A Sad Version of a Great Holiday
By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
As a kid, Halloween was probably my favorite holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly loved all the holidays for their specific reasons for celebrating, but Halloween was different. Holidays are viewed differently when you’re younger than through your same eyes as an adult. Most of the other holidays throughout the year included going to mass followed by a trip to a relative’s house for a food marathon. I have always enjoyed eating but as a kid I had not accumulated the wisdom of life to appreciate a large spread of amazing food and desserts.
I ate more like a 100-yard dash than a marathon. Give me some bread and butter and a little pasta, and I was good to go. I would then sneak into the kitchen while everyone else was in the dining room enjoying one of the countless courses of food. There was always a tray of something sweet and I would carefully peel back the aluminum foil or saran wrap and grab a cookie or whatever else looked yummy. My sweet tooth always got the better of me. At the end of the day, we would pile back in the car and head home. My dad would complain about how full he was from eating so much. At this point, I was getting hungry.
Back to Halloween. This was an event that was all about candy, no food. Now that is what I call a holiday. While so many of my friends were worrying about what costume to wear, I was more concerned about finding the right pillowcase to collect my haul of candy. I would also plan out our route for maximum house exposure in the minimum amount of time and steps. Off we went with our empty pillowcases to knock on as many doors or ring as many doorbells as possible. And that we did. As the night wore on and our pillowcases became heavier, we would eventually work on our return route to be home by curfew. Along the way, candy was strategically eaten, and the wrappers were put in the pillowcase. It had nothing to do with not littering. I wanted an accurate count of my total candy haul when I got home.
Once home it was inventory time. The contents of the pillowcase were dumped on the floor and the sorting process began. Snickers in one pile, Milky Ways in another and so on. Some one-off type of candy ended in a category all its own. Then there were the small bags of candy that required inspection and scrutiny. And yes, I did write it down so I knew what I had, so I could track my goods and consumption. More importantly, I could determine if one of my brothers was stealing from my inventory. My stash was carefully organized in shoe boxes or whatever container I could get my hands on. My inventory would last for weeks and I would strategically eat from categories. I would eat my least favorite candy first and save the best for last. It was an act of patience and discipline. Anyway, in looking back, I was so anal about the process that I probably took away from some of the fun.
This Halloween was a year that will be remembered by so many people because of COVID. Children who would have been experiencing their first Halloween were robbed of the opportunity to experience the simple acts of kindness of people generously giving away candy to children on Halloween. The costume dilemma of what to wear may not have been as intense this year. Wearing a mask had a new meaning entirely – and not in a good way. Hopefully there were many intimate Halloween gatherings at schools, daycare facilities and homes throughout neighborhoods across the state and country. There will always be next year.
Stay safe everyone.
Until the Next Tom’s Take…