Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tricks for your Treats

Happy Halloween!

In case you're wondering, Halloween is actually the Scottish contraction of All Hallow's Eve, which, loosely translated, means free candy, yo!

I have bought the ghosts and goblins their candy and carefully arranged it on this most sacred holiday. Of course, I have a well-orchestrated plan for handing out treats. We're talking about candy, folks! Delicious, yummy, mouthwatering candy! You don't just hand that out without careful planning.

As you read this, please keep the following in mind, before you judge me too harshly:

1. I love candy. I'm not saying I'm a candy addict, but if I could lie candy down by the fire and make sweet love to it while Barry White sings in the background, I would.

2. I am the kid who literally ran home from school on Halloween, threw on a bed sheet (ta-da! Instant costume!), and raced Jon, my partner-in-crime-and-candy, to the number-one house on our Halloween hit list: the green house on Center Street. Get this. Those neighbors annually left a giant bowl of candy on the porch. A big ol' bowl of candy! Just sitting there! In the days before nanny cams!

Sure, those considerate folks put a note on the bowl that read: PLEASE TAKE ONLY ONE PIECE OF CANDY AND SAVE THE REST FOR OTHERS! Tsk. Tsk. Poor, naive, silly neighbors. In our excitement each year, Jon and I were convinced the neighbors meant to write: PLEASE TAKE THE REST OF THE CANDY AND SAVE ONLY ONE PIECE FOR OTHERS! So we would dump the entire bowl into our pillow cases and high-five each other. Yes, we felt a little guilty, so we left some of Jon's grandmother's cherry throat lozenges in the bowl for the next trick-or-treaters. We were good kids like that.

3. See #1.

With that in mind,  here's my handy-dandy-candy guide to handling your Halloween treats for yourself trick-or-treaters:

  • When you buy your Halloween candy, buy only candy you like. This is very important. Do not question The Method. My jeans are very tight because I have only been buying candy I like throughout the entire month of October. That's proof that The Method works.
  • As the above story illustrates, never, ever, ever leave a big bowl of candy out on the porch unsupervised. NEVER. People will take your candy! Who wants that? The point of Halloween is for other people to give you candy, not take your candy. I'm pretty sure.
  • When you get your 25 pounds or so of candy home from the store, take the bag(s) of your favorite candy and hide it in the pantry behind something that looks healthy, so your kids will not go near it. For example, I like to take miniature Reese Cups and store them in a box of Grape Nuts. No one likes Grape Nuts. What the heck are grape nuts, anyway? I'm convinced Post only sells it so clever moms like me can hide chocolate in the boxes. Remember, this is your candy, and your candy only. Hiding your favorite candy is your reward for pretending like you are actually going to give the rest of your candy away.
  • I love to see a ginormous bowl of candy in my living room. It makes me happy. Why deny yourself this happiness? Go ahead and fill your giant candy bowl and admire it. Keep in mind, there's always the slim chance that a few clever trick-or-treaters will make it past the elaborate security system you installed just for Halloween. But fill the bowl carefully. Remember, your Halloween goal is to have as much candy left over for yourself as possible.
  • Fill the bottom of the bowl with the yummy, top-of-the-candy-chain treats, like Snickers, Kit Kats, Butterfingers, Reese Cups, Hershey bars and the like. These are placed on the bottom because they are your last-resort handouts, people! You only give this away to trick-or-treaters if you are out of, oh, say, those old restaurant mints you found in the bottom of your purse. 
  • You don't want to take a chance of any little vampires or witches seeing the chocolate in the bowl and thinking it is for them (poor, misguided children), so dump all of those ketchup, hot sauce and soy sauce packets you have been saving all year on top of the chocolate. Kids love ketchup packets!
  • Next, dump in the giant bags of cheap candy you don't really like -- but you can eat it if you have PMS and it's between that candy and the five-year-old chocolate chips you have in your cabinet (ha! Like I have leftover chocolate anything left in my cabinet! Oh, you people and the things you believe...). You can give this candy out if you absolutely must. You won't like it, but you know you have 15 pounds of chocolate stored in those whole-grain cereal boxes.
  • And okay, for good measure, include a few packets of fruit snacks for the tiniest ghouls who win you over with their "twick-or-tweats!"  I am not a monster, people! I have a heart -- probably one clogged by Kit Kats, but still.
If you follow the above plan, at the end of then night, you should have plenty of treats left for yourself. Granted, you can always buy the candy, close your blinds, turn out all of the lights, sit on the floor and ignore the doorbell while stuffing yourself with mini candy bars until you're sick, but that's for Halloweenies. I at least go to the trouble of creating an illusion of generosity when it comes to candy. That counts, right?

Gotta go pour myself a bowl of "Grape Nuts" now.

(Please don't egg me.)

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