I have a skeleton to pick with whoever came up with the whole trick-or-treat concept. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for pumpkin-carving and adorable costumes and ghoulish, glow-in-the-dark decor. But the dimwit who decided it was wise to send our kids door-to-door amassing their weight in sugar in a single evening ought to be hog-tied and forced to spend thirteen back to back hours in a room full of the wound-up goblins. (Whatchamacallit Dude, I’m talking to you.) My daughters may only be three and five, but they’re smart. They take a mental inventory as the loot drops into their bottomless bags, so it’s not like I can even sneak a bite-size Snickers out of the deal when they’re not looking. “Mom! I had forty-six Tootsie Rolls and now there are only forty-five. Let me smell your breath.” Little witches. Back in her day, my well-intended grandmother attempted to sway the tide by opting to give out shiny new pennies in lieu of candy. (The woman actually pawed through her pennies to be sure they were indeed both shiny and new.) Trust me when I tell you there is nothing sadder than the sight of a seventy-seven year old woman leaping about her lawn and trying to remove ninety-two miles of toilet paper from her trees. I mentioned to my friend Ann that I’d been fretting about how I was going to pry the sticky haul out of their grubby Halloween-stained hands. “You don’t know about the Switch Witch?” she asked, aghast. I admitted I did not. “Oh, she rocks,” Ann insisted. “Your kids get to pick out a toy that they want and the day after Halloween, they leave their candy sacks by their beds and the Switch Witch takes it away and trades it for the toy.” I feel bad for the poor Switch Witch’s thighs, but I’ll take a ginormous bag of candy over a blood-stained incisor any day of the year.
Putting the “trick” back into trick-or-treat
About the Author: Jenna McCarthy
Jenna McCarthy is the author of a bunch of books for adults and kids. She's given a couple of TED talks. People tell her she's funny.