Halloween Stats 2020: How New Candy Protocol Saved the Night

Halloween decorations!

Longtime MCC readers have seen a few of these decorations before. All a part of the tradition.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year since 2008 I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters brave enough to approach our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood unity and no-strings-attached strangers with candy. I began tracking our numbers partly for future candy inventory purposes and partly out of curiosity, so now it’s a tradition for me. Like many bloggers there’s a stats junkie in me that thrives on taking head counts, even when we’re expecting discouraging results.

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Halloween Stats 2019: Into the Valley of Death Rode the 14

Halloween Decor!

Some of our yard decor. I really need to stock up on some new gear, though.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year since 2008 I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters brave enough to approach our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood unity and no-strings-attached strangers with candy. I began tracking our numbers partly for future candy inventory purposes and partly out of curiosity, so now it’s a tradition for me. Like many bloggers there’s a stats junkie in me that thrives on taking head counts, no matter how discouraging the results.

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Halloween Stats 2018: 78 Minutes of Human Connection and Candy

Lowes Witch!

When the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations all compete for shelf space at the same time, it gets hard to remember which holiday is WITCH. EEEEEEH-HEE-HEE-HEE-HEEEEEEEE!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year since 2008 I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters brave enough to approach our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood unity and beneficent snack donation. I began tracking our numbers partly for future candy inventory purposes and partly out of curiosity, so now it’s a tradition for me. Like many bloggers there’s a stats junkie in me that thrives on taking head counts, no matter how discouraging the results.

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Halloween Stats 2017: Kudos to the Comeback Kids

Lowe's Skeletons!

Happy couple enjoying their minutes in the Halloween spotlight at a local hardware store before Santa shoves them out of the way.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year since 2008 I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters brave enough to approach our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood unity and beneficent snack donation. I began tracking our numbers partly for future candy inventory purposes and partly out of curiosity, so now it’s a tradition for me. Like many bloggers there’s a stats junkie in me that thrives on taking head counts, no matter how discouraging the results.

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Halloween at the Zoo! (Indy Zoo Revue #9)

scary Dorothy!

Scene from a darker Oz timeline in which the Wicked Witch’s hourglass ran out…but Dorothy didn’t let that get in the way of vengeance.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In June my wife Anne and I took my mom for a walk around the premises of our own Indianapolis Zoo to check out the current residents and the architectural upgrades on a sunny but not-so-sweltering Saturday. In this very special miniseries, we’ll take a look at the beasts and critters who welcomed us and hundreds of other families along the way.

We’ve been to the Indianapolis Zoo several times over the years. A couple of times, we’ve paid visits to check out their holiday programming.

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Halloween Stats 2016: Rattling Sabers at Absent Neighbors

David S. Pumpkins!

Oddly, I never took a single Halloween-related photo this year, so instead please enjoy this nearly irrelevant salute to David S. Pumpkins before he changes into his Thanksgiving gear.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year since 2008 I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters brave enough to approach our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood unity and beneficent snack donation. I began tracking our numbers partly for future candy inventory purposes and partly out of curiosity, so now it’s a tradition for me. Like many bloggers there’s a stats junkie in me that fiends for taking head counts, no matter how disheartening the results.

Right this way for our annual holiday stats round-up!

Halloween Stats 2015: The Comeback Before the Storm

Star Wars Halloween!

At Walmart, The Force infringes on the Great Pumpkin’s religious turf.

Once again our annual Halloween traditions were besieged with lousy weather that interfered with the one day out of the entire year that my neighbors and I agree to look at each other. Fortunately, this year Mother Nature compromised: temperatures were in the rather hospitable low 50s, much preferable to last year’s anti-seasonal snowfall, and the rains didn’t arrive till around 7:30. In fact, the precipitation was so gentle that we no idea it was even raining till I went to shut off the lights at 8:30. That went a long way toward explaining why we’d gone a full 55 minutes with no further visitors. Duh.

Right this way for three more photos, including my wife’s first costume in years!

Halloween Stats 2014: Snow Falling on ‘Treaters

White Halloween!

Maybe next year we can buy new Halloween decorations with voice chips that sing Christmas carols.

The photo at left was taken earlier tonight, on Halloween night. No, those aren’t real birds. Yes, that is real snow. This kind of poorly timed, anti-holiday pandemonium is what happens when you live in a state that refuses to legislate holiday weather. THANKS, YOU PARTISAN HACKS. I’ll remember this next week on Election Day and all of you will pay somehow.

