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The Halloween Gem

Categories: Candy,Chocolate Candy,Classic and Retro Candy,Holiday Candy

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Old Brach’s Halloween Ad

Oh, Halloween! For a Candy Addict, it truly is the most wonderful night of the year.

As a kid, I would spend hours on the streets of my neighborhood, trekking from door to door to door, opening my pillowcase and shouting, “Trick or Treat!” in my neighbor’s faces in the hopes of collecting lovely chocolates and sweets. My sister and I had Trick-or-Treating down to a science: we’d mapped out routes, planned time schedules, and figured out ways to crisscross certain streets in order to maximize our candy-haul potential. At the end of the night, we’d usually end up with about 150 fun-size bars (and a few full-size bars, because believe me, we knew exactly who gave them out and where to find them).

Our post-Trick-or-Treating ritual was always the same; we’d dump our pillowcases on to the living room rug and start categorizing our candy into separate piles. Not only did this make it easier for us to decide which bars we wanted to trade (“I’ll give you 4 Kit-Kats for 4 Baby Ruths“), but it also made it easier to spot the most important candy bar in the pillowcase: the all important Halloween Gem.

What is the Halloween Gem, you ask? It’s quite simple, really. The Halloween Gem is that one piece of candy in your Trick-or-Treat bag that stands out amongst all others, the one piece of candy that is both rare and exciting, the one piece of candy that makes those hours of walking around in a ridiculous outfit and knocking on hundreds of doors all worth it. For some of us, the Halloween Gem is a simple thing: a lollipop in a flavor you don’t see very often, a type of candy bar you don’t come across very often, or a piece of gum that you only seem to find on Halloween.

For me, the Halloween Gem always came in chocolate form. There were two types of candy bars that got me extremely excited: the Oh Henry! bar and the Nestle Milk Chocolate bar. Standing out in their yellow and red wrappers, respectively, amongst a sea of Snickers and Milky Ways, the Oh Henry! and Nestle Milks were exciting Halloween rarities that I saved for as long as I could before tearing off the wrappers and enjoying the rewards of my hard Halloween work. To this day, I still get excited when I see a Nestle Milk Chocolate bar, sitting on the shelf in its plain red wrapper.

Still, one could argue that every piece of candy is, in fact, a Halloween Gem. It’s hard not to get excited at every single piece of sweet, sugary goodness that comes spilling out of one’s Trick-or-Treat bag. But I’m sure I’m not alone in picking the true favorites of the bunch. What were your Halloween Gems? Did you save them, or eat them right away? And do you tend to give away popular candies, or rarer candies, in an effort to create some Halloween Gems of your own?

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7 Responses to “The Halloween Gem”

  1. 1
    ButterflyKyss says:

    My neighborhood growing up was odd, and most of our neighbors were extremely well-off (we weren’t, we just happened to live in our grandparent’s house and they had lived there since before any of the mansions were built :P). So there were three types of treats:

    Full sized chocolate bars. These were the most prevalent. Five out of ten houses handed out hershey’s, snickers, or milky ways. If you were particularly cute (like my cherubic yet devilish brother), they slipped you two bars.

    The fend-for-yourself mix. This was a mixed blessing. Our rich-yet-lazy neighbors apparently got together and decided that instead of, you know, answering their doors to the kids, and so as not to appear as if they couldn’t ‘afford’ the candies, they would take one of those big plastic garbage cans, fill them with the most random and odd assortments of candies imaginable, set them out in front of their locked gates at around 6pm, and let the kids fend for themselves. While we were younger, it was awful. The big kids would head out at 6 on the dot, empty each can one by one and be at home before the little guys even got a chance, meaning us kids still being accompanied by our parents ended up missing out on 20% of the houses in the area. Once we got older and wiser though, we ran out and snagged our own (fair) share before the bullies made off with the rest. These treats were everything from granola bars to pockys to charms blow-pops and everything in between.

    The real gems, though, were the rest of the houses. Though some were duds (three dentists on one block means toothbrushes, apples, and dental floss each year), the rest were the most bizarre and awesome of them all. Sodas, fun size bags of chips, hunks of home-made fudge (back when you knew and trusted your neighbors not to stick poison or sharp objects in your treats :( ). It was guaranteed to be a full-on halloween party when you got home, with everything from a drink, a salty snack to balance out all the chocolate, and the occasional house that handed out little dollar-store toys.

    I miss those times, so yes indeed, now that I’m the one behind the goody-filled bowl, I try to keep the rare stuff on hand each year (and I slip an extra to the sisters of the cherubic little boys!)

  2. 2
    amypaige says:

    i remember going to houses where they had a platter with full size candy bars, and we got to choose ourselves! very thrilling. then there were houses having halloween parties (we knew the neighbors), and we would be invited inside for hot cider and cookies. that was fun.

  3. 3
    Sea Hag says:

    Ah, the great dividing of the Halloween candy. It has long been a tradition at my house. And the neighbors in the middle of the cul-de-sac always gave out the full-sized stuff, the neighbors at the corner gave out Chick tracks and we threw trash in their yard, my brother’s friend’s parents gave out toys sometimes (and also for Christmas). Good times.

  4. 4
    Dan says:

    I remember always knowing where the pepsi employee’s lived cause they handed out cans of soda, iusually ended up with at least a six pack.

  5. 5
    barbara says:

    For me it was Reeses PB cup, because there were never more than 1-2 per bag.Also…special dark mini’s from Hersheys.. Mmmmmmmm loved them even at the age of 6.

    I will i could turn back time and do it again..just once more.

  6. 6
    Terrac says:

    Ironicly, I got an Oh Henry last night. (I had no idea they made fun-size versions of those!) My other gems were a FULL SIZE sour patch kids pack and an airhead.

  7. 7
    Lollirocks  says:

    My gems are hershey’s take 5 and blow pops!

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