How much WILL you treat?
It's the big day folks. Next to Christmas, I'm betting this is kids' favorite day. You get to wear special clothes AND get candy? Pure heaven! (Although this begs the question: How did it become such a grand old tradition to send our kids out into the night, instructing them go door-to-door begging strangers for stuff? And threatening them with a trick if they didn't comply!)
Moral qualms aside, I usually enjoy this holiday. The last few years, though, it hasn't been a big deal. Most of my friends don't throw costume parties, and we lived in a secure, child-free building. So Halloween has passed more or less unnoticed for four years. Well, except for all the great candy sales.
This year, though, we find ourselves in a large-ish complex. With a lot of kids. Maybe it's not a big deal. But the few kids we tend to run into are pretty horrible. Okay, I'm sure there are plenty of normal, well-mannered ones around. But there is also the group that keeps peeing in the elevator over the weekend, when maintenance is off-duty.
All this makes me kind of reluctant to give out candy. And, financially, there's not a great incentive either. If you stock up for a month or so beforehand, you can probably get a cache of goodies for $10 or less. Assuming you don't raid it when the cravings strike. But we've been cutting back on unnecessary expenses, which means very little candy. So what I do get, I prefer to eat.
And if you haven't been stocking up? You're looking at $15-20 of candy, gone by the end of the night. Maybe some people don't mind it; maybe I'm just the Scrooge of Halloween (Scrooge o' lantern?). But a few years ago, when I did bother with candy, half the kids didn't even bother to dress up. And a few even asked me for more candy! It didn't really endear me to the whole tradition.
So, what are our options? We could bite the bullet and buy some candy; we can just not answer the door (unlikely, Tim can't even let a phone ring until the machine picks it up); or we can go out. Frankly, if I'm going to spend $15-20, I would prefer to spend it on a rare night out with my husband.
Then yesterday I got a Dave & Buster's offer, buy $20 of credits, get another $20. Certainly cheaper than going to a bar. Since Tim got one too, we're taking his friend Joe and Joe's wife, Marty. They don't much like the kids in the complex either.
In case you're wondering, I do feel a little guilty. I benefited from so many people's generosity as a kid, and if more people were like me, the holiday would probably suck. But in the end, there are plenty of people who are stocking up on candy. And, if we ever live in a house, I'll probably bite the bullet. Right now, though, I think Tim and I need some fun.
Luckily, not everyone is like me. And to all those actually celebrating Halloween, I am interested to hear back from you:
For those of you who are more generous: How much are you giving out? Does it change along with finances? Have you been stocking up on sales?
Anyone who goes out with the kids: Are people giving out less candy these days? Or, like Christmas, is this something that everyone finds the money for?