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As a kid, I flat-out loved trick-or-treating. The costumes, the door-to-door excitement (are they going to have “the good” candy?), running around in the dark (the night owl that I am, this was a favorite feature of the holiday), and decorating my parents’ front porch with cobwebs and fake plastic spiders.

sarah pink bunny
Pink bunny. Crusher of candy.

Of course, when my younger sister and I came home with our score in what could be considered the original candy crush saga, we did the all-too-familiar sibling candy trade. I loved the tangy and tart stuff (SweeTarts, Jolly Ranchers, Nerds), while my sister loved everything else – which worked out quite well for both of us, save for the occasional squabble whenever I wanted a Twix or Butterfinger. She would gobble up hers well before Thanksgiving, while I would hoard mine and savor every last piece (which my parents would promptly raid whenever I hadn’t touched my stash, correctly assuming I’d probably forgotten what was left).

As an adult, I still enjoy dressing up, but I’ve grown to enjoy handing out candy even more. For my first Halloween at the Ugg-Duck, it felt almost like a rite of passage; handing out candy on Halloween was something homeowners got to do, and now I finally was one. It made me feel like an actual grown-up (after all, college wasn’t without its share of costume parties, and I doubt I’ll ever outgrow the thrill of handmade costumes).

WTF, me? I look like a freaking Kardashian. Based on the fist pumping, I’m going to guess Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” was playing. (It’s true, folks: the internet never forgets. Tell your kids.)

These days, I’ll usually throw on a festive wig or T-shirt to make things fun when answering the door. Last year, I chose to be productive while I waited between doorbell rings and sand down my newly-installed kitchen counters. Answering the door with a dust mask around my neck earned some confused questions from the costumed kiddos, many of whom thought I was dressed as a doctor of some kind.

Doctor. Of home repair. Obvs.

But as the night went on, I quickly ran out of candy to hand out. It was hugely disappointing for me to have to prematurely switch off the porch light (the universal signal for letting kids know that “this house has candy!”).

Determined not to repeat my poor performance from last year, I made sure I had plenty of the good stuff ready to go last Friday. Only I overcompensated and bought so much that I had to scramble last-minute for a suitable container to hold it all. Luckily, a free tote bag I had lying around (from my local Orange’s Do-It-Herself workshop of all places) was both the perfect size and color for the occasion:

I didn’t run out this year, but I did have to figure out a new rule for some of the older kids. In previous years, I handed out candy to any kid who came to the door, costumed or no. Perhaps it was just my neighborhood alone, but it seemed like more kids showed up this year without one. So, since I’m somewhat of a Halloween purist, I quickly became bored and found a new way to stay entertained (I wanted to get my candy dollar’s worth of costume, dammit): I told every kid who came to the door sans costume they’d have to tell a joke in order to get candy.

For me, it was hilarious. Especially after a glass of wine (I know you expected me to say beer, but I like to change it up every now and then). Each kid I sprung the new rule on was pretty surprised, but they all were good sports about it (presumably motivated by the big-ass tote bag of candy at my feet… and no, my house did not get egged!). But my favorites are still the tiniest ones who can barely walk upright, let alone carry a bucket of candy. And there was even a little pink bunny by the end. :)

How about you? Do you have any fun traditions or rules about no costumes? Do you still dress up? And what the heck am I going to do with all of this extra candy?

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  1. oooh asking for a joke is a great idea!! We’ve been in this house for 3 years and have never given out candy (2 years we were out and one year there was a snow storm! yes. a snow storm. in October). I don’t think kids would come anyway, we’ve got an 8 car long uphill driveway. But Halloween is my FAVORITE- we have a big pumpkin carving party every year and I decorate for it on September first because I get so excited. :)

    1. Fun! It’s been a few years since I’ve carved a pumpkin… but maybe next year I’ll carve a duckling for fun ;)

  2. We get no kids at our house. Walking down the dark country roads with kilometres between houses and 100+ metre driveways isn’t really worth a small container of candy. That doesn’t stop us from buying boxes of it though! So what the heck are you going to do with all the candy? Eat it (one of the perks of being an adult). Some of it can be frozen, I think, although I’m not sure how the gummy stuff would make out.

    1. Haha, the eating part did cross my mind, but I’ve been trying so hard to get back in shape that eating it seems like exactly the opposite of what I’m working toward (with the occasional slip, of course).

  3. Hundreds of kids come through my neighborhood for trick-or-treat, which I learned the hard way my first year of living in my house. I was *that* house who had to prematurely shut off the porch light. Since that embarrassing year I’ve over-bought in candy but still only give out one piece per kid. The exception to that rule is if the kid says “thank you” unprompted by an adult (if he/she is old enough to do so, of course); that gets an extra piece of candy.

  4. I don’t get any trick or treaters here, but in town they set days for the kiddies to trick or treat sometimes a week before halloween which I don’t understand.
    I do enjoy carving pumpkins, the new kits and patterns are fun, no more giant knives and serving spoons, now I use jig saw blades and drills, who knows maybe the Depot will have a DIY workshop for pumpkin carving.
    I like your no costume tell a joke idea, I might share that

  5. Ha, you were an adorable kid! And don’t you love that we all go through stages where we look back and say WTF?!?! We were all young and dumb at some point, and I for one can appreciate where I am now and have far I’ve grown:). Looking forward to the day when I have my home to hand out candy:).