Let’s face it most of us are more concerned with the TREATS than we are with the tricks of Halloween. The candies we consume, recall from our childhoods, and share at Halloween speak to our generosity, taste, budget, and feelings of nostalgia.
My personal tradition is, of course, candy-centric. Each year, I hang a basket of candies on my doorknob starting a few days before Halloween. I always note the responses from my immediate neighbors. There are no children living on my floor right now, so most of the people passing my door and grabbing a candy bar (or two or three or more), are adults living here, their guests and the building staff. Sometimes my neighbors take candy and then add candy to the basket. I love that! It makes me feel good about my building.
On Halloween, I’ll add a sign on the door for the kids who make the rounds of apartments in the building. It will invite the kids to take candy, but request that they don’t ring the doorbell. The message usually focuses not disturbing the grumpy cat.
The treats I leave are a mix of universal favorites—popular candies like M & Ms that I remember from my childhood and still think taste good. I remember the disdain we felt for the people that gave out boring candies (lollipops, bubble gum, and generic versions of popular sweets). I also recall straining to be polite when people gave homemade popcorn balls, loose jellybeans, and other candy that we were all forbidden to eat. The unwrapped candies were suspicious. Parents and children heard rumors about razor blades, ground glass, and LSD-laced Halloween treats.
Most of those urban fables were baseless nonsense, but like stories about haunted houses and eccentric, old folks with nefarious pasts, they are irresistible. I think the cautions against drugs in Halloween treats are directly connected to classic fairy tales. They are contemporary versions of the poisoned apple that puts Sleeping Beauty into her coma. The witch living in a scrumptious gingerbread house is the precursor of the old lady down the street, baking cookies and handing out homemade fudge to children. Is it OK to eat?
I will make the final decision on the Halloween Poetry Contest after midnight on Halloween. There’s still time to meet the DEADLine!