of payback for her efforts, because, let’s face it, that’s who will eat that candy. For that matter, consider just handing her one of those single serving size bottles of cheap red wine.

As soon as it gets dark, look for elementary and middle school kids. They’re more interested in quantity than quality. Feel free to mix in filler candy like Jolly Ranchers, candy corn and those weird circus peanut things (what are those things other than nasty?) along with several pieces of good candy. Remember, unless a mom finds this, this candy will likely live under a bed until spring.

Later in the evening, the older kids come out. You’ve got a 50/50 chance that they didn’t even bother to put on a costume. My policy is no costume = no candy. I tend to vote Republican, so there’s no free candy handout at my house. Earn your candy. You can get a cat ear headband at the dollar store. Otherwise, you better come prepared to entertain me. For what candy costs these days, I want some payback. Sing, tell a good joke. A two-minute rehearsed monologue from a recognizable playwright and I’ll empty the rest of my candy bowl into your pillowcase and throw in a $5 bill.

At the end of the night, if my porch light is off, I’m tired of opening my door and I’m planning to enjoy the last three KitKat bars I held back with red wine at a price point that doesn’t befit handing out for free to young mothers. So stay safe and don’t take candy from strangers.

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Really? Halloween Trees?!

halloweenOkay, I’m done. Just shoot me. I just found out that Halloween Trees are a real thing. All my hope for the future of humanity is gone and I’m devoid of a desire to go forward. There are actually people out there with way too much time and way, way too much disposable cash, all coupled with a twisted drive to prove they own a glue gun. What the heck has happened to just carving a pumpkin, stapling some cobwebs around the front door and calling it good?

Oh but wait! It gets better (and more expensive)! You can order your own 9-foot PRE-LIT Halloween tree for about $975 plus tax and shipping. It comes with purple and orange lights, all ready to be adorned with spooky… I don’t even know. Ornaments? This means, I’m going to guess here, that we should start seeing Halloween trees and the necessary accompanying decorations in stores some time right after Easter.

I can’t help but wonder: where is this coming from? Is Halloween having some kind of bizarre crisis of holiday gender identity? Is this a holiday that doesn’t want to be constricted by societal expectations of spooky fun and happy, costumed kids wanting candy but wants to explore its more Christmassy side? This is just weird.

And where does it stop? Will we have Fourth of July trees? Labor Day trees? We can’t have Columbus Day trees because there are folks that will think they should be Indigenous People trees. Will we need to decorate our Arbor Day trees with just more trees? You do see how this just opens up a virtual Pandora’s Box of wrongness, right?
This is, of course, a conspiracy. Big business craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s are obviously in cahoots with Pinterest and such to drive those poor souls afflicted with crafting skills into a buying frenzy. They’re planting this sick belief that you must over decorate for every occasion. How long before you have to put up your “I have a dentist appointment” tree?

Because I’m open-minded and tolerant of all things (HA!), I’ll point out the one benefit I see: I don’t have to ever put my Christmas tree back in the attic. I can decorate it for every possible holiday and just leave it in the living room until it rots.

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