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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Heavenly Halloween by Tyson Cooper

I believe, that by nature, men are competitive. Even people like my dad, who you would never think was competitive if you met him, can get all fired up over a board game or watching his college football team. One time when I was a kid he refused to play the board game Sorry with us anymore because we ganged up on him so that he wouldn't win (he always beat us if we didn't gang up on him). We still tease him about that.

In my many years of experience I have come to know the truth that Halloween is about competition. Therefore, it is a dad's holiday.

I learned this truth when I was 13. Up until that year I had gone trick-or-treating with my parents and siblings in our neighborhood and to a few friends. We'd get some candy (more than my parents would have liked), come home and sort it out, pay our "taxes" (dad always levied a tax on our candy), and eat the best pieces. And I thought it was fun. Little did I know...

That year one of my two best friends invited me to go trick-or-treating with his family. Halloween fell on a Friday night that year so I also was invited to stay the night at his house. Mom and Dad said yes and I accepted his invitations.

Next, I received a set of detailed instructions: I was to ride the bus home with him after school, my costume needed to be with me, we would get to his house (about 3:30pm), eat a meal, change into our costumes, be assigned to one of two teams, and then load up into their van (they had six kids and the four oldest each got to invite a friend or two so I think there were 10-12 of us total).

We then traveled across town to a predetermined set of neighborhoods arriving almost exactly as the last rays of sunlight kissed the rooftops. Game on!

Group 1, the older kids, disembarked from the van at the appointed starting place and began to sprint from house to house collecting candy. When our bags got too heavy we would run to the van that was slowly following us and dump our bags into a brown paper grocery bag labeled with our name. Then we had to catch up with the rest of the group.

Two hours later we were absolutely exhausted and there were no more houses giving out candy. We slowly loaded up into the van and traveled back to my friend's home.

When we arrived we had regained a little bit of energy, mostly in anticipation of eating the candy (we had been strictly prohibited from doing so until this point). We carried our brown paper grocery bags into the house and a scale was waiting (no pun intended) in the kitchen. Each child weighed their bag of candy. Mine was 10 pounds 11 ounces.

That's right! I had collected almost 11 pounds of candy!!

Not only was that a personal record it was enough for me to take first place (the next closest was only an ounce or two behind). I had won!!!  My first year I had won!!

All together I seem to recollect that we had collected upwards of 80 pounds of candy. Not bad for two hours. :)

We then took our grocery bags to their basement where they had a large playroom. We each selected our corner and began sorting through the candy and the bartering began.

By the end of the evening, some five hours after we started trick-or-treating, I was exhausted and had learned the true purpose of Halloween: to get more candy than everyone else.

The entire evening had been planned by my friend's dad and under his leadership we had achieved victory. This Halloween help bring the spirit of the season to those you love. Make it a competition. And for this reason I argue that Halloween is a dad's holiday.

By the way, my friend's family did this every year. I was able to participate one more time the next year and then I was deemed "too old" to go trick-or-treating. During the month of October I will be sharing a series of posts detailing all that I learned from my friend's family on my blog, If you enjoyed this post please come and check it out!


  1. That is some SERIOUS trick or treating! Wow! And what happy memories for you. :)

    Thanks for hosting a great blog hop! Already following you on Bloglovin but will follow you on Pinterest as well. Have a great weekend!

  2. That's so funny. Never saw it as a competition. When I was a kid, there was no Halloween in Germany, so I only know it from going with the kids, but so far, there is no competition. Maybe later??