- Sophie &Friends
I can remember my first Halloween as a candy-giver. I was soooo excited. I knew I wanted to do something special for my little trick-or-treaters, so I literally built a foam core haunted house, complete with a gabled roof. The window and doors all opened to reveal little bags The object was for the trick-or-treaters to reach in and either receive a treat (candy) or a trick (things like slimy eyeballs, plastic fingers, vampire teeth, or rubber rats). The house was loaded with over ten pounds of candy!
I set myself up on the porch to wait for my revelers, as excited as a child on Christmas morning. The first to arrive was my next door neighbor, Iris. She made her way around the house with great gusto, reaching fearlessly into each window and door, exclaiming merrily when she found something she liked, and squealing when she touched something slimy. When she had examined the house thoroughly, visiting some windows more than once, she teetered off into the night on her tiny, plastic princess heels, with her plastic pumpkin bucket full of treats. I beamed after her. My house was a success!
And so I sat there, anticipation growing, as I awaited the arrival of the costumed throngs.
6:00 rolled around. Then 6:30... then 7:00... “Man,” I thought, “These San Francisco parents are really lax!” From where I came from on the East Coast, we had to be back in the house by 7:30 at the latest on Halloween night. At 7:45, my neighbor returned and inquired why I was still sitting out on the porch all by myself in the dark. When I told her, she just shook her head and laughed. “Sophie,” she explained, her eyes full of pity, “We live on a steep hill. No one trick or treats on a hill.” She was right: no one was going to climb the 32 steps that it took to get to my deck unless they knew me, and I was brand new to the area. Unlike Philadelphia or New York, where all the neighborhoods were flat and accessible, I now resided in San Francisco -- a city built on over 43 hills. I was crushed.
Rest assured, the little house did not go to waste, and that sad night was the last time I would ever feel the disappointment of Halloween. Every year after, I would have a party to throw, ensuring that I did not become the Scrooge of Halloween. Although my first attempt at giving out candy was a bust, I still believe that it’s more fun to give out candy in an inventive way, instead of in just a big bowl on the front stoop.
With that in mind, here are seven simple and fun ways to hand out candy!
Using a golf tee and rubber mallet, make holes all over your pumpkin. Insert lollipops into the holes.
Hang candy from trees or a clothesline
Make little candy holders out of paper cone cups and dangle from low-hanging branches or a clothesline strung between two posts.
Monster candy jars
Using big plastic jars and tissue paper, create a variety of monsters. Line them all up, and let your trick or treaters choose their favorite.
Fishing for candy
Set up a little barrier or backdrop (an overturned card table works well) and give kids a fishing pole (a stick or witch’s broom works just fine too) with a string and clip attached. Have trick-or-treaters drop their line over the barrier. Have an adult behind the barrier attaching treats and tricks.
Tray with icky props
Set up a tray of candy, but use icky props such as rubber rats, bloody fingers, and severed limbs to adorn the tray and give it a spooky feel.
Chinese food containers
Buy small Chinese food containers at a restaurant supply outlet. Decorate with Halloween stickers or googly eyes, fill with candy, and either hang from branches or stack like a pyramid on a table.
Creepy candy store
Fill a variety of glass jars with different kinds of creepy candy. Dress up as a dreadful shopkeeper, with a bloody apron, and hand out bags of mixed treats.
Here’s hoping you can enjoy the spirit of Halloween by greeting all those little sticky-fingered candy bandits with something special this year. And just remember, if you’re one of those folks who would rather turn off the porch light and pretend you’re not home, the best way to avoid the din of the doorbell is to move to the top of a hill!