I was told this week that the origins of Halloween go back some 6000 years. I have no idea whether that's true, but it certainly explains why some of that candy is so stale.
The dilemma of buying Halloween candy is always whether to get some you like so you can eat what's left over, or whether to get some you don't like so you won't eat what's left over.
Or whether to get the cheapest junk you can find, which not even the kids like. Like those individually wrapped bits of sugar and corn starch with a vaguely toffee-like consistency that tend to show up months later as petrified little lumps in the dusty corners underneath the kids' beds.
Or candy corn. It is mildly decorative, I suppose, and will keep for weeks in a candy dish—mostly because even kids will only eat it when it's the only sweet stuff left in the house. As a child, the only reason I found to eat it all was for the entertainment value. The process was first to bite off the white tip, trying to sever it precisely without leaving any white behind; then to nibble off the broad yellow end, and then finally to gobble down the boring orange part in the middle.
We didn't go Trick or Treating when I was a kid, so we missed spending the first week of November glazed over in a sugar high. Most of my experience with Halloween candy came later, second-hand from my own kids. I would dutifully look through the candy like responsible parents were supposed to do, supposedly checking for hidden threats or active health hazards but mostly conducting an inventory of the dark chocolate.
I usually asked each kid for a "donation" of one piece of chocolate, which they gave graciously. A couple of them (you know who you are, and yes, your names are spelled right in the will) even were generous enough to offer more than one.
Where we live now, on a dead-end road in a house that's a long, dark driveway away from the street, we tend not to get Trick or Treaters. Since the neighborhood is changing, with several young families recently moving in, I did buy candy this year and leave the porch light on, just in case. No little vampires or princesses or super-heroes rang the doorbell, though.
Oh, well. Dealing with the leftover candy is a huge responsibility, but sometimes a woman's got to do what a woman's got to do. Especially when she was smart enough to buy M&M's instead of candy corn.
I must tell you about what happened next door on Halloween night. Our neighbor is a widow and she was ill.She left her light on but posted a sign that she could not go to the door with goodies. When later at night, she went to turn off the light and found that some one had left some candy for her on her front steps. I think it was so wonderful. I read up on some old Halloween histories too and found that there was a period in history that people actually burned down building, to say nothing of throwing rocks through windows. We have come a long way in this instance.
What a great story–that’s the kind of Halloween trick we can always use more of.