Candy quiz: Atlanta is No. 15 for best trick or treating but why?

A study released Monday by Zillow.com names Atlanta as the No. 15 best city for trick or treating. It’s the only city in the Southeast to make the list. Their study is based on boring stuff like home value index, population density, a “walk score” and local crime data. But I thought it would be fun to get down to the Halloween nitty-gritty and  find out how your family celebrates the holiday. So I have all kinds of candy questions for you (I give my answers after each question):

1. Are you known as a “good” candy giver on your street? (I usually buy only name-brand chocolate candy. I will supplement toward the end with suckers.)

2.  Will you be buying actual chocolate candy (good candy) this year or will the recession force you into the no-name mix bags of questionable fare? (I will be buying the cheapest candy I can find.)

3. Do your worry about allergies when buying Halloween candy? (That never even occurred to me until I saw a news story about it.)

4.  Are you the type of house that tries to scare the kids when they come to the door? (Ie jumping out, pretending to be a dummy, scary music, scary decorations, answering the door in masks? This is my brother. He loves to scare the kids! I won’t go to his house!)

5. What candy can you not keep your hands off of? (Almond Joys and Mounds (because sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t) will be stolen from all my children and become my own special supply.)

6. Do you steal from your kids’ bucket or just eat what’s left over from your own house’s candy? (See my answer above. I absolutely raid their candy – there’s plenty. I do try to leave the things they like best.)

7. Do the kids know you are taking the candy or are your really stealing? (They know.)

8. Do you hide the majority of the candy after the first night so they don’t make themselves sick? (I hide a lot of it! I also put it up very high where they cannot help themselves to it.)

9. Will you dress up with your kids? (I have been wearing that Cinderella dress for last 7 years, and it will make another appearance this year! When Lilina is older I will eventually have to get a new outfit, but for now the princesses still thrill her.)

10. Will you buy your kids’ costumes or make them? How much say do they get in who they dress up as? (Lilina wanted to be Ariel and got a new costume from the Target (Although I did try to borrow the Ariel costume from her Godmother but she gave it away.) The other two kids have been told to either re-wear something from years past or create something new from stuff we have. They are seemingly on board with this plan.)

11. Do you leave your house dark to take the kids around or do you leave one parent at home and one parent walking around with the kids? (Michael will stay home and answer the door while I take the kids around. I like talking to the neighbors. Sometimes we’ll leave a bowl on the stoop in Michael wants to come along with us.)

Do you think Atlanta is a great city for trick or treating? What’s your favorite part of Halloween? If you don’t celebrate it, how do you let people know not to come to your house?

86 comments Add your comment

TechMom

October 19th, 2010
1:14 pm

@Not all Baptistis… agreed. And all the people who turn their lights out and don’t hand out candy aren’t doing it for religious reasons either.

JATL

October 19th, 2010
1:18 pm

@Not all Baptists -true! I was raised a Southern Baptist and most of my town was Baptist. I even recall taking my pumpkin full of candy to church one Sunday. It seems to be more fundamentalist wing-nuts on the fringes who go crazy over the celebration of Halloween.

@TechMom -no, most of them are cheap and lazy!

Kate

October 19th, 2010
1:57 pm

I have lived in Georgia my entire life and I’ve know maybe 2 or 3 people who didn’t celebrate Halloween. None of them were nasty about it either, they just chose not to participate. The actual number of these people are greatly exaggerated by the local news who always manage to find some random nutjob every year to go on camera ranting about the evils of Halloween. If there were even half as many people protesting Halloween as the media would have us believe, Atlanta would never have made this list.

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LM

October 19th, 2010
2:15 pm

Should the eldery get a “pass” about not handing out candy? I always worry that someone will get ugly and tp or egg the house. At 77 she just can’t manage the stairs, sitting or standing for very long. The subdivision is about 125 what used to be started homes, now most are being rented with very few original owners still living there.

When I lived in Detroit we had devils night, October 30, where mostly teenagers would go be up to no good. When I moved to Georgia, they had never heard of devils night so I always assumed it was a “northern” thing.

Valstake

October 19th, 2010
2:24 pm

I always buy candy (Smarties & Baby Ruth minis) for Halloween, but usually end up eating it myself. Some years I get no trick-or-treaters at all. Other years I may get up to 10 kids over the course of the night. I’m one of the only houses on the block that has it’s lights on. I’m not particularly keen on Halloween, but give out candy because I remember how much I enjoyed trick-or-treating back in the late ’50s – early ’60s. But I don’t condemn those who don’t give out candy or don’t get into the “spirit” of Halloween. Everybody’s different.

