All right, let’s get serious for a minute and talk about the real meaning of Halloween, the essential motivation behind celebrating the holiday, the very heart of the reason we dedicate a day in mid-fall to everything horrifying and spooky.
I’m talking about candy.
As a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday–it still is, but for different reasons. The reasons are only different now because societal politeness tells me it’s rude to dress up in a costume and go from house to house collecting candy. Unfortunately, I’m much too tall to pull off a really good disguise and go anyway.
When I was a kid, there was nothing more exciting than picking out a costume weeks before the event, trying it on numerous times in the interim until I broke the elastic on the mask, and fretting over whether the bucket/bag I was taking was really big enough for all the candy I intended to receive. This culminated in a few short hours on a crisp evening, running through fallen leaves from house to house, in a mad dash of sugar-focused greed. This event would be much more productive if all the darn adults would cooperate and turn on their porch lights. I don’t care if you have a night job or you’re out of town or you just don’t like Halloween. I demand candy!
That being said, there were different levels of candy-giving when I was a kid. They’re probably much the same today. I try to keep them in mind when I hand out candy now as an adult:
The Bottom Level: non-candy items. The old people in my small town were the worst offenders. Pennies, stickers, pencils, little toys–you can’t eat those! The only exception was people who bought books of McDonald’s gift certificates and gave them out. You could get a free sundae, ice cream cone, fries, or cheeseburger. However, they required you to convince your parents to take you to McDonald’s in order to bring the gift to fruition. Apples also fall in this category. No one wants healthy stuff on Halloween.
Not-Sure Level: candy that might not be that great. This includes gumdrops, licorice, cheap wrapped hard candies (with weird, gross liquid centers), gum, candy corn, and mints. Some of these things are okay, but most would make you gag and spit them out. Afterward, you felt slighted. You wasted time going to a house for this?
Acceptable Level: the bulk of your haul. Mini candy bars and single Reese’s Cups, jawbreakers, Pixy Stix, single Lifesavers and Starburst (only the pink ones). Your offering pleases my hyperactive child self.
God Level: from the houses of rich people. Entire candy bars, full rolls of Lifesavers and Starburst. Legend has it on Halloween night, if you find the richest house in your town, they’re giving out puppies and kittens and twenty dollar bills.
Halloween is still a great holiday. My son is an adult now, but I still enjoy watching kids trick-or-treat. And the best part about Halloween as an adult? I can buy all the candy I want.
Megan Morgan is a paranormal romance, erotica, and urban fantasy author from Cleveland, Ohio. Bartender by day and purveyor of things that go bump at night, she likes her fiction scary and sexy. She’s a member of the RWA and trying to turn writing into her day job, so she can be on the other side of the bar for a change. Currently published with House of Erotica and Muse It Up’s erotica imprint Muse It HOT! She is also the author of a three-book urban fantasy series coming in March 2015 from Kensington.