Friday, October 31, 2008

Getting ready - Halloween 2008

There's no doubt about it. Halloween is my favorite holiday. All the kids dressed up in their costumes, everyone on their best behavior hoping that Mom and Dad will let them walk down one more street - Yep, Halloween in our neighborhood isn't just a holiday. It's an experience. Something you have to see to believe. It's not that there are tons of decorations out or anything, although we have our share of pumpkins and ghosts, it's the sheer volume of trick-or-treaters that must be witnessed to be believed.

A few years ago, I experienced this for the first time. After complaining that I never got trick-or-treaters at my apartment despite putting a welcome sign on my door, my husband (we were still dating at the time) suggested I come over to experience his halloween. I offered to buy half the candy and he told me to be sure to come early. He warned me that we'd have about 300 children at the door. I was skeptical to say the least, so we actually counted. Let's just say we totally ran out of candy.

The next year, we bought more candy. The year after that, even more. Last year was the only year we did not run out of candy (I had purchased 679 pieces of candy). That year we ended up 580 kids. Yep, you read that right. Last year, we had 580 kids. That's a lot of kids AND a lot of candy. Needless to say, I have to be frugal with the candy purchases. Each year, I scout out the sales and for the last 2 years, I've managed to get all my candy for an average of $0.08 per piece. That means this years 590 pieces of candy cost just under $46 bucks. And it's good chocolate (Hershey bars, Snickers, Crunch, Milky Ways - all of them chocolate). Each child gets one piece (that's how I know how many kids we have each year) and I figure $46 isn't a bad price to pay for an entire evening of entertainment and a lot of smiling faces.

Now frugal, I may be, but green - yeah, not so much. For some reason the fair trade-ness and the organic-ness of the candy doesn't bother me nearly as much as the fact that it's all individually wrapped. Ugh. SO MUCH WASTE - some of which I will be recollecting as I walk around the neighborhood collecting trash out of neighborhood yards on Saturday. Gone are the days of handing out apples. Baked goods will surely be chucked in the trash by a wary parent. Nope it's pretty much candy, money, or trinkets these days. We've gone for candy.

Now I suppose we could completely opt out of the holiday, shut our doors, and ignore our doorbell, but 580 kids is not something that is easy to ignore and far more fun to enjoy. So tonight we've invited over a few friends. I'm making homemade mac-n-cheese, steamed green beans, and a homemade chocolate cake. We'll be out there with our neighbors, handing out chocolates, smiling at all those cute kids in their fancy costumes, and enjoying the festive evening (I'll post photos tomorrow). 

Hope everyone has a safe and happy halloween!


Simply Authentic said...

Happy Halloween to you too! My parents also get about 500 kids every year. It does breed entertainment! Hope you are enjoying the kiddos as you should be just about your peak now at Texas time!

Heather @ SGF said...

It was a really fun night. I spent the entire time with one big smile on my face. You just can't top that :)