At about this time every October, stories -- like this one -- pop up all over the place suggesting "healthy Halloween treats" or, even worse, "alternatives to Halloween candy." But this year, I cannot sit here silently and let these fun-haters go unchecked. To me, it is sacrilege to propose eliminating the key element -- the reason for the season, if you will -- from everyone's favorite holiday. How is a Halloween without candy any different from Easter without Jesus or Christmas without the cookies?
The answer is: It's not! So stop talking crazy already.
What gives me the right to speak on such important issues as Halloween candy alternatives? It's because I grew up in a house that gave away "healthy, sensible treats" and can speak first-hand about how traumatic this can be. Each year I watched my mother in horror as she handed out boxes of raisins and -- as if that weren't mortifying enough! -- pennies, too. The neighborhood kids, who were my friends the other 364 days of the year, made fun of me mercilessly. And, yes, our house was egged.
But personal shame and humiliation isn't the only reason to shun Halloween candy alternatives. Another one is: No one wants all that crap! Consider the items that people tend to suggest instead of candy -- stickers, glow sticks, Halloween-themed plastic toys from the dollar store, raisins and pennies (see above), activity books, etc. At least candy can be eaten or pawned off on friends and co-workers; this worthless stuff just clutters up the house. And there's something about getting all decked out in a killer costumer and then getting a pencil for all your trouble ... what is it? Oh yeah, it sucks!
And besides, one day of non-stop candy-eating isn't going to kill you (provided you don't have severe candy allergies or anything of the sort). You eat yourself into a sugar-coma, and then the next day it's back to normal. Deprive yourself on the most candy-filled day of the year, and you set yourself up for a dieting disaster. So the next time someone tells you to avoid Halloween candy, you tell them "an expert" advised you to do the complete opposite.
Image via coolmikeol/Flickr