Saturday, October 15, 2011

Top 5 Best Things from Trick-or-Treating

My heyday of trick-or-treating was in the late 80s, and some things may have changed in the decades since I last went out (I'm sure you'll let me know in the comments), but I remember these things being the best things you could encounter when out for Halloween.

5: The "reach and grab" - Occasionally, you'd hit a house that others missed, or a couple that went way overboard on their candy purchase, or someone looking to unload candy late in the evening.  These folks were so happy to see a trick-or-treater that they'd hold out their bowl and tell you to take as much as you'd like.  You'd always take one, hesitant lest this be a cruel joke, waiting for them to urge you to take more.  At that point, you grabbed as much as you could possibly fit in your hands.  Always a welcome surprise.

4: Real money - There is some argument about this, since getting a 50 cent piece or a buck sorta took the fun out of things, but you always got enough candy anyway, and if you ended the night with a few dollars in your pocket as well, good for you!  You never appreciated the cash the night of, but when you went to the store November 1st with free reign to get whatever additional candy you wanted, it all became worth-while.

3: The candy bag - You had to love the people who gave you a small, paper, Halloween-themed bag.  When tallying your candy and sorting into "keep" and "trade" piles, you cherished these little bags.  It was a present from a stranger--much better than simple candy.  Plus, you knew that if they went through the trouble to make the bags, they put thought into what the bags contained.  It wasn't odd to find several different candies as well as stickers, baseball cards, and other knick-knacks.    

2: The full-size candy bar - Despite your gigantic haul of candy overall, nothing was better than digging out that full-sized Milky Way or Charleston Chew.  It almost didn't matter whether or not you liked the brand since a full-sized candy bar made excellent trade bait.  Full-size candy bars were hallowed in my neighborhood.

1: The basket - The Halloween Holy Grail--on a somewhat desolate street, you approach a house with it's light on.  You ring the bell--no one answers.  Just as you're calculating how many eggs are needed to teach these people the error of their ways, you notice a basket with a sign: "Take One - Happy Halloween!"  One of two things happened next--either (1) you cursed your luck at arriving too late and finding the basket empty (or worse--filled with Dum-Dums), or (2) you stole glances at your friends and determined how to split the booty, leaving only undesirable items and a few decent treats to give the sense that you didn't just raid the joint.  I often expected someone to come out yelling at me, but it never happened.  

As far as what the best candies to receive were, that deserves a top 5 of its own.  For a rough guide, check out the Top 5 Best Candy bars.  Please leave your comments below, and follow us, Tweet us, and Facebook/G+ share us!


  1. You didn't like the toothbrush from the dentist's house or the three pennies from the old lady down the block? Huh.
    Love the descriptions!

  2. Two years ago, we left a basket out on the porch for about five minutes while we took our little one out for her first T&T experience.  Never left sight of the house.  When we got back, not only was all the candy gone - from one group of kids, no less - but the /basket/ was taken, too.

    That said, my best trick or treating haul memory was I think the last year going out.  It was a rainy, dreary, dismal night; we were in some random spot in Fairfield with nobody else out, and there were more than a couple of houses that saw that we were the only ones on the street, and just gave us everything they had left - full-sized bars, no less.

  3. Nice blog!  I do the "Candy Bag" here.  I have a big set up in the front yard, and it really attracts alot of attention.  Last year was my first year setting up a display in the yard and it was a big hit!  One thing that I do add to the candy bag is a glow bracelet.  The kids really love those things!

  4. We have bought candy to give out for like eight years now and no one had ever come to the door. Guess it pays to live at the top of a hill with no sidewalks, but someone is missing out on a potential jackpot.

    At the opposite spectrum of this post - I once came away from a house with a handful of cheerios.

    -Jim in LA

  5. Nice post!
    The candy bag was great.  Seeing those orange, white and black bags filled with candy... you knew you were getting a decent take. 

    I had one house that did a combo of the money and "reach and grab."   They had a HUGE bowl of change... not just pennies but lots of silver: quarters, dimes, nickels... and you were allowed ONE handful. 
    I must have gotten $5 worth.  Which to a kid of my age was A FORTUNE.