When the hordes of little tykes dolled up like Dora the Explorer and Spider-Man and whatever other licensed character costumes their parents bought for them at Target show up at your door this Halloween, know that you are being judged. No, it's not on your costume or your synced light show on your house. They're judging you on the treats you put in their bags.
What sort of impression do you want to make on the kids of the neighborhood and—more importantly, their parents—when they ring your bell and jut their grabby fat hands out at you for some overly-processed high fructose corn syrup delivery system? Here are some common solutions to America's trick-or-treating epidemic. Before you head down to the CVS to pick out your candy, think about the message you're giving out to the world.
Tiny Candy Bars
This is now the standard ration for people who show up at the door: one "party sized" treat. This is fair and just. It says that you care about Halloween and traditions and children and family values and all that great American bullshit, but you don't care too much. You're doing your duty and, while you're happy to do it, you're not going to go over the top or anything. What kind of candy you give out doesn't really matter, because kids will be happy with any sugary bribe. But if you give out single Reece's Peanut Butter Cups you are clearly the awesomest.
Well, it's not just Sweet Tarts but anything non-chocolate based like Skittles or Starburst or Lifesavers or something like that. Like the person who gives out the little "party sized" treat, you're into Halloween and doing your duty, but you want everyone to think that you're a little bit wacky and crazy. You don't like chocolate. No, that's too cliche! You're bright and sunny and fun and probably learned what PLUR meant at a rave in the late '90s.
Who the hell gives out candy corn to trick or treaters? Yes, it is the traditional seasonal treat, but you don't give it out to kids so it gets all clumpy and gross at the bottom of their trick or treat bags. That's nasty. Just put it in a dish on your desk or your coffee table or something. This just means that you're way too into Halloween and not very smart. Also, you don't know what kids like. I sure hope you don't have any.
You are a stupid vegan jerkface who wants to ruin one of the best days of the year for everyone around you. You think that pushing your "doesn't cast a shadow" agenda is more important that children's joy. Asshole.
Tootsie Rolls are totally the little black dress of Halloween candy. No one goes out and buys Tootsie Rolls normally, but then when you get them at someone's house and you get home and eat them, you're so happy that someone gave them to you. They're simple and different and classic and always great. Who doesn't love a Tootsie Roll? You're probably a very cool and stylish person who has a great wardrobe and a very well-appointed house. People don't think to ask you for advice, but when you give it, it's always spot on. Some people might think you're plain, but, to me, you're just plain great.
Lollipops are always the only thing left at the store on the afternoon before Halloween, because they're sort of lame and kind of an afterthought. You are the kind of person who really feels like he has to give out Halloween candy but you're either too busy or lazy to get to the store before the last possible second, so you have to buy the only thing left, so you get two bags of Dum Dums and hope that the kids will like the mystery flavor because, you're sorry, but this is all you had left and it's going to have to do. Everything in your life is just like those damn Dum Dums.
Full Candy Bars
You're just an annoying show off. You want to impress all the parents in the hood that you make so much money or you're so cool that you are splurging on giant sized candy bars. When handing these out to kids, whose eyes light up when they see you pull them out of the box from Costco, you're looking in the eyes of their parents thinking, "Yeah, I'm giving your kid an entire fucking Snickers. What?" as you puff up your chest in front of them. Either that or you're so emotionally scarred from childhood that you need everyone's approval, including a bunch of kids you're never going to see again—until next year, when they'll be demanding the good stuff all over again.
Anything Other than Candy
If you pull out some pennies or pencils or McDonald's gift certificates or that fudge you make that everyone in the office says is really amazing or, god forbid, apples, then you are a fucking awful killjoy sadist who should just shut off your light, shun the world, and enjoy your reruns of Castle on DVR. Jerk.
You're really more of a Christmas person, aren't you?