Halloween is only a week away and that means cavity inducing confections and sweet treats are near! Personally I haven’t purchased Halloween candy yet because once it’s opened, it does this weird disappearing act. And since this phenomena occurs every year, I’ve learned not to buy candy until the day before. If consumer projections hold true, I probably won’t be alone. Halloween candy sales average around $2 billion dollars annually in the U.S. That’s a whole lot of cavities waiting to happen!
As it turns out, Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday world-wide after Christmas. Yet Halloween is a fairly recent holiday in the U.S. (less than 100 years). In fact, the first printed reference to “trick-or-treat” in North America was in an Alberta Canada newspaper in November of 1927. World War II put a bit of a pause on free candy propagation when sugar was rationed. However, Halloween made a healthy rebound following the war and continues to grow each year.
It’s tempting to believe that Halloween is only for children but it’s predicted that around 50% of adults in the U.S. will dress up for Halloween. I might be included in this total as I annually wear the same t-shirt that states “I Don't Do Costumes.” The rest of the year, this treasure simply clutters up my closet. Since I only wear it once a year, I think it's going to be with me for awhile! We also have a container in the garage that is filled with tacky decorating items. These usually get put up late afternoon on Halloween evening and taken down the same night. I’m not sure why we feel the need to do this but we do.
When I think back about Halloween as a child, I just don’t remember it being a very big deal. I went trick-or-treating maybe three times. My fondest recollection was a kitty costume my mom made me when I was in the second grade. I wore that thing out! This was mostly because it did double duty as pajamas after Halloween.
Since my memories of Halloween are somewhat scarce, I was very interested in hearing from some seniors about their Halloween experiences. This became the weekly topic during Reminisce Roundtable, a group I lead at a local senior community. Only a few of the residents recalled going door-to-door for candy and these folks tended to be from the northeast. One lady grew up in a candy factory (true story) so the idea of getting more candy wasn’t a huge draw for her. A couple of others had parents who felt it was a demonic holiday so they didn't participate. The best story I heard was from the sweetest looking gal named Helen. Helen, as it turned out, was part of a prank squad that went around turning over outhouses as a Halloween “trick.” Really – she looked so sweet!
What are some of your favorite Halloween memories? Did you dress up? What was your favorite costume? What do you like most/least about the holiday?
I want to make sure you’re not on the receiving end of any Halloween tricks…below you’ll find a list of the Ten Best Halloween candies to hand out. This list is from CandyStore.com so if you don’t agree with the rankings, you’ll have to take it up with them.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Sour Patch Kids