They Want Candy

Halloween is a holiday for kids. That's all there is to it. If you are over the age of 12, Halloween is not for you. If you're 13, maybe I'll give you a pass. But that's it. If you're out of the eighth grade, your costume days are over. I don't care how clever you think you are when you dress up as Hunter S. Thompson or put on blackface to be Tubbs from "Miami Vice" (something I swear to you I saw on the PATH train last year). Resist the temptation to dazzle your friends with your creativity and just treat October 31 (and all days around it) like any other day. The day is no longer for you. Be content with your Guitar Hero mastery and just let the kids have this one, OK?

Of course, there is one important way you can celebrate if you live in a residential neighborhood. Or, in my case, are close enough to the residential neighborhood in which you grew up. Every year, I celebrate Halloween the only way I know how as an adult (let's pretend I'm one for the sake of this blog entry). I head back home to Staten Island the weekend before and stuff treat bags with a frequently obscene amount of candy.

This year's bag will include at least five of the following:

Milk Duds
Heath Bars
100 Grands
Junior Mints
Mini Tootsie Rolls
Mini Charleston Chews
Junior Caramels
Laffy Taffy
Skull and Bones SweeTarts
Take 5 Bars
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Hershey Bars
Almond Joys

I don't mess around, people. 118 bags are now sitting in my childhood living room, waiting to bring joy to the children of Staten Island on Halloween (assuming the family dog has not consumed them). I worked out a system of equal distribution of chocolates and nonchocolates (the system fell apart at the end; the latecomers will have to deal). I overcame a preponderance of Milk Duds in a variety pack. I didn't graze any of the candy. I did it for the kids, because it's their day. And I remember the joy of treat bags that always made up for the people who gave out my least favorite candy, Whoppers, or, worse yet, nickels. Truth be told, the thought that my mom might give out nickels to kids also motivates me to put the bags together.

So, celebrate Halloween by being good to your local trick-and-treaters. No nickels, please.

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