JATL

October 19th, 2010
2:25 pm

@LM -I think “devils’ night” is definitely a northern thing. No one I know in the south has ever heard of it except from northern friends. I had never heard of it until a few years ago when it was mentioned on a documentary I was watching. Yes, I think elderly people get a free pass. Most people I know in neighborhoods know which houses belong to old people and “get it” if they aren’t decorated or giving out candy.

FCM

October 19th, 2010
2:29 pm

The winning car at our Trunk or Treat last year was the bed of truck with fresh turned “graves” that had the names of 2 of the Youth group (it was their parents’ truck) and unbeknownst to us…the kids were under the dirt!!!

Then again the last function of the original building on our church’s land was done by our youth group (1968-1972???) It was a haunted house as a fund raiser.

So not all churches are concerned with the scary part of halloween being anything more than a chance to be Hollywood FX folks for a night.

mom of 3

October 19th, 2010
2:36 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE HALLOWEEN —

penguinmom

October 19th, 2010
2:46 pm

@LM – on fabric stores – have you tried JoAnn’s? They have a really good selection. About half of their stores are devoted to sewing and fabrics. I think they have as good of a selection as Hancock’s used to.

penguinmom

October 19th, 2010
2:55 pm

weird for some reason my comment back to LM about fabric keeps getting lost

penguinmom

October 19th, 2010
2:56 pm

LOL! Of course That one would post.
LM – try JoAnn’s for fabric.

motherjanegoose

October 19th, 2010
3:06 pm

LOL…when I was a teen we had the spookiest haunted house in the basement of our church.
We looked forward to putting it together every year…such fun!

I hate that some folks get all hung up on it but that is their choice. i have been having a blast with my silly Halloween songs.

Yes, I think older ( over 70) folks should get a pass. They have done their time!

LM

October 19th, 2010
4:17 pm

penguinmon – JoAnn’s still has a limited amount of fabric, more crafting types of fabrics. Also we don’t have a JoAnn’s near us which is a bummer. We have a quilting supply store near us, but again it is mostly crafting fabrics. I remember Piece Goods and used to work at a JoAnn’s Fabrics.

FCM

October 19th, 2010
4:22 pm

I found Walmart to be pretty good for fabric.

Do they still have Hancock’s?

Huh?

October 19th, 2010
4:39 pm

“Atlanta is No. 15 for best trick or treating but why?”

Because of all the fat people.

Becky

October 19th, 2010
4:59 pm

@Huh? Fat people need love also..Thank you for looking at them:~)

BGB

October 19th, 2010
5:00 pm

@ motherjanegoose regarding my “lame” comment- because Halloween was sooo amazing when I was a kid, I just really hate to see that night watered down by other events scheduled at the same time! Church fall festivals and Trunk and Treats are great, just don’t make people choose by having it on the same night. There is nothing like a busy neighborhood filled with trick or treaters.

Granted, our neighborhood is very small with only a few children, so maybe they weren’t used to trick or treaters when we moved in, but it was very sad to get my kids dressed up and have nowhere to go! If our friends hadn’t invited us to their neighborhood, though, I suppose we’d be at a Trunk and Treat on Halloween night anyway. :)

I have Baptist friends who trick or treat, and some who speak of “that day” in hushed tones as if we are headed out to devil-worship. And to those who try to move it to Saturdays… get real, people! It’s on the 31st, non-negotiable!

FCM

October 19th, 2010
5:01 pm

My guess on the why “Huh?” is because Atlanta is known to be steeped in tradition. Since the 40s-50s T or T has been “embraced” and thus it is part of the cultural lexicon…and Atlanta won’t let it go.

motherjanegoose

October 19th, 2010
5:50 pm

I ran the trunk or treat thing by a friend, who is in her mid sixties, today. She said that churches perhaps took it up as a SAFE alternative to kids being in unsafe neighborhoods.

Not sure but I do know that we could roam all over the Chicago suburbs ( alone) when I was a kid and I would not dream of letting my 10 year old do it in Gwinnett now.

