That’s so sweet

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so-sweetI was feeling pretty good about the state of my Halloween preparations, with almost all of my decorations done and my goody bags complete. I might even say I was feeling smug.

And then I remembered. I still had to make the candy bags for all 75 goody bags. So much for smug.

Now, a great many of you Halloween hosts have nothing more than a grab and drop responsibility for Halloween (I purposely ignore any of you who don’t have any candy at all for trick or treaters). Some of you may even create mini-bags for the kids. Bravo!

Alas, for goody bag purveyors, such as myself, Halloween candy creates a three-fold challenge.

Befores

Obviously, buying candy too early leads to temptation for the strong-willed and dental concerns for the ones who surrender.

I avoid this danger by making sure any early candy purchases I make are the “classic” mix (i.e., icky stuff) and leave any “good” candies (such as chocolates) until the last few days.

Making the candy bags takes more time than you might imagine, a matter of hours of sorting 5-6 pieces of candy for each bag and then placing the mini-bags into the big goody bags.

Fortunately, I don’t separate candies by gender and age as I do the other stuffers.

Durings

While it might seem like the work is done once the candy bags are completed and “installed” in the goody bags, there is one key thing to watch out for during the highly active distribution portion of the evening.

Spills. I picked up very cute candy bags from Oriental Trading that have monster faces and those plastic eyes that have the little eyeballs that can jiggle (think pop-a-matic, but on a tiny scale and no pop).

They are awesome, but they don’t close (they have cute little “handbag straps”). Thus, the candy may get juggled into spilling. While this isn’t a problem for most candies (I only use wrapped candies), there are some that can be sticky even in their wrappers. Spills are not cool.

This year, I’m using old-fashioned plain candy bags which can be crumpled at the top, so I don’t fear for spills.

Afters

My most challenging part of the holiday.

Disassembling everything and putting it away in the outside storage closet is a time-consuming project. Disassembling each candy bag after removing it from any leftover goody bags is a life-altering project.

I found out this last requisite one fine Halloween past. I had apparently missed a few candy bags in some of the stored goody bags. The reason I knew this was that several boxes had been chewed through to get to several plastic goody bags. Those goody bags were then chewed through to get to the candy.

While I have a large contingent of squirrels around my home, there was no doubt this had to be a different furry creature.

For absolute safety and certainty, I threw out everything in all the chewed boxes. Monetarily, it was expensive. Spiritually, it was devastating.

There are always leftover goody bags, meaning there are always leftover candy bags. When I was working, I could easily dispose of this candy by bringing it to my office and filling the candy jar on my desk.

Now, I have no easy means to get rid of the excess. Sometimes, I am lucky and I hear of a “donate candy” drive. Other times, I have had the good fortune of having a lunch with some of my past (and still working) co-workers and just drop the stuff off at their office.

However, there have been just as many times as I’ve simply thrown the stuff out. Gosh knows, I don’t want the stuff. That’s too sweet.

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