When I first heard about plans to cancel Halloween this year, I was bummed, to say the least.
I’m that embarrassing mom who stands at the door in full costume, handing out treats while her kids cower in the background, yelling, “Mom, you’re a grown woman! Give it up already!”
What can I say? I love everything about this holiday: carved pumpkins, kids in costumes, free candy.
I took treating to a new level. It started with hand-stenciled bags filled with candy, pencils, erasers, and glow sticks. Another year, I filled fancy bags with small cans of pop, juice pouches, bags of chips, and peanut/butter cheese crackers.
That trend continued until the year the little girl from across the street complained, “Chips and pop again? Booooring!”
The next year, I decided not to mess around with those measly fun-size treats or the chips and pop. I kicked it up another notch and went with full-size candy bars.
My husband, Mr. Generosity, quipped, “That’s expensive!”
“I’m paying for it,” I told him. “Besides, if I shop for candy when it’s on sale in August, I can stash it in the freezer until October. I’m saving time and money.”
“Hmm,” he said, unconvinced.
It turned out to be my best idea yet. The first year I handed out the big bars, kids acted as if they’d never seen candy before.
“Wow! Full-size candy bars! I just died and went to heaven!”
Where once we had only about 20 trick-or-treaters, we suddenly saw 50 or more kids showing up at the house for treats.
“The word is out,” said Mr. Grumpy Pants.
Determined not to let him spoil my fun, I continued handing out the big candy bars. One year, I actually ran out of candy before trick-or-treat ended, something that had never happened before.
Last year, just for fun, I started keeping track of how many kids stopped by our house. That’s when I discovered that some clever little goblins were double-dipping!
“Trick-or-treat,” chimed a group of revelers that looked to be fifth-graders, all dressed up like Star Wars characters. “You hand out the best treats!” said one girl, a little too enthusiastically.
“You look familiar,” I said, “have you been here before?”
“Um, I don’t think so,” she answered nervously.
“You must be confusing her with her cousin,” another girl said.
“Yeah, my cousin! She’s the one who told me about your wonderful treats.”
My husband was standing in the doorway behind me, gloating.
Next came a group of middle school boys.
“Trick or treat!” said the tallest. “And, you were right, those girls were here before.”
“How do you know that?” I asked.
“That was my sister,” he confessed.
Five minutes later, they were back.
“Trick or Treat!” the boys yelled.
“Hey, wait a minute. You were just here!”
“Yeah,” said the tall kid, “but at least we told you the truth.”
I gave them extra candy bars. Sometimes, honesty pays big dividends.