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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 my 10 of my favorite Halloween treats!
So not all of the best treats were candy. As a matter of fact, I’m going to mention several things on this list that aren’t candy at all. There were several times that I got little plastic toys as a treat instead of the traditional candy. Candy was great, but when you’re already getting so much of it on Halloween, it was a nice change of pace to get something to play with while you ate all of that candy. Spider rings were a staple in my area, and you could almost always count on getting a few thrown in your bag. The plastic vampire teeth were a nice touch, as were the witches fingernails. My only issue with the fingernails though, was that the folks giving those out would only give you two or three of them. It was kind of a bummer to not have one for each finger though.
When I was young back in the ’80s, there wasn’t a 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.
Fun Size Candy Bars
Speaking on small-sized, next on the list are Fun Size candy bars. Another gran achievement of the candy companies. Making them in this size make it economical for folks to give them out on Halloween. What’s better than brand name candy cars in your Halloween treat sack? Well, continue on to find out!
Like with the plastic toys I already mentioned, not all great treats were candy. Getting stickers, or better yet, a sheet of stickers was always welcomed. Back in those days, adorning your Trapper Keeper with stickers was the thing to do, and nabbing some Halloween themed ones were great at this time of year.
Giving out stickers as Halloween treats is a great idea, and if you’d like to do that this year, then head over to StickerYou.com and pick some up. You can even design your own!
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.
Whether it was a Capri-Sun pouch, Squeezeits, or just a plain old can of cola, it sure was nice to have a tasty beverage to go along with all those sweets you were consuming.
While getting al 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. These treat bags were the epitome of the phrase, “more bang for the buck”.
Full-Size Candy Bars
While rare, there were some folks who would spring for full-sized candy bars for all the little witches and goblins who would darken their doorstep each Halloween. I only knew of one, but it was always my favorite stop. She always had a full selection, and you got to pick whichever one you wanted. God bless that lady.