Taking Back Halloween

halloween-cupcake-balls Image via Shutterstock

The last few years, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: Curmudgeons are trying to take away our holidays. You may not have taken notice, though, as this group sets about their task in an insidious manner…

It starts around this time of year, as these curmudgeons hate the Big Three (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). They hate the joy that accompanies these holidays but, more importantly, they hate the gluttony. You’ll begin to read the articles: “Skinny Your Thanksgiving”. “10 Tips To Avoid Gaining Weight During the Holidays” and  “Healthful Halloween Treats”.

Inevitably, we’re bombarded with tips like “Eat before you go to a party” or “Fill up on the veggie tray.”  Um, excuse me? The veggie tray at a holiday party is an insult to joy-makers everywhere. I don’t care if you go on an 80-day cleanse right up until the holiday party. You show up to MY party, you show up hungry…or else.

I, for one, am standing up to these hate mongers.  I picture myself like Mel Gibson in Braveheart –- blue warrior face-paint and all: “They can take our lives. But they’ll never take our holidays!”

Of course, I adore Kristen Howerton over at “Rage Against the Minivan” and I wholeheartedly agree with her post last year about taking the holidays down a notch. If one more person asks me to craft a leprechaun trap on St. Patrick’s Day, I’m going to go Alec Baldwin on their asses. And that ain’t good. I’m talking the big three here, people. And I’m starting with Halloween.

Remember the good old days? The days before social media made everyone a life expert and a craft genius? Like the wonderful lazy days before Pinterest ruined our lives? People weren’t making spooky fingers out of carrots and hummus. They weren’t making pumpkins out of f*cking clementines and celery sticks. And they sure as shit weren’t crafting “boo-riffic” goddamned bananas! And that skeleton you crafted out of veggies? Don’t make me tell you where you can shove that.

No – back in the day, we ate ourselves senseless and gorged on things like Butterfingers, ghost-shaped marshmallows, candy corn, and a plethora of other treats derived from processed goodness. That’s right –– I said processed!

Do you want to know how I plan on spending Halloween? I’m kickin’ it old school. I’m going to coach my kids on the ABC’s of a good Halloween. A) Always trick or treat where the rich people live (duh). B) Binge (and binge and binge again). C) Coconut is for chumps. We’re going to target the houses that give out the CostCo candy (that’s right, the whole effing candy bar!) and egg the houses that try to give us some sort of homemade shit or raisins. Raisins on Halloween will cause a Zombie apocalypse. True story.

Mommy’s going to ensure they choose all her faves when given a choice (bitches gotta get paid, yo). We’ll eat plenty of it as we walk from house to house because that’s just good for energy. And then we’ll get home, throw the loot on the ground, count it, and eat some more! I’ll be there for them during the inevitable sugar crash. And I’ll be there when they pass out on the bed after watching Hotel Transylvania PAST THEIR BED TIME. We are rebels (again, picture Mel Gibson)!

Sure – the next day, we’ll regain our sanity and our composure. I’ll dole out the candy within reason and give the rest to our doctor’s office. We’ll eat clean. We’ll live by the rules. We’ll re-enter society.

But it’s one day, people. One day! And we’re going to treat this holiday like the little bitch that it is.

Are you with me?

Related post: The 10 Stages of Choosing a Halloween Costume


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  1. 1

    Kati says

    Ha, ha, ha, I love it. I soooo agree and YES I am with you! Now one more thing to add. Let the kids dress up to be a scary monster. For the love…if one more person looks at me like I have three heads because I say my DD wants to be a witch and DS a skeleton I will scream. So you don’t let your 5 year old be a zombie good for you but don’t judge me because I see no lasting harm in letting my kids play dress up how they like for a night. Plus it is HALLOWEEN not DISNEYCHARACTEROWEEN…just and FYI. That is all :)