We knew tonight would be rough. Everyone around us has been talking about the ominous weather forecast for days and preparing for either disappointment or pneumonia. Last year’s event wasn’t freezing or flurrying; worse, it brought a severe thunderstorm that forced Indianapolis to take unprecedented drastic measures and postpone Halloween till November 1st. I didn’t blame them, but the rescheduling killed our turnout. If there were a cartoon nemesis actively trying to end Halloween as part of his master plan to take over the world, he probably spent that night cackling and proposing toasts to himself.

Tonight’s Halloween proceeded on schedule, despite some early light rain and sharp, gusty winds all throughout. I understand snowflakes showed up much earlier in other parts of Indiana, but ours came later. Regardless, the damage was done. We saw very few kids under age five, very few loners braving the harshness solo, and very few young Method actors opting out of winter gear in the name of costume integrity.

Right this way for this year’s attendance figures!

Your New Black Thursday Strategy Guide

Christmas toys

If you want to be first in line to buy Christmas presents for your loved ones for nickels on the dollar, even if they’re worth pennies at best, you need to be prepared.

Last year on this site I wrote at length about my frustration with the ongoing dilution of my personal Black Friday tradition. What was once a fun, singular day of people-watching and movie-hoarding has lost its charm for me as retail stores continue to reopen earlier and earlier that weekend to accommodate America’s lust to begin Christmas shopping as soon as possible, even if their Thanksgiving turkey dinner is still digesting and most of their relatives remain unvisited.

Last year’s new fad was for stores to reopen at midnight Friday instead of waiting until Friday’s been up and running for a few hours first. This year, many stores think midnight is too long to wait for shoppers to come fork over all the monies, and are reopening Thanksgiving evening, around the same time that some families are accustomed to holding their Thanksgiving. On the bolder end of the spectrum, Old Navy plans to open on Thanksgiving at 9 a.m. I’m sure they’re not alone in rejecting the holiday’s existence altogether.

Clearly if one wants to win at two-day Black Friday, the old single-day Black Friday playbook needs to be shredded and competitive shoppers need to rethink their strategies. Because, like Black Friday, this new tradition of Black Thursday isn’t just about Christmas survival. It’s about Christmas victory.

How to win Christmas and ignore people!

Halloween Stats 2013: Citywide Raincheck Crushes Holiday Spirit

cheap Halloween mascots

My two perennial centerpieces, the disturbing duo of Plastic Faceless Reaper and the Bewildering Spider-Skull . And MCC readers who look closely will recognize a character from a previous entry!

First time in my life, as far as I can recall: this year the city of Indianapolis postponed trick-or-treating until November 1st due to a severe thunderstorm forecast for Halloween night. Considering how the eventual storm left thousands of residents without power for hours, I can’t dispute that it was the right call from a public safety standpoint. Our household was spared the worst of the ostensible onslaught. Our lights blinked once, and one of my Halloween crows fell on its side. If there’s a problem level more insignificant than “first-world problems”, that’s where our threat level fell.

The unavoidable rain delay killed our neighborhood turnout, though.

Click here for dismal results…

The Thrill of the Easter Egg Hunt, or Complete Lack Thereof

It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

Sally and Linus, humbly accepting food from a dog.

When I was a kid growing up in a household where God and church were never discussed, Easter meant next to nothing.

I was brought up to observe the standard annual rites. We bought a Paas egg-coloring kit at the grocery that came with all the paraphernalia you needed for starters: color-coded aspirin to toss in cups of water and turn it Crayola-colored and undrinkable; a wire hook to rescue submerged eggs from their watery prisons after a dozen tries; non-stick stickers, most of which would later be thrown away still attached to their original release paper; a wax crayon for drawing gunky, invisible shapes on the eggshell for no one to see and the dye to soak through anyway; decorative paper collars to use as Easter egg stands, as if the results would be museum-worthy; and the box that contained it all, designed with the punch-out holes to transform into an egg-drying rack that would collapse under the weight of three or more eggs.

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Halloween Stats 2012; or, the Decline of Trick-or-Treating Civilization

Halloween decorations 2012Each year for the last five years I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters who graced our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood interconnectedness and benevolent snack donation. Up to 2007 we lived in a secluded section-8 apartment that roving candy-hoarders easily overlooked. After we became first-time homeowners, our first Halloween in the new house blew us away as the head count soared without warning from zero to dozens. Our supplies were exhausted so quickly that a few poor stragglers were cursed with rejected Easter leftovers. Three cheers for the eternal freshness of American preservatives.

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