Happy Hallowe’en!

I’m sitting by the door waiting for kids to come trick-or-treating. I have a nice treat basket filled with random samples of things that I’ve gotten (thanks, Whole Foods!), YummyEarth lollipops, Reese’s cups (my favorite), and “Grape Coconut Jelly” (interesting Asian candy things that Bobby gets). (Don’t forget about the YummyEarth discount – good until November 15th.)

32 halloween candy

We didn’t get any kiddies last year, and I don’t know if we will this year either. Do you get trick-or-treaters?

Earlier today Bobby joked, “Maybe the reason Americans are becoming obese is that we focus on candy for every holiday and on Halloween we buy too much so we have extra left over. I bet other countries don’t do this.” But he’s right. Trick-or-treating is a very North American thing (Canadians do it too). It’s done in the US, the UK, Canada, parts of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Ireland. Apparently it’s been introduced in Italy and New Zealand (because of American culture infiltrating the media), but it’s been pretty controversial. Stuffing your face with candy seems to be a uniquely American thing to do.

As a kid I loved halloween. I don’t think I cared too much about the candy, to be honest. I did love dressing up. My mom always helped me and made elaborate costumes. I’ve been everything from a witch, to a pumpkin, to a bag of jelly beans (so cute), to a little Dutch girl with clogs, to a witch again, to a hippie… Well, you get the idea.

pumpkin sleeping

Of course I ate my candy – who wouldn’t? But I remember saving it for ages (I always “save” things for the “best” time) and ending up throwing most of it away after it went bad a few months later. This is the same way I treat most nice things I own; I save them for opportune times, but often the opportune time never comes and I regret saving whatever it is. Living in the moment is probably a better idea, anyway. And who wants to save something like calories? That shouldn’t doesn’t make sense.

But back to Halloween – it’s a shame that we can’t give out candied apples or homemade cookies anymore. I think that would be the best way to celebrate.

[Aside: we just got a kid! A little alligator! So cute.]

Am I being too cynical? Should I just accept that (most) Americans glorify unhealthiness because it’s “the land of the free” and we can pretty much do what and eat what we want without thinking of the consequences? I think I’m getting too pensive for a Saturday night, so I’ll stop there. Hope you all enjoyed your Halloweens.

20 Replies to “Happy Hallowe’en!”

  1. i appreciate your thoughts maggie. i struggled buying halloween treats, i opted for granola bars and toys. i get annoyed when all the holidays revolve around unhealthy food, but i try to put it aside and let things be.

  2. oh my gosh…that photo is TOO CUTE! i go back and forth with this subject – part of me is like hey, its a special occasion. but then again a lot of americans use everyday as “an occasion” so its a bit of a crapshoot.

    happy halloween!!!

  3. We had a pretty low turn out, which unfortunately means candy leftover. Luckily Johnny plays computer games w/ a group of guys every week, so they munch through it pretty fast and it doesn’t lay around forever. We always buy a little extra w/ that in mind, but I’d say we got maybe 2/3 of the kids we got last year. Probably b/c it was a pretty cold/windy day and night became overcast. I give away the normal goodies, and also little 4 packs of crayons for kids that don’t have sweet teeth, or possible allergies.

    I’m w/ you – I was much more about the costumes and having fun w/ my family. I remember separating out my candy and “saving” the special ones for me, but letting my brother and cousins, or lucky adults, have the rest. I’d find the “saved” pieces months later and throw them out. I, too, wish we could give out homemade treats. I think I’d make homemade rice krispie treats and wrap them in saran wrap to give out. I always liked the odd things that were passed out, like halloween pencils, erasers, bags of pretzels, trinkets, or change. I think that’s why I like including the crayons – when you dump out the bag it’s cool to find something special amongst the sea of sugar! hehe

    Happy Halloween and I’m glad you got a trick or treater! 🙂

  4. Trick or treat in Holland and the most common response will be: “Huh, what’s Halloween?”

    Okay, now that everyone watches so much television, they’ll be sure to know. But almost no one celebrates it. It sucks! One of my friends was being REALLY negative about it. He said, it’s just a stupid American excuse to stuff your face again…. Dude! Chillax! Who cares if it’s commercial or superficial or without reason! It’s fun. And I for one, will take any excuse to have a holiday. Because holidays make people cheerful! And stuffing your face is optional (through preferable and in my case unavoidable).

