Ah, Halloween. The one day every year when it is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to pretend to be somebody you are not. One day to count on where we get to escape reality and become whatever we see fit in the moment. Some people plan all year long for their Halloween get -up! Though the last few years of pandemic chaos have brought their own obstacles concerning holiday norms, trick or treating is set to carry on in full force this year. A favorite past time with many treasured childhood memories for many adults, trick or treating is more than just a clever name. With treats being what all kiddos look forward to most, the probability of a few tricks stands reasonably high. Personally, I dreaded the school supply houses who were proudly handing out the likes of pencils or bookmarks. What kind of 8-year-old is excited by Office Depot stock? Not many. So, for those of you participating in festivities this year and expecting a long line of visitors, we’ve helped compile a list of the most unpopular items to hand out on Halloween. Saving you all the risk of egging’s, houses being toilet-papered, or yards being spooned – we got you covered! Keeping in mind that Halloween is expectedly a candy holiday (Candy, as in sugar, sugar as in processed sugar, not that natural/of-the-earth sweetness.), let’s dig in!!
Do we really need to elaborate here? We’ve already covered that if it is natural, it doesn’t count as a treat on this day. However, there is extra insult when considering that raisins are not only grapes, but they are dried, old, and chewy in the worst way. Baked into a golden, soft centered oatmeal cookie on any other day of the year? Great! Inside an obnoxious box that is taking up prime candy quarters within a Halloween bucket/bag? Hard pass and anyone under the age of 60 will likely agree. Apples are another story entirely. Who doesn’t love a crisp, fresh apple? However, especially on this calendar day, it is hard not to equate this sweet deliciousness with evil witches who wanted to poison the smallest people in the village. These, too, occupy real estate that was already in escrow for some serious chocolate action. Unless the goal is to see how many trashcans your grocery list can end up in, we strongly suggest that all homeowners keep all forms of produce where they will be appreciated best this Halloween – at home… with you… the one who bought it without the expectation that it was going to be a bite size Butterfinger. Bottom line: do better.
While researching popular opinions concerning treats this time of year, toothbrushes were the poorest rated item on almost EVERY list. It’s no secret that we all want our young ones to grow up as healthy as possible, but Halloween comes with its own special exceptions. This is a night with hungry eyes and bellies fixated on one thing and one thing only: CANDY. All notions of addressing dental health concerns will be back in play first thing November 1st. According to a survey done by Mashed, “a whopping 47.17% of respondents said that there's absolutely nothing worse than receiving a toothbrush on Halloween.”
- Loose Coin Change
While free spending money is nice and under normal circumstances any child would be more than happy to collect said free spending money, chances are that the loose coins being tossed into buckets like some weird type of wishing well are not just filthy and covered in prime germ activity – they are being tossed around to marinate the other treats in that same nastiness. We know children are not always the cleanest and they do need to build those immune systems up strong, but there are more effective ways than trying to trick a youngster into fiscal responsibility.
Every self-respecting adult knows the value of a good bargain. Every self-respecting child couldn’t care less. Now, if we are talking Bogos for online gaming or even bigger/better candy to purchase later on, there are exceptions. If, however, your mission is to help an elementary schooler pocket 15 cents when they purchase their next bundle of 3 full size packs of Downy dryer sheets, it doesn’t make you a bad host – just a cheap and disconnected one. Not only are we in the age of digital savings with apps like Groupon, making paper cut out coupons next to irrelevant, I’ve never met a child who is legitimately concerned with inflation. Don’t be that house.
- Baked Goods / Homemade Candy
I’m sure your country fair blue ribbon rhubarb pies and generations old cookie recipes are delectable. I’m also sure that we are still mid-pandemy and not all your neighbors are aware of your cleanliness and hygiene habits when it comes to kitchen prep. Chances are that all the love and good-will that you will have put into your fresh-baked delights will likely be filling the neighborhood trashcans before they fill any bellies.
Another fantastic staple of childhood, who doesn’t love to color? Crayons and markers are great tools for inspiring and celebrating creativity for all ages! Can you eat them? Not advised. Plus, like raisins, these often take up fair space inside a small bucket/bag. If you are hoping to hand out something other sugar this year, there are plenty of options that are tailored to this specific holiday. Temporary tattoos, stickers, bouncy balls, glow sticks, WRAPPED plastic fangs, etc. – so many choices that take up such little space amongst the sweets.
Would you feel comfortable doling out shots of Dayquil for your trick or treaters? No? Then we would like to kindly remind you that most lozenges are medicated with dextromethorphan. If your goal is to rally as many drowsy, dizzy, nauseated and/or vomiting children as possible, please don’t. Mixing a stomach full to the brim of sugar with an unsuspected dose of cold medicine (wrapped in more sugar) is not likely to induce any kind of joy or comfort. Chances are also that any child who receives lozenges is probably going to consume them before they question their nutritional content.
- Black Licorice
In the early 1900’s, black licorice was a rarity amongst candy companies making them an extremely popular confection. While this flavor has been notably utilized since as early as Babylonians (with evidence of popularity among Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and even used in the Brahmans of India), this flavor has lost its luster with the youngsters. Whether it be the last remaining jellybeans from a variety pack, the twists, straws, etc. – odds of finding a child elated to taste black licorice are minimal. Not to mention, this treat is much more of trick when looking into potential hazards. Too much consumption of black licorice can lead to hypertension crisis, muscle breakdown, or even death. That’s right – death. Talk about a spook!
- Religious Books /Pamphlets
There is a time and place – this is not it. Halloween this year does fall on a Sunday. However, this is the ONE night a year where the realities of adulthood are intentionally discarded for the sake of juvenile delight. Much like the baked homemade goods, these are surely going to end up as trash fillers before they ever fulfil their purpose as reading material. If pamphlets are your treat, go ahead and keep that porch light off. There’s always next year to get it right.
- Circus Peanuts
Last but certainly not least, we have the one and only original Circus Peanut. This simultaneous squishy and sinewy surprise is supposed to be a little burst of banana for the tastebuds. What the flavor profile actually is – we may never know. Fresh from a brand-new pack, these bad boys taste about 10 years too stale to be any kind of fresh. At an average cost of bout $7 per pound, there are a plethora of more cost-efficient candy choices to pick from when building that big old bowl of handouts. Circus Peanuts may very well be the only candy that offers its very own question of being a trick or a treat.
We hope that no matter what your plans are to celebrate this year, that the day is full of joy and memories to last a lifetime! We also hope that our little list here may have helped to spare a few houses from the dreaded reputation of being the worst trick or treat stop on the block. Happy Halloween everyone! Stay safe out there and let us know if we need to add anything to this list for next year!