Don’t Put Candy in the Ground for Halloween, FFS

Look, I know we’re all desperately trying to save something, anything , for our kids this year. They have been suffering one crushing disappointment after another for so many months that I have stopped counting. And I know that we all have had moments of temporary (or prolonged) insanity during this pandemic. But friends, let’s slow down. Let’s take a deep breath and remind ourselves: Throwing candy in the ground for Halloween isn’t a good idea.

When I first saw this suggestion on social media, I thought, “Hmm, it seems insecure, what a weird idea.” The second time I saw it, I thought, “No, seriously, this is no good.” For the third time I was tired of this nonsense.

Let me tell you a little story. Last Halloween, I took my son for a treat with his friends, while my husband stayed at home to hand out candy. When we met later, we opened a couple of beers and he casually said, “Next year, we’ll have to get rid of this decorative fence.”

My spooky graveyard-style plastic fence? Why would I give it up at all? It complements my zombies, tombstones and my giant talking pirate skeleton so perfectly.

“Because,” he said, sipping his beer. “You won’t believe how many children stumbled over this. Just like a huge number of children, one after another, go down to the lawn. “

This is a massive 11 “high fence (I measured it). But it turns out that the little trick masters do not look at the ground when they run across the lawn for candy. They look at the door, expecting what it can give. You know what’s smaller than my fence, spanning a few feet of a yard? Tiny packs of skittles. Funky Twix arcs. Tootsie Pops.

Stop and imagine this for a moment. Halloween night. The kids are dressed in all sorts of draped costumes, fixated on constantly adjusting the mask you (hopefully) made them wear. It’s damn dark outside. Candy stabbed into the ground never made for them. What do we think will happen here? At best, all of this will be trampled on in the fourth minute, right?

And yet this is what people suggest in an article on PopSugar titled “Sticking on candy is even safer (and much prettier) than leaving the bowl on Halloween night ” (no, it’s not):

“I still want to hang out on the porch and see all the cute costumes, but no, I don’t want a bunch of kids ringing my door and fishing in my bowl for candy,” [Colorado mom] wrote a Facebook post about its discovery. “So I’ll be decorating my yard with Willy Wonka-style candy. Children can come and take candy from a safe distance, and I will smile and wave my hand from the porch. A win-win “.

If you want to try it in your backyard, she said “any stick will do,” but noted that ice cream sticks are ideal if you’re worried about impaling children (“Yeah, I have comments on this !” – she said). She also suggested plastic spoons, glow sticks, or plastic straws. Her one warning: “Don’t put the candy too early,” she noted. “Squirrels seem to love jokes and treats, and will take advantage of any candy if left unattended for a long time.”

Okay, wait, Willy Wonka. Any idea that raises concerns about children being impaled is worth revisiting. I agree that “pierced” might be too strong a word for what would happen if a child fell on a few ice cream sticks, but the resulting feeling won’t be pleasant either.

What does it mean “too early” not to lure squirrels? (Do you know who else might like the taste of junk food scattered across the lawn? Raccoons, that’s who.) The trick or treat lasts two full hours in every place I’ve ever lived. Even if you wait until 5:59 pm on Halloween night to create this danger in the neighborhood, all the cute little rodents (and ants – have you thought about ants – have you thought about ants?) Enough time to find your ground-based candy stash …

Not to mention , if we’re trying to avoid contamination from the harmful COVID germs, then surely we can come up with a better alternative than Reese’s dirty, broken peanut butter cup. (Also, do you really want to clean up this mess?)

The point is, if you actually ask the kids what they want from the Halloween experience, they are more likely to say something like, “I want to dress up” or “I want candy.” It’s actually not much more difficult. If you want to hand out candy but don’t want to share their airspace (or have them dig into the bowl themselves), here’s what you do:

Place a card table at the end of your front aisle or driveway. The card table is high; they will see the card table. Now, with gloves on, pour the candy onto the card table. Spread it out. Take a step back at least six feet, sit down, socialize, and watch cute kids in their costumes walk by. Children can pick up the candy without touching it (be helpful and remind them of this) and risk injury. When the supply runs out, go to the table wearing a mask and gloves and restock.


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