To me, 'bite-sized' just means 5 bites
I love Halloween, always have. It's full of candy and mischief without any of the more somber trappings that other holidays entail. What's not to love? But Halloween of today is but an anemic shadow of Halloween in the ‘80s.
Yes, this is yet another post marveling at the fact that any of us survived the 1980s. But how could I not beat this dead horse when it comes to Halloween? In the ‘80s there were evil-doers putting pins and razor blades into the candy they handed out to children! And people today make a big deal about high fructose corn syrup. Pussies.
My parents had a no-fail, typical ‘80s parent response to the razor blade scare. The news advised that parents inspect each piece of candy, ensuring no holes or tears in the wrapper-way too much supervision. Instead, my parents told us to take small bites. So rather than popping an entire mini peanut butter cup into our mouths, my siblings and I obediently ate them in tiny nibbles. Problem solved, ‘80s style.
But the best part of Halloween was coming up with and creating a costume. I loved this process. No one I knew purchased the ready-made character type of costume that kids today all wear. If anyone did this in the ‘80s, they didn't live in my neighborhood. I had a small budget (none) and had to be creative with what I could find around the house.
Each year the streets filled up with kids in costumes fashioned from aluminum foil, cardboard boxes, empty paper towel and toilet paper spools, old sheets, and odd ends of fabrics and clothes. We were robots and ghosts and monsters and princesses. If we were going to be a character, we were a very homemade bastardization of that character. I believe I was Princess Leia in a white nightgown one year.
More often than not, I was a hobo. (In the ‘80s, it was totally fine to dress up like homeless men.)
A hobo costume is easily put together with discarded grandfather clothes, old dad ties, a bit of baby powder and some of mom's makeup. (Baby powder in my hair and eyeliner wrinkles really completed the look.)
This year I suggested to my 5-year-old that we make him a costume. He balked. His desire to fit in and not be embarrassed outweighs any desire to creatively work with me to make something fun and unique. And how could I compete with the coolness of the costumes hanging in Target? I get it. I won't force him to wear a box wrapped in foil. But I'll be eternally lamenting about how much cooler it all was in my day.
And I'll make my kids eat their candy in tiny bites, for safety's sake.