So, apparently now, the minute Halloween is finished, it becomes completely acceptable to embrace Christmas, according to both the radio and TV.
This is not a surprise and it’s not even the first time I’ve complained about it. After all, the Christmas merchandise has slowly been creeping in for weeks now and co-habiting with the Halloween merchandise. Poor Thanksgiving is relegated to a meager area of pilgrims, turkeys and leaves.
No, I’m talking about full-on, Christmas promotional assault. I’ve already seen one commercial on TV today for Christmas merchandise and I only had my TV for the 25 minutes it takes me to get ready in the morning. To be fair, I didn’t actually see the commercial as much as heard “Jingle Bells” and cringed. Then, two separate radio commercials were about Christmas sales. Different companies, same annoying Christmas song- Jingle Bells.
Now, generally, I’m not opposed to “Jingle Bells.” It’s a good song to caterwaul as you’re driving home on a cold winters night in early to mid December. It’s actually very satisfying to sing especially very loudly and very enthusiastically. It’s just that it is currently November the first. The day after Halloween. It’s too early to be assaulted with the bastardized versions of Jingle Bells that have their lyrics changed to advertise something.
While I accept that Halloween is, in fact over, it was only a mere 24 hours ago that I was putting away the trick or treat candy bowl. By this time, I had realized that I was not going to have the onslaught of sugar-hungry children that I had last year and would have a lot left over so during the quiet periods, I found myself habitually hoarding the Kit-Kats and Twix’s and swapping them out of my bowl with Airheads and Lemonheads. Yes, I’m that person. And yes, I did give some chocolate away but when you realize you bought a metric ton of candy and ended up only giving away half the metric ton, measures must be taken. I knew I’d end up taking the bag to my office. I work with a lot of sugar-addicted office-mates who are always on the lookout for chocolate and sugary goodness. They prefer the chocolate. I do too and while I try not to snack too much at work, it is rather nice to have a mini Kit-Kat when I really want some chocolate.
I was rather disappointed in the trick or treat-ers this year. I was also disappointed in my neighbourhood. I live on a street with a lot of houses. From my porch, I could see only four houses giving out candy. The rest were obviously dark, porch lights off and disinterested. Now, while I know the economy is bad, giving out candy or Halloween goodies of a non-sugary kind is traditional. There are ways to participate without spending a ton of money.
The kids who were trick or treating weren’t as plentiful as last year. I’m a sucker for a toddler in a cute costume so I tend to give extra candy to the ladybugs, bumblebees and Strawberry Shortcakes who come to my door. I also like creativity and cleverness so I reward those kids too. In fact, pretty much any kid in a costume is welcome at my door.
The problem is that last night, there were an awful lot of kids not in costume at my door. In fact, they really weren’t even kids at all. They were teenagers who must have been fifteen or sixteen. They didn’t have Halloween buckets or bags. They didn’t even have pillowcases. They had backpacks and gymbags which they were clearly carrying already, not for the purpose of trick or treating. There were quite a few of them. They travelled in packs. Since I had a ton of candy and not as many kids, I gave them all one piece of candy each. I shouldn’t have done because it’s rewarding ‘bad’ behaviour but since I didn’t want to cause a fuss, I figured it wouldn’t hurt. The one that really made me question her was a girl who opened up her Louis Vuitton purse for me to drop a Tootsie Roll in.
It was a real Louis Vuitton purse too. Believe it or not, I can spot the difference after several years living in L.A. and being surrounded by knockoffs. Now, why is a girl who is carrying a Louis Vuitton purse and high heels begging for free candy?
Still, she got a Tootsie Roll from me. Tootsie Rolls are my passive-aggressive way of being mean to people. I know it’s twisted logic because the recipient might actually like Tootsie Rolls but I find them rather unappealing. They’re one of my least favourite sugary treats. I only had them because they were in a mixed bag of candy I bought.
I actually do have a system for handing out candy. If I think they really embraced the whole dressing up for Halloween thing and they look good, they are eligible for a Reese’s Cup, Twix, Starburst or Kit-Kat. This is the cream of the chocolate crop as far as my opinion of Halloween Candy goes. I’m actually not a Reese’s cup fan but the way the kids were bickering over who got the “Reesy Cup” made me realize they were quite the prize. Next comes the Snickers and the Almond Joys which I will eat if hungry but will not seek out. These go to the kids who made a good effort but I can’t figure out what they’re dressed as or they are dressed in a store-bought superhero costume. It is too easy to buy a superhero costume. I think a little more effort should be made. Following this comes the Lemonheads and the Airheads which are not my favourite candy but there were a lot of them. I give these to the kids who are wearing a Jason mask or a Scream mask without the rest of the costume. Finally, comes the Tootsie Rolls which I give to the kids who didn’t bother wearing a costume and just want free candy.
Yes, I’m a meanie and I have a weird system but when you’re sitting at the door for two hours, playing “Angry Birds” while waiting for kids to come ask for candy, there’s a lot of downtime to think about these things. The pups tried to keep me entertained but even they got bored between trick or treat-ers. Sookie barked at them but most of the time both she and Rory were just curious and they got so many “Aww! WEINER DOGS!!!” yells of delight that they eventually ran outside to get away.
Still, by the time I put the candy bowl away even with the plethora of uncostumed teens, I had a lot of sweets left in my bowl. I slid them into a bag to bring to work and called it a night as far as Halloween festivities went. I figured that it was another Halloween past and another year of being completely wrong in my estimation of how much candy I would need.
Still, even though I knew Halloween was over this morning, it did feel a little wrong to be carrying the leftover candy to work while being serenaded by several different versions of “Jingle Bells”. I’m sure that over the next few weeks, it’ll be a full onslaught of Christmas advertisements. While I do enjoy the holiday season, I do think it might be a little better to wait until people have had a chance to put away the Halloween pumpkins before they think they’re supposed to get out the trees, giant inflatable snowmen and all of the trimmings.
At least let Thanksgiving have a chance first!