Christmas, of course, meant presents, which usually meant toys. And Halloween meant candy.
When you're a kid, there's not much that matters more than toys and candy. Might as well be water and oxygen.
OK, I will admit that Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays too -- if you ever tasted my parents' cooking, you'd understand why. Just typing this has made me crave roast turkey, stuffing, mashed taters and gravy. Fuck I'm hungry!OK ... where was I?
Oh yes ... candy and Halloween.
If you were a kid after the start of the 1980s, Halloween is a much different thing. We didn't worry about X-raying candy. Parents didn't worry overly much about sending kids out in the neighborhood to go trick-or-treating. Homemade Rice Crispy treats in Plastic Wrap was an acceptable treat; it wasn't thrown out. Things have changed a lot since I was a kid.
Same goes for the candy. There is SO much more variety these days. Candy options were a bit more limited. The bulk was hard candy -- Lifesaver lollipops or Dumdums, root beer barrel candy, butterscotch discs, peppermints. There was bubblegum. The PREMIUM houses were the ones that gave out Hershey's miniatures. The GREAT houses gave out regular-sized candy bars, but those were rare.
Now, almost everyone gives out the good, premium candy -- individually packaged, small versions of Reese's peanut butter cups, Snickers, Three Musketeers, etc.
Back then, after you were done, you sat down with your brothers and sisters and worked out trades for your favorites and theirs.
And boy did you make your stash last as long as possible -- helped tremendously by mothers not very willing to let children indulge their sweet teeth (sweet tooths?). They would let you have a few pieces, then would put the bags (labeled, naturally, so the kids wouldn't fight over which was whose) into the kitchen cabinet over the refrigerator, where kids couldn't reach without climbing on the countertops. It would be doled out a few pieces at a time. I always had a strong suspicion that some of it went to sweet-toothed (sweet-teethed) parents. I know I would have stolen candy from my kids, if I had any!
And for those of you who haven't seen the larger version of my October avatar ... I present Evil DZER!