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  2. 8


    Soooooooo in agreement! My 3 year old and my 1 year old will be getting all the freaking candy I can get them in their store bought ninja and teddy bear costumes, and my 3 year old will be staying up waaaaaaaaay past his bedtime to watch Nightmare Before Christmas and whatever other “scary” movies I can think to have him watch. (Within reason-he is 3 after all.) And the next day I will deal with the inevitable upset tummies and hyperactivity (because, you know, we’re on a GFCF diet, and he’s ASD/ADHD, so…LOL), because they’re only kids once and it’s ONE DAY A YEAR. *End mini rant*

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  3. 12

    CJ says

    As a recipe developer and baking blogger, my job is to create cute and clever holiday ideas that just feed this whole machine. As a mom, oh my word I’m so tired. I want off the craft a pumpkin out of the veggie tray train. Not to mention that given the nature of my work, I’m done and completely over holidays at least 6-8 weeks before they occur so by the time they roll around, yeah, done. Over it. I hear yeah loud and clear. Give me those full size candy bars. And I will have no guilt for pulling out all of the ones with nuts (kid with a nut allergy) and enjoying them myself.

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  4. 14

    Kelly says

    I am with you EXCEPT the trick or treat in the rich neighborhoods, unless it has changed since I was a kid. My bff and I went to the rich neighborhood one year and her sister stayed in our nice middle class neighborhood. The rich had massive yards that you had to hike through to get to the door and be given one tiny cheap piece of candy. We even had sprinklers on automatic timers go off. After two hours we barely had half a bag of candy. Meanwhile her sister in the same time span was on her 2nd pillow case full.

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    • 15

      Laurie says

      My grandparents’ neighbourhood was always the best! Middle class, mainly occupied by seniors and trick or treated by their grandchildren. Full size candy bars galore. And if they asked and you revealed yourself to be so-and-so’s grandchild, chances were good there might be an entire sandwich baggie of goodies set aside for you :)

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  5. 19


    I agree! We’re waiting one more year to do any real trick or treating. My LO is 1 1/2, so she won’t remember this one anyway. However, she is dressing up, and we are handing out candy (for the first time ever). I have bags full in my cupboard just waiting for the day! I’m not giving out the big bars, but I have a ton of different minis to choose from!

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  6. 21


    I am SO there! I don’t even have kids (not by choice) but my house is decorated to the nines (is that the right word?)! I’m stocked full of candy to hand out. I don’t give full sized bars, I give BAGS! Okay, not really bags! I just have a HUGE bowl of everything and I deliver one handful to each childs bag. The parents pipe up in the background, ‘remember, just one piece.’ I always think to myself, ‘I don’t think so pal. It’s Halloween!’ I live vicariously through each of those kids and give them what every kid wants, a s**t-ton of candy! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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      • 23


        Thank you! I just LOVE Halloween! My best friend hates it so while her kids were little I was all over going to help them with costumes and ideas for parties that I’d throw for her kids and their friends at her house!I have over 25 nieces/nephews and great nieces/nephews. So I have learned to accept my situation and get to be the ‘favorite Aunt’ because I can spoil each and everyone of them. Of course then send them home. Yes, I can hear the moans! =)
        I’m also very lucky that I am able to work with children daily. Makes my own situation seem a little easier when I can do good for other’s children. I can’t help but to love them all.

        Medical reasons are to blame. However, you get what you’re given and life moves on.


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  7. 25


    Hilarious! Sorry I can't join you wholeheartedly in this! But I'm concerned about what many of those ingredients can do to my kids and have been invited to give a healthy/green Halloween presentation on the radio. Luckily there are alternatives that taste just as good as our old favorites!

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    • 26

      Juleigh says

      I’m sure your kids will survive ingesting a night’s worth of “bad” ingredients. Unless, of course, there’s an allergy. Otherwise don’t suck the fun out of Halloween.

