The Halloween season is upon us, and I thought it would be fun to go back in time to the days of trick-or-treating and look at just what were some of my absolute favorite things to find in my treat bag at the end of the night. Now, don’t get me wrong, it was hard for any treat to be classified as “bad”, but we all had the favorites that we hoped to get a sack full of by the end of the night. Here are five of my favorites!
When I was young back in the ’80s, there wasn’t much more revered candy amongst my friends than Nerds. We all loved these things. We’d carry the normal-sized boxes of them to school with us and compare flavors. So when the snack-sized boxes came along, we were all stoked. It was a big deal for a few years though to get these on Halloween night. We’d all bring in our Nerds haul to school and see who really hit the jackpot.
I know these things aren’t exactly politically correct these days, but back then, people didn’t see anything wrong with them. A lot of Dads smoked then, and one of the coolest things you could do was to imitate your Dad. I’d “puff” on these things for a while trying to look cool, but it didn’t take long for that chalky flavor to overcome me and I’d have to gobble them down. Not only that but in school, we treated candy cigarettes like prisoners do real cigarettes. You could trade these things for all kinds of stuff between classes.
Now I’m not talking about things like a $10 Starbucks card. No, I’m talking about the ones for free cones or fries at McDonald’s. While you couldn’t necessarily enjoy these the night you got them, it was like having money in the bank, and you anxiously waited for the day you got to go cash them in.
Packs of Baseball Cards
In that time, collecting and trading baseball cards was a rite of passage. All my friends were into it, and so was I, so anytime you could get a pack of cards was great. On the street where I did all of my trick-or-treating, there was an older fellow who was really into cards, and to pass along the joys of the hobby to the next generation, he gave out wax packs of baseball cards as Halloween treats. This world needs more folks like that man.
While getting all the individual items mentioned above was great, it was always more exciting to get a full little treat bag that held untold treasures inside of it. Historically for me, these things usually had a mini candy bar in it, with some Tootsie Rolls thrown in, and usually another item like a spider ring. These treat bags were the epitome of the phrase, “more bang for the buck”, and still would be my favorite thing to find in my treat bag.