I am just saying that, for most churches, this is an added expense that is shared by the members of the church and something FOR the community to enjoy. May not be for everyone but it does draw thousands! Our church does it. I send in candy but prefer to be home here and in my own drive way enjoying the kids in our neighborhood. We, as adults, can make choices for our family without getting angry at those who make a different choice. We live 3 miles from our church but we have a BIG time in our neighborhood and it has been this way for 13 years!

fk

October 19th, 2010
6:41 pm

This is the first year in three that I will actually be home for Halloween trick-or-treaters. My son has long outgrown it, but I haven’t. I will send him a goodie bag, though. He’ll be having fun on his own – college parties. I give out the good stuff – I get repeat customers and I’m happy to give it all away, much to my husband’s disappointment. My parents have lived in their home almost 60 years and they still give out candy. Either you’re into it or you’re not – simple preference. I enjoy it.

smh

October 19th, 2010
8:17 pm

Wow – feeling incredibly slammed after reading the posts. Jeez. For the record, not that it matters, I am not too lazy to leave candy while my children get it elsewhere. That was just mean. I do not take my children out, my husband does, to his sister’s in Dacula (her house only, not the neighborhood) and a handful of friends that respect my no-halloween views. They go to a total of maybe five houses and end up with more than enough candy to last until Christmas. It ends up in the trash because they don’t eat it all. As fk said, either you’re into it or you’re not. I’m not.

deidre_NC

October 19th, 2010
10:07 pm

the churches i know that have some event on halloween have them for safety…and i always thought people did t or t on saturday (if the real one was sunday) because of kids having to get up early for school the next morning.

DB

October 19th, 2010
11:56 pm

I adore Halloween — I love seeing the costumes, I love the candy, I love the excitement of the kids as they got ready to go trick-or-treating. This year, due to schedules, I will be the only one at home. We don’t get many t-or-t’ers on my end of the neighborhood — big hill, few houses, little payoff :-) So I have always made sure that the climb to the top of the hill was worth it in terms of treats. I play spooky music out of the window as you’re walking up the sidewalk, and the jack-o-lantern is real.

My next-door-neighbors, when the kids were small, were very religious/devout/whatever, and really frowned on Halloween. They would go to church – in costume — for candy and games. I was confused, and asked how that was any different from going door-to-door. I got the usual crap about “devil worship” and all that nonsense (you wouldn’t believe the lecture I got when Harry Potter was all the rage, and we would go to midnight releases!), but I noticed that they relaxed quite a bit as they kids got older (and they changed churches, too) — today, they hand out candy with the best of ‘em.

When I was a kid, there was a house by itself on a street, with a long steep driveway. One Halloween, three of us brave souls decided to brave the driveway (our parents would have freaked if they had known we had been on that street, busy, no sidewalks . . . but I digress . . .) The reward when we arrived at the house? We each received an entire bag — of our very own! — M&Ms — the BIG bag! They said that they only got four or five kids a year, and they felt they needed to “reward initiative”, and warned us to keep it a secret. We did! :-D

As far as candy — well, I’m not big on the cheap stuff, I don’t like it, and I won’t give it out. I give out Reese’s Cups and Smartees (both kid-approved in our house). And luckily, my kids despised Snickers, Almond Joys and Mounds . . . ah, bliss! BTW, we steadfastly refuse to buy candy corn until October 1st — but at the point, all bets are off, because we probably eat five bags of the stuff before Halloween! We are all candy-corn-a-holics! The kids would bring their candy haul home, and dump it on the dining room table to sort it out — “the good stuff”, the “Mom” stuff, and the “gross stuff”. “Gross stuff” went to the office candy jar.

I don’t think it’s a question of the kids “needing” candy or it being bad for them — once a year is a treat, and that’s one reason why they look forward to it so much. I always felt sorry for the kids whose moms would take their candy away from them when they got home and throw it all out. To me, that was just wasteful. At least take it to a women’s or homeless shelter.

motherjanegoose

October 20th, 2010
6:53 am

O.K…DB…that’s it…I HATE candy corn…guess we cannot be friends….LOL.

Yes, we caught grief over Harry Potter too. Forever ago, I remember when there were those who thought The Smurfs were evil creatures.

JJ

October 20th, 2010
8:44 am

What I cannot stand is the parents who drive their kids from house to house, or “stalk” them in the car. That just drives me freaking crazy. GET OUT and walk with your kid.

One year I was at a friend’s house, and this one woman, drove her kid up the driveway, put the car in park, got out with the child, walked him to the front door, he got his treat, they get back in the car, she drives to the next driveway, gets out, same thing…….Honestly…..are you really that afraid your kid is gonna get snatched by the homeowner?????

Lady Strange

October 20th, 2010
10:13 am

I am planning on taking my son to a Truck or Treat this Saturday. Mainly cause we are moving Halloween weekend. I might take him to a few houses on Halloween night, will have to see. Normally Halloween is my favorite holiday, normally I decorate and everything but not able to this year. If I do take him out we are walking, I never understood driving your kids around. Let them get some fresh air and exercise!

