If you really want to chat about a worthwhile debate, then come sit by me. Families, like mine, all over the country are counting down to Decision Day.  Pondering what the long-term effects of their decision will be. Do they risk alienation from neighbors who don’t express the same point of view? Find solidarity with those that do?

With a choice only days away, Americans are split down the middle on one big issue. But it’s pretty clear-cut for me.  There will be candy for Trick or Treat at my house this year.

Here is why:

If we are being honest, Halloween only has one thing going for it—candy. If you take that away, it’s pretty ghastly. Yeah, I guess pumpkins and rocking costumes are alright, but the treats are what makes all that orange and scariness bearable. After being continuously slapped around by 2020, we deserve a sugar-filled, gluttonous, carefree Saturday night.  #Candyishappiness.

Moreover, the decision to allow trick or treating at the old homestead has brought my latent Pinterest talents to the surface.  A contactless candy encounter doesn’t happen by accident, people. Rather it is a marriage of architecture, engineering and craftiness that makes chocolate and peanut butter look mismatched by comparison.  My candy chute is a thing of wonder that will not only be part of our permanent spooky set-up for years to come but pinned all across the internet too.

Another distinct advantage is that participating in trick or treat means someone else is providing sustenance to your child. After seven long pandemic months, if you are even pretending nutrition matters, I applaud you. I can’t relate to you, but I admire you. Let us all remember one thing, candy is a meal, plain and simple. For those in need of convincing, here are some hard facts using a Snickers bar as an example. Each time you say “yes” to a Snickers, both Vitamin A and Iron start coursing through your veins. Also, peanuts in every bite provide 3g worth of protein punch! Add those to the calcium in the chocolate fortifying those bones and you are kicking some serous food pyramid butt with every bar you unwrap for breakfast.

Don’t forget, a stockpile of candy is educationally important. Nothing builds math skills like dividing up candy to ration until Thanksgiving. Or deducing the probability that your parents will steal a portion of your stash (yes, kids are aware, no matter how stealth we think we are). Fraction work is a given when you figure that one fourth of your candy will have to be traded to a sibling.  Halloween’s new slogan: Trick or Treat is good for the brain.

Sadly, canceling trick or treat can trigger an existential crisis. Who am I if not the mom raising a red solo sup in solidarity with other parents as they pass by? What is the point of laboring over outdoor decorations if everyone spends Halloween at home?  What is the meaning of Halloween without candy for the masses?  These questions will haunt me as I analyze a world sans goblins begging for sweets.

The biggest quandary for me though is justifying buying all the candy if there is no one coming around with a plastic pumpkin or pillowcase to collect it.  If I turn out the lights and shun trick or treaters, I have no rationale for purchasing our normal 10 bags of loot; leaving my poor sweet tooth hanging. After all, I plan for this caloric windfall every year. I up my steps, choose which daily meal the candy will replace and carefully balance pieces stolen from my kids with the household stash for a variety of flavors and ingredients.  You can’t just undo 50 years of stringent mental and physical programming in one night!

And my last thought on this is the following… Originally, the term trick or treat was uttered in the belief that offering a treat would show kindness and prevent evil spirits from playing tricks on the living. In 2020, it is hard to believe that something so simple could bring an end to the array of outrageous tricks we’ve been subjected to thus far.

But, realistically, don’t we owe it to ourselves to at least try yelling, “Trick or Treat!!” to see what happens?  I am building my campaign on the idea that we have to go back to our roots and attempt everything to bring some normalcy to the holidays.


Maureen lives outside Washington DC with her husband, 3 boys and her dog, the only one who really understands her. She shamelessly exploits the chaos of her everyday life for enjoyment and profit. She loves 80's music, Miller Lite and reality TV. She is rarely without a koozie in case someone is kind enough to offer a beverage. Maureen can be found blogging at Montgomery Community Media, in her column for the Town Courier Newspapers as well as online at Scary Mommy, the Mid and more.

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