Hallmark is always getting a bad rap for promoting Mother’s day since it sells cards but no one seems to jump all over the Mars or Hershey companies for selling America giant bags of candy for Halloween. I don’t think Halloween was such a big deal when my parents were little. Sometime in the 1950’s the costume thing caught on and then the trick or treating, but I don’t think it was until M&M’s came in fun size bags that the candy-begging thing got so big.
I feel like running from house to house and grabbing as much candy as you can hit a peak in the late seventies when parents still felt safe letting their children run amok in their own neighborhoods. Then people started busing carloads of kids into neighborhoods they deemed to be more generous. Sometime after that parents got pulled into to escort their kids and to look their neighbors’ in the eye as if to say, “You know us so please give our children some free candy.”
Now the yard ornament decorating companies have really come into their own with some people creating whole front lawn grave yards with fog and fake spider webs. Halloween is the only night grown-ups are legally allowed to traumatize children as long as you give them a mini snickers after you have done it.
The thing I hate is that we buy candy in case one of our neighbor kids comes by looking for a treat, but for the most part we have the lights off so Carter and her friends can watch a scary movie. Hardly any child is going to waste valuable candy gathering time on a dark house so by 8:00 at night I am assured to have a bowl of leftover candy; something none of us needs.
I am sure candy companies have banked on this happening. Stock prices of all things chocolate depend on people like me buying candy just in case. For the most part America does not need all this candy. I would rather have kids come to the door and let me give them a quarter, at least I would have something to do with the leftover money when all the handing out had finished. I’m sure I would be considered some kind of Grinch for not handing out candy and that is stepping on the foot of another holiday.