It’s now two days after Halloween, and if you’re anything like me you’re probably getting hit with a little of that post-holiday nostalgia.
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have fond memories of trick or treating from when they were a kid. In my town, there is one main street in the center of town that once a year becomes a swarming beehive of children seeking candy.
The town hall which is also inexplicably a movie theater drags its popcorn machine out onto the street for the night. One of the restaurants sold little paper cups of hot chocolate and warm apple cider off of their front porch. The library for some reason repeatedly hosted a puppet show that I always found deeply unsettling as a child. Houses on the street compete to outdo each other with their porch decorations.
The middle school hosted a scarecrow competition each year, where teams of kids from the advanced art courses competed to build “scarecrows” that went above and beyond your Wizard of Oz style vision. I was a part of this contest in eighth grade. We did pretty well but got upstaged by a kid who built a massive wooden spider with legs that could be moved. He does nuclear physics research now, go figure.
Going to this street to trick or treat has hit the point of popularity that the local church has a candy drive where people donate bags of candy and they distribute them to the owners of the roughly forty houses on this street because the residents were dropping hundreds of dollars to account for demand.
So needless to say, if you trekked the entire street the candy payout was massive. The houses plus the town buildings, a few restaurants and some local businesses that camped out just for fun resulted in a literal ton of candy. I would always sort mine by type and color into a gorgeous array of fun-sized chaos on my kitchen table. My younger brother and I would barter over our different favorites, debating complex trades and the relative values of the different Laffy Taffy flavors. My intensity in those kitchen table debates was the closest I ever got to understanding how the stock market works.
I wasn’t one of those kids who had to be convinced not to binge on all my candy at once. No, I would painstakingly budget out my treats so they would last all the way until my grandma mentioned making her first pre-thanksgiving pumpkin pie. Mild tangent here, but last year she brought an entire one of these to my dorm room, and she deserves some appreciation for that. Thanks, grandma!
All that to say, I lived for Halloween as a kid. As I’ve gotten older, a lot has changed. My costumes took on some slightly more original themes. I learned to appreciate a good horror movie. And I found new ways to celebrate. But nothing has ever really compared to the magical feeling and show-stopping experience Halloween was as a kid.
That being said, there is one thing about Halloween time that has not changed one little bit from when I was a Disney Princess roaming the streets of my hometown up to the present day, and that’s the joy of Halloween candy.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins will always be superior to regular peanut butter cups. I am simply correct here, I will not be accepting criticism at this time. I don’t know if it’s the fact that the peanut butter to chocolate ratio is slightly altered, or just that they’re utilizing some specific kind of Halloween black magic on those things, but they will always be the best version of the peanut butter cup in my eyes.
A slightly more controversial take of mine is that the Halloween Kit-Kats just taste better than regular Kit-Kits. People may say that they are just the white chocolate Kit-Kats pumped full of orange food dye, but I do not agree. It might just be the mix of Halloween happiness and the suggestive power of a fun color, but I think they have a unique flavor all their own. I understand that they are neon orange and probably contain more food coloring than actual food, but I simply do not care.
The satisfaction of a good fun-sized treat should not be underestimated. Are you going to go out right now, purchase a full-sized Milky Way bar, and eat the entire thing? No, you’re not, who are you kidding? But when it’s one bite-sized delight in a variety pack of fun-sized chocolate morsels I guarantee you will give it a second chance.
The Halloween traditions of your childhood may have faded into memories. But candy? Candy will always be there for you.
You may be a real (or real-ish) adult now. You may have to buy the candy at your local CVS instead of excitedly yelling “trick-or-treat” at your neighbors. The self-checkout at Stop and Shop might not have the same aura of magic as knocking on someone’s door. The intermediary holiday transition of the Target seasonal section might not match the thrill of spooky house decoration. But don’t let that get you down.
Halloween was two days ago, it’s time to take yourself on the ultimate self-care journey for your inner child, and snag all those sale-priced Halloween treats. You’re never too old for Halloween candy.