I love, love, love getting trick-or-treaters. When I moved into my first real apartment after undergrad, I bought a ton of candy, got dressed up, and waited. And waited. And waited.
Apparently, kids don't trick-or-treat at apartments in the midwest. A lesson hard-learned. Tears were shed, and a whole lot of candy was eaten in sheer disappointment.
When we first moved into a house...I came armed. I went to Sam's Club and bought the BIG CANDY. Yes, not only would we be getting trick-or-treaters that year...but we were going to be the house that gave out the FULL SIZE CANDY. Plain & Peanut M&M's.
10 minutes into the night, a little boy who was about 4 came running up the porch while his dad waited at the curb for him.
"And what are you this Halloween?"
"Awesome...would you like Plain or Peanut M&M's?"
His face dropped. He looked horrified. I wondered if he heard me right. After all I didn't ask if he would rather have a root canal or a broken nose...I am offering M&M's. The elixir of the gods. The candy that has fixed 90% of the problems in my life at one moment or another.
He shrieked, "NO! I DON'T LIKE M&M's!"
Then he promptly wheeled around and ran, no - sprinted - back to his dad. I felt horrible, because I clearly offended the little super hero with my absolutely disgusting candy selection.
As they walked away, I heard his dad whisper, "You just take the candy. No matter what it is...you just say thank you"
I smiled. Spoken like a true dad. Take all the candy...he will eat the ones you don't want. I grew up in the era of Pixie Stix (that were almost certainly emptied and filled with poison) and fun-sized Snickers bars (that all adults were convinced were hiding safety pins). Oh, and the occasional handmade popcorn ball that had to be sourced from the right house or it ended up in the trash can.
My dad, ever the protector of his children, took it upon himself to "test" our Halloween candy to make sure it was safe. Despite our recommendation that we take the candy to the local fire department for the x-ray screening...he thought it was more efficient to use the "taste test".
Oddly enough, all candy was pretty much deemed safe without sampling...except the fun-size Snickers. From ages 6-12, I never ate an entire Snickers bar myself. No, not even the fun-size. I always inherited it from my dad with one large bite (sometimes 1/2 the bar) "tested".
Brach's peanut butter taffy? Safe. Those crazy Pixie Stix? Safe. Even Milky Way Bars? Safe.
Snickers Bar? The devil loves those things and all must pass inspection.
Although I was mortified that first Halloween, handing out the offensive M&M's...I still do. And I still get the BIG CANDY. Because life is short, and nothing beats that moment as a kid when someone hands you the BIG CANDY and you can't restrain yourself as you shout "WOW! COOL!!!!"
I want to be THAT neighbor.