I hope you can quickly spot the trick in this collage above!! I mean, what kid really wants to get a toothbrush when they're out collecting as much candy as they can possibly imagine?? I know it's got great intention (handing out the toothbrush), but unless you're a dentist, I'd say keep the toothbrush in the bathroom for the night!
So, what are the best and worst things to get when you're out trick or treating? Here's my thoughts...
1. The Good Stuff (reserved for special folks...)
My mom used to have a great tradition where she'd run down to Fran's Market (a small Mom and Pop shop in Palo Alto, CA), and buy a whole bunch of cool wax items for the special folks in our neighborhood-- you know, the next door neighbor kids and kids we knew on the block. These wax items, as AWFUL as they tasted were quite a hit-- wax fangs, wax lips, wax fingers. Oh, how I could chew on those for hours until they were extremely deformed, and just plain disgusting. Today I'm hope to bake a couple cookies for our "special" neighbors... it's such a great tradition.
2. The Retro Stuff (candy like when we were kids...)
Did you know how many cool retro candy websites are out there? I sure didn't until I started looking... It's a bonanza of great stuff. I say, pick out YOUR favorite retro candy from one of these sites (or a local store if you know of one), and hand that out this year... it's just a little more meaningful, perhaps, than the stuff you can get at Costco.
3. The Lookin' Good Stuff (the candy you can play pretend with...)
Another one I just loved growing up were the candies that last much longer than just eating them... you know, the ones you can play pretend with... candy rings, candy necklaces... not only do they taste good, they look good too!
4. The Traditional Stuff (the candy you see in cartoons...)
I've never given out candy apples, or large lollipops, but wouldn't it be fun to give out a real traditional Halloween treat? Read up on some Halloween History and get your own ideas.
5. The Bulk Stuff (everyday candy...)
There's nothing wrong with a tasty Reese's Peanut Butter Cup!! I love 'em. Tootsie Roll lollipops are good too! Those are some of my favorites, what are yours?
6. The Alternative Stuff (anything BUT candy...)
OK... I've already ragged on the toothbrush idea... I've also read about the "spare change" idea... that's a pretty good alternative idea... but I just read about a really cool idea, Books for Treats. I love the idea of cleaning out my kid's dusty, well loved, board books that haven't had an eye or ear for several years... I wonder how this approach would be received? Anyone tried it before?
Would love to hear about your trick or treat ideas! What was (or is!) your favorite thing to get? Happy hunting!