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      • 27

        Courtney says

        While I understand and miss those days. I’m not ignorant to the crap that’s in everyday candy now. My kids get homemade cookies and cakes and candies choc-full of real Chocolate and not processed refined sugars. Matter if fact, every time I have given them a “treat” of the crap I ate as a kid they barfed. I think we should stop bitching about other parents’ choices altogether. I mean that junk candy is like a couple bucks a bag. If you hate the homemade or crafty stuff that much go buy you kid some more candy, I hate that it has to be so hostile. Whatever happened to minding your own business and letting people raise their own families? I’m sure your kids enjoy your traditions as much as mine do ours. No need for such bitchy nonsense.

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        • 28

          JaelynRae says

          Courtney – YES! Thank you! Just because we have the knowledge available to make better choices now does NOT mean we are depriving our kiddos of anything!

          In an effort to ensure our kiddos do not miss out on anything, I will order the equivalent of nearly all the popular garbage candy(because unfortunately I can usually only find it online) and will trade them 1:1 for their Halloween candy. I will carry a small bag with me while we Trick Or Treat so they can have some right away and we make a game of trading the rest when we get home. They have fun with the negotiation process for items that are not quite an exact match. I let them have a few of the other “processed” candy last year and they both (ages 8 & 12) spit them out and said they were “gross” in comparison.

          So to the author, I am sorry but I will NOT feel guilty about caring more about my kids than their ability to gorge on processed garbage for the sake of a holiday.

          Also just an FYI, every year we give out organic fruit snacks and homemade lollipops (like those giant round ones that we sold at school fundraisers that barely fit in your mouth, with flavors like Strawberry Cheesecake). My lollipops are made from real, simple ingredients, nothing modified, processed, refined or preserved. My flavor choices are limited to natural ones but you know what? ALL of our neighborhood kids agreed that we gave out the BEST tasting treats and many came back more than once! Sure I could spend $10 for several giant bags of crap like everyone else. Instead I choose to spend well over $50 (we get a LOT of Trick Or Treaters) to offer something better.

          Its the kids that get the junk everyday that recognize it when something actually truly tastes good, without the subtle (or not so subtle) chemical aftertaste. As a test last year (because my hubby claimed as the author does that I was “depriving the neighborhood kids of the goodies we got as kids”), I had two bowls of candy to choose from. One had my homemade lollipops and fruit snacks and the other had a mix of the (not mini, but not full size) popular candy bars and I let the kids choose. The only ones that chose the candy bars where the teenagers and despite only buying one bag, I still had over half a bowl of the junk candy left over and had to re-fill the other bowl 3 times that night.

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  8. 29


    THIS!! Your post reminds me of a time growing up when one Halloween something possessed my mom to give out pretzels as treats. How our house didn't get egged, I'll never understand, LOL. But don't let your kids eat the candy before you've checked it! There are so many effed-up people nowadays who poison candy or stick pins in them. You've really got to be careful.

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    • 30

      Josie says

      Hey there Pamela, did you know there has never been a documented case of poisened Halloween candy? No, I tell a lie, there was one case a few years ago where a kid’s dad did it. Nasty custody battle. But that’s it! Eat your candy in assurance!

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  9. 31

    Shelley says

    Awesome! LOVE it!! And don’t forget about celebrating Halloween on the 31st no matter what day of the week it falls on! None of this “well it’s Sunday. I don’t think we are supposed to trick or treat in Sunday”. WTC? And don’t knock on my door until it is pretty much dark. If your little ones need a flashlight or glow sticks, get them. Simple! Have fun & eat more chocolate!!!

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    • 32

      Mel says

      In our area, there are designated times and dates for each suburb and there will be no candy if you deviate…some towns do it the weekend before for the parents who all work and can’t get home early enough to T or T on weekdays. I thought it was weird when I first moved here, but it works…and some kids go more than once. :)

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  10. 33

    Katie says

    The only non-candy item you’ll ever see coming out of my house is glow stick bracelets- ‘cuz who doesn’t LOVE a glow stick? Other than that candy all the way!

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