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Halloween is probably my favorite holiday – the history, the thought of harvest, a touch of magic in the air. I’m a bit protective of this particular holiday and the kids in my neighborhood find out the hard way each year.

Here in the great land of commercial over-kill our children no longer understand the meaning/history of the more famous holidays (there’s a rant about Christmas coming later). To them – and many of their parents – Halloween is all about slasher movies, pranking people, trendy costumes, and most importantly, free candy.  There is no room in their young entitled lives for a history lesson on why we set out jack-o-lanterns, why it might be a bad idea for the souls of our departed friends and family to get stuck in this world, or why people wear guises to hide from the spirits.

Now, I’m not a complete Halloween-witch, though yes that is my annual costume and I can be a pretty decent curse-caster when needed.  I always took the kids trick-or-treating when they were younger, but I also made sure they understood the history of the night. I also made sure they said ‘thank you’ to the candy-givers and always wore age-appropriate costumes. And I have to admit it was just funny to take around a 70lb long haired dog in a pink tutu.

But now that my kids are older I stay home and hand out candy to the unenlightened.  I figure that if they are going to make the effort to walk the neighborhood in a costume, the least I can do is give them a treat for it (and send them home on a sugar high for their parents to deal with later – part of my evil genius). But I absolutely draw the line at handing out candy to those not in costume. The witch in me truly comes out when hoodlums, usually a year or so too old to even be trick-or-treating, travel around in a pack, pillowcases in hand, expecting candy.  Nope. Not gonna happen. Step aside for the cutie in the princess dress and her brother, Spiderman. 

Cost of candy for the night: $30

Fresh pumpkins and candles to go with my fall decorations: $20

Shocked expression on the kids I shoo away for no costume: priceless!

Insert witchy cackle here.