Halloween Treats

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My husband and I have always enjoyed Halloween. Years ago I declared it my favorite holiday. I like Halloween more than Christmas.

Early in our relationship my husband and I decided to celebrate the Trick-or-Treaters. Instead of seeing them as an interruption, we decided to have fun with them.

The first thing we do each year is set up a small table by the door with two chairs. Usually, I grab a hall table. That way we can sit in the entryway of the house. We have our basket of treats all set to go. We make a cocktail (or a mocktail) and set up a snack for us, too. Maybe some nuts.

Then we get out a game we want to play. Usually, it’s a card game that is not spoiled by the ringing of the doorbell. Each time the bell rings one of us gets up (because of the pandemic, we’ll be putting our Halloween masks on, too) to greet the kiddies and we let them pick out what they want for a treat. Because we are both sitting by the door we both get to see the costumes and enjoy the ceremony of the little ones chirping out “Trick-or-Treat.” We get to greet the moms and dads that are accompanying the kids too. It’s really a treat for us, truth be told.

For dinner, we order a pizza. Don’t freak. Even I eat pizza. I just only eat one piece of crust. For the rest, I just pick off the toppings with a fork. My husband is an expert at piling even three sets of toppings onto one piece of crust and eating that. But I digress.

Since starting Plan Z I no longer give out candy. I used to pride myself on having the best candy bar selection in the neighborhood. I’d get the good stuff.

Now I get even better stuff. I have taken to giving out toys!

I have found the perfect place to buy Halloween treats is at the craft store. This year I bought Halloween-themed pencils, whistles, kazoos, crazy glasses, flying frog toys, spider rings, and stretchy skeletons. How fun is that!

Last year I bought wind-up plastic monsters and Halloween tub toys.

At first, the kids get a startled look on their faces when they go to grab into the basket and there’s no candy. We tell them they can pick a toy or two and then they turn to their parents and say, “Look, Mom! They are giving out toys! YAY!”

The only trick is sometimes they have a hard time choosing. I don’t mind. That gives us more time to enjoy the costumes and the fun.

Now for the economics of it. I checked the pricing. Those little Snicker Bars are 17 cents each. I got 137 toys at my local craft store for under $20. That’s about 15 cents each. And because we are not getting as many trick-or-treaters due to the pandemic, I’ll have some left over to use for trick-or-treaters next year. So I get the satisfaction of giving them something that lasts more than the two seconds it takes to rip open a piece of candy and jam it in their mouth. Not to mention the sugar high and even maybe a tummy ache that comes along later.

I have given them hours (or at least minutes) of fun. They can flip their flying frog across the table over and over again. They can tease the family cat with it. Or they can use their Halloween pencil for weeks. They can blow on their kazoo or their Halloween whistle until they drive their parents nuts.

And when I close the door after each little child leaves, I feel good. And that makes for a Happy Halloween.

Monster Mouths

A ghoulish (and healthy) Halloween snack idea.