It was a wicker basket, roughly the size of a birthday sheet cake. The bags of bulk candy were placed next to it, awaiting the traditional layout to maximize space and presentation -- an effort to be neither appreciated nor acknowledged by the first group of trick-or-treaters who would tear my efforts asunder in their desire to get to the Snickers faster.
I'm talking about the candy bowl of my youth -- the basket that seemed to appear just before Halloween -- taken from a cupboard where it rested in preparation for the biggest night of the year.
It is not necessarily a fancy bowl. In many cases, it's simply the largest one you have. But the act of filling it and giving away the contents to your neighbors elevates that bowl's status. If candy has a hope chest, this is it.
The Halloween candy bowl is the privileged cousin of the office candy bowl and the candy bowl
from your grandmother's house -- both of which are slightly dodgy bets.
The former can never stay full, while the latter never seems to empty
it's original contents. And sadly with concerns over the swine flu, the
concept of a community candy bowl may be axed because of germ phobia.
But rest assured the future of the candy bowl is more certain than ever because if the New Yorker can institute a new candy bowl policy
(its real-life bowl has "chocolates and other treats" -- I'm
envisioning Lindt truffles stacked on homemade toffees) -- making an
issue of its archive available for free each week for the foreseeable
future -- those of us just looking to avoid Bit-O-Honey should have
something to sift through for quite some time.
[Image via Flickr: seaworthy]