    But very cute costume indeed 😉


    P.S. Living in the moment <3

  5. I think not only America celebrates every holiday with food, but others countries would like to do that too. For example, in every chinese holiday/special day we have a different meal/dish/snack to eat and as a kid we expected those extra food in those holidays. The big difference in US is the abundance, because it is the richest countries in the world, the relative price of food is so low, they can eat as much as they want. Others countries would like to do the same if they were rich too, but they aren’t.
    well…. this is my 2 cents of Economist view of the topic 😉

  6. Love the picture! I loved trick or treating as a kid. But I think I liked the idea of candy better than actually eating it. My mother carefully limited my candy diet and I generally forgot about it after awhile. Halloween candy was still there at easter.

  7. I’m in Scotland and its tradition to give out apples, tangerines and peanuts to the kids who come to the door. I always much prefered going to the houses that gave out sweets as well 😉

  8. Lots of trick-or-treaters here but still lots leftover. I’ll use it a piece or two a day in lunches pretty much through January and I’m fine with that.
    My kids love Halloween–yes, the candy, but also the specialness of the night–the costumes, the pumpkins, the going to every door on our street, saying hi to all the neighbors. Both of our kids (6 & 4) fight over who gets to ring the bell, and admire the jack-o-lanterns and love running around after dark and seeing all the other kids out. My one hasn’t even asked for a single piece of candy yet for as much as he loved grabbing it by the handful (“no, sweetie, just take one please”) last night.

  9. I totally ate one of those lollipops as I shopped through WF the other day. 😉

    And I always buy cliff zbars and larabars saving them for an emergency hunger situation, or an out and about endeavor, but I never run into a situation of needing them! I rarely eat them at home, but have gotten into the habit of eating 1/3 or 1/2 of the bar on top oats or yogurt. Right now, I think I have about 20 bars waiting to be eaten. :/

  10. Casey and I had a similar conversation about how candy driven (and hallmark) driven holidays have become. Every holiday is an excuse to indulge and even the smallest holidays are becoming more marketable with candy and cards. Excuse to be unhealthy makes me sick.

  11. Happy belated Halloween! You’re right that Americans glorify food. But if/when I have kids, I’ll let them eat whatever they want on Halloween! I mean, it’s one night!

  12. I love that picture – you’ve posted it before, right? So cute. We had a huge bowl of candy, and only had 1 group of trick-or-treaters, but they all grabbed huge handfuls. I really didn’t mind as I didn’t want to be stuck with a ton of leftovers, but whatever happened to just taking one piece at each house?

    I lived in the moment one too many times when I was younger. My Halloween candy never last long. Saving it for later didn’t really cross my mind. Now, I’m the complete opposite. A special chocolate bar will sit in the freezer for weeks, and I’ll just have a square here and there. For me, saving it for an opportune time works.

  13. I am glad you posted that pic of you again! I LOVE IT
    I was thinking too over the weekend (ZERO treaters btw) about making a bowl full of toys, pencils…silly little toys or who knows what!

    I had a tough time with candy this year. ( I did eat a little bit) but amazingly one green smoothie kicks my sweet tooth and I ate a fraction of what I normally do!

    I loved dressing up more than the candy too! and the silliness!

    but that’s me!

  14. I agree. Not cynical at all. I so so so so wish we could make homemade treats!!

    Love the pic. I used to fall asleep like that all the time when I was little.


  15. I haven’t seen a real live trick-or-treater in a decade! Where do these kids go?

    I was always the same way. I barely made a dent in my Halloween candy each year. It drove my sister nuts. Her bag was always empty in two days!

  16. You’re right, halloween has been in New Zealand for years but it’s certainly not that much of a big deal here. It’s not even really about the candy, it’s more about having a drunken halloween party here than anything. (Although some kids go trick or treating haha)

  17. Maggie, I can tell we share the same birthday! I have ALWAYS been the type of person to save my “favorite”, best things until later, and then it would be too late!!

    When I was in like 6th grade I wasn’t allowed to buy gum (becuase of my braces), but I would buy it with my allowance at the skating rink and saved them in a box and a few years ago I found a box FULL of unopened gum!! Haha so weird right?

    I’m with you that it’s obviously much more ideal to live in the moment, but it’s difficult to do that as a Type A person who is always planning ahead for the future.

    Glad you had a good Halloween!

Comments are closed.