My Halloween Hierarchy

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It’s a forgivable sin and I haven’t met a mom who hasn’t done it.

The temptation is far too great and we are only human.

Although it is their property, I like to think of the candy I take from my kids’ trick or treat pile as a finder’s fee. Thanks to us, every year our kids have the right animal ears or deadly weapon to finish off their costume for the big night. Without us schlepping them through the neighborhood they wouldn’t even have a sugar filled pillow case.

So is a fun sized butter finger here or there too much to ask?

On Halloween night, I am always intrigued by the culture that naturally arises as a result of our kids’ new found wealth.

Some moms put the trick or treat bag away, up high, controlling the sugar intake. The bag will be brought down after dinner and kids will be allowed to pick one or two pieces.

We let our kids have complete reign over their candy and it is always interesting to see what happens.

An entire economic system based around the candy collected. Candy is sorted, traded, and discussed. Principles such as supply and demand are applied, negotiating skills are honed, and opportunities to be greedy or charitable force us to make tough decisions.

Imagine the chance to eat as much candy as you want whenever you want. Theoretically, the candy would be gone in a few days.  But every year as Christmas approaches, it seems a dent has barely been made. Somehow, if the forbidden fruit tastes sweeter, then the converse may be true. Just knowing they have complete control over a big pile of candy is the sweetest part of the deal.

Like a colorful and shiny mosaic of wrappers, mini boxes and cellophane wrapped goodies, my kids’ stash of trick-or-treat candy is a beautiful sight. Every year my kids are subject to my commentary as I admire their piles with them. They already know which ones are my favorite and which ones I don’t like at all. Which ones I remember from my childhood, which ones my sister liked.

I’ve developed my own Halloween Classification System. Here is a sneak peak.


Most Nostalgic

Tootsie Roll – Hasn’t changed since 1896. It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Candy Corn – Nothing says it’s Halloween like candy corn. Although after five in a row, you begin to wonder if you really like them or are just enjoying the nostalgia.


Best New Twist on an Old Favorite:

Dark Milky Way – An idea whose time has finally come. (I noticed Reese’s is following suit and offering dark chocolate, but I have yet to try it.)


The Candy Moms Love to Hate

Pixie Sticks – At least some candy bars have nuts and we can rationalize that the kids are getting a bit of protein, but nothing is more unnerving at Halloween than watching your child lean his head back and pour pure sugar into his mouth.


Non-Chocolate Favorite

Hot Tamales – Adds spice to the trick-or-treat pile.


Absolutely no Bartering Power

Kids know that in the trick-or-treat candy-based economy, these are the useless currency:

Boston Baked Beans

Necco Wafers

Good n’ Plenty


What Ever Happened to?


Abba Zabba – In the cool black and yellow checkered wrapper. Now that I have six crowns there is no way I could eat one. But the chewy marshmallow that could be stretched a mile long, mixed with peanut butter filling…. Ahhh, the absence of which has left a hole in Halloween.


The Candy Whose Time Has Come and Gone

Milk Duds. These poor candies seem to be on life support. I still see a mini box in my kids’ pile here or there, but they seem to be shoved aside. Perhaps the word “dud” has something to do with it.


Best in Tow

(candy most worthy of hauling through the streets of the neighborhood)

Twix – The best of all possible worlds. Chocolate, caramel candy bar and a cookie. Love having two desserts at once.

Butterfinger – The mysterious flaky orange innards are a sweet taste found nowhere on Earth except in a Butterfinger. The chocolate coating compliments the orange flakey stuff perfectly.


Happy Halloween and I would love to hear your trick-or-treat votes!  Visit and click on “Mom’s Voice” on the left of the home page.



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