Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Candy Is Dandy; But A Child's Smile Is Still Sweeter

Dear Tazi-Kat:

Halloween is approaching, and when I think of what happened to me last year I get so angry that I could eat iron and poop nails! I would like some advice as to how to resolve the situation, should it occur again this year.

Every year for Halloween, I give out full-sized chocolate bars to the many children in my neighborhood. Last October, a black family moved into the neighborhood, and come Halloween the children imported several friends and family members, all of whom went trick-or-treating with them! I had enough candy to cover the large influx (I always buy extra, because I never know how many children will come to my door), but the point of the matter is that these children are not from my neighborhood! I believe that children should trick-or-treat in their own neighborhood, and not drive to the best neighborhoods in the city hoping for better candy.

My husband says I am overreacting, and to provide for all children who arrive at our door on Halloween night. Who do you say is right, Tazi-Kat? And if you agree with me, what should I do if I get a pack of outsiders on my doorstep this year?

Sugar Mama

Dear Sugar Mama:

Deciding who is correct - you or your husband - would require me to know that answer to this question: Do you give out full-sized chocolate bars on Halloween because

A) You want the neighbors to know that you are financially comfortable enough to spend that much money on Halloween candy

B) You want to bribe the neighborhood children into not trampling on your chrysanthemums while playing tag or hide and seek

C) You wish to bring joy to the hearts of young children

If the answer is A or B, then you are correct; be sure to post a sweetly decorated Halloween sign in your front yard informing the children that only kids from your zip code+4 should bother knocking. If the answer is C, then your husband is correct.

I realize that chocolate is expensive, and to give away full-sized bars even more so; but to deny children a Halloween treat simply because they are invited visitors to your neighborhood is rather harsh. It could be that the children "imported" their friends and family last year because they were new to the neighborhood, and did not know anyone in the area well enough to go trick-or-treating with them. It is also possible that they wanted to share the joy of the holiday with those closest to them. A third possibility is that their friends and family members were from economically disadvantaged areas, and that many of the people in their own neighborhoods do not give out Halloween candy.

This year, if you wish to cut the cost of providing full-sized chocolate bars for all, why not buy the fun-sized bars and give each child two or three pieces each? This way, the child gets the equivalent of a full-sized bar in a variety of types (Twix, Kit-Kat, Hershey, etc.). Fun-sized bags are usually priced lower than full-sized bars for similar amounts of chocolate. Another option would be to buy large bags of mixed hard candy, and give each child a handful of pieces. This would also avoid the all too common issue of nut allergies - many places that prepare chocolate also process nuts, even if the candy you are giving does not contain nuts.

Regardless of your answer to my question - A, B, or C - try to open your heart to all who cross your path this Halloween - even black cats like me!


P.S. I live in a house that has a reputation for giving out "the good candy", which brings my Mommie as much joy as it does the kids who get it!

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