DB

October 20th, 2010
3:04 pm

@MJG: I’m sorry we’re not friends anymore. Can I have your candy corn? :-p

Scary Dude

October 20th, 2010
4:37 pm

Atlanta is a great place to trick or treat because of houses like mine. All the kids in the neighborhood look forward to seeing my decorations. We don’t hand out more than one piece of candy per visitor (and that adds up to over 9 bags as it is), but we make up for it with an ever-changing display that everyone enjoys.

I’m sorry, but just having the light on just doesn’t cut it. Put a bit of thought into the night. Its a community/neighborhood experience after all.

And you parents walking around holding your newborns expecting to get candy for “them.” Hit the road deadbeats. You should be home handing out candy to your neighbor’s kids, not using your child just to get free candy for yourselves. You know who you are!

motherjanegoose

October 20th, 2010
6:06 pm

DB, yes you can have it and also the jelly beans at Easter :)

DB

October 20th, 2010
9:17 pm

MJG, only the orange, yellow and red ones, please. The green and black ones are gross . . . !

@Scary Dude: Aw, give the new parents a break . . . they are so excited to have a child to dress up! And you think that parents aren’t snitching candy from the other kids, too? :-D

DAVID KLEIN

October 21st, 2010
5:47 am

We have a candy factory in Covina California where we make a product my daughter Roxanne invented. This is called Sandy Candy and the kids make their own sand art creations that they can eat…We have been handing these out to the trick or treat crowd for 11 years….The kids come by the hundreds each year even in the rain…By now the kids know that if they want a second Sandy Candy they need to bring me trading material….They know that my weakness is Junior Mints–love them….Try them frozen one of these days…Why they do not make a patty like York does is beyond me. So they will dig out the mini boxes of Junior Mints and they will trade them for another Sandy Candy…This year we are going to expand this concept to help our troops enjoy candy…The kids will bring in their treats to our factory in Covina–Can You Imagine That Confections Inc—We will trade them for candy that we make—-equal value for equal value….We will match whatever they bring in with an equal amount of our own candy….All of this will be sent to Operation Gratitude where it will go to our troops….Hope we send at least one ton of candy to the troops…..thank you David Klein

FCM

October 21st, 2010
8:48 am

DB–I do let the kids do Halloween, I will just be glad when they do the dress up with out the door to door. I do end up tossing candy, but not until Christmas. The fact is the kids eat a bunch that first week…2 -5 pieces a day. Then the novelty wears off and they forget.

I require that you work for the candy..by WALKING door to door. Although since we don’t know our neighbors well we discusess a new tact last night. We will do 2 Trunk or Treats at churches we know—my kids love this because I man the car and they can walk the lot without me. Then we will pass out candy in our driveway on Sunday night if T or T folks come by. That way we have a chance to meet people.

Mr Klein I love that you trade the kids.

MJG–you might like this–because it is a reading:

We are reading “Blubber” (Judy Blume) at our house. It all takes place right around Halloween. My kids are mortified to know that people smash pumpkins, put rotten eggs in a mailbox, or silly string a yard.
#1 Do kids still do that? Did they ever? (My folks would have skinned us).
#2 That book has a word that rhymes with “witch” in it used to describe a teacher…by the 5th grade lead character in a bathroom…so do you think times were really that different in 1974 when Judy Blume wrote the book? How did she get away with that?

DB

October 21st, 2010
9:11 am

@FCM: Sure, pumpkins get smashed, unfortunately. We had two that were destroyed a few years back, apparently some hooligans decided they were bored late that evening and went up and down the street destroying all the real pumpkins. And since Judy Blume wrote “Forever”, with a detailed description of first-time sexual intercourse in 1975, somehow “bitch” doesn’t seem like much of a stretch in ‘74 :-) I remember snitching my mom’s copy of “Coffee, Tea or Me?” when I was 11 or 12 or so, and my mother was mortified. :-) And in junior high, most of us had a secret copy of “Love Story” stashed under our bed!

FCM

October 21st, 2010
11:01 am

I remember “Forever” I think that is the one I snitched and read when my mom wasn’t looking.

My point is that Ms. Blume could do “bitch” in ‘74 and if you tried that today in a book for 5th graders parents would be yelling and screaming. I know Ms. Blume got censored for Deenie. I think if I were a writer I would have to agree with J K Rowling and see it as an honor to be on the censored list.

DB

October 21st, 2010
12:00 pm

Parents yelled and screamed then, too, and bemoaned the falling moral fiber of the world. Lots of parents didn’t “allow” their children to read Judy Blume. And, as today, it didn’t stop a great many kids from reading her!