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A Brand New Halloween Treat Idea: Guaranteed, No Cavities

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tips -- Volume 3, #6, October 1999


What a delightfully scary time. For those of you too young to remember the days when children scampered from door-to-door in eerie costumes...oh, do they still do that?

Halloween and Purim* are two times when children get to dress, play with abandon and break out of their shells. Little pranks are OK, maybe even expected. And adults who still have a childish streak enjoy the heck out of these times.

One big difference though. On Halloween, children come and beg for treats. On Purim, traditionally, children come and bring gifts to you! (*Purim is a Jewish holiday that usually occurs in March, celebrating Queen Esther miraculously saving all the Jews in Persia from a scheduled genocide.)

Unfortunately, though, Halloween has become dangerous because of a few malicious, evil misfits. They put razors or poison or other harmful things into the 'treats.' Gone are the days when parents would let their children open, much less eat, anything prepared lovingly by a neighbor - like caramel or candied apples, colored pop-corn balls, home-baked cookies,...Oh, stop drooling!

But that doesn't mean you can't put a personal spin on Halloween. A few years ago, we tried an experiment. The Chief Ghoul said it wouldn't work.

We had just moved and not yet unpacked. But we found some boxes of assorted books. They included Grisham, Kellerman (both Jon & Faye), Heinlein, Asimov, Robbins, how-to books, Poe, Shakespeare, transcendental meditation or yoga, textbooks, computer books, magazines (like Asimov's Science Fiction, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Fantasy and Science Fiction), misc. books we didn't even recognize as ours.

So we gave the trick or treaters a choice:

Pick a book from the box.... OR take some candy from the basket.


Except for the smallest children in Mom's or Dad's arms, they ALL went for the books. We had to drag out another box. The parents, hiding at the end of the driveway came, rushing up, asking if they could pick out a book too!

Moral of the story:

Get creative. Candy isn't the only alternative. Kids today really are a lot brighter and more interesting than people give them credit for! (oh, oh, ending a sentence with a preposition?!) Give them a chance, just watch, you'll like what you see.

Halloween Treats:

  • Don't throw out your old books - let the Tricksters have them.
  • Any old toys around the house - that aren't broken?
  • Clean clothes you were going to give to the charity?
    Give the kids first crack - some may really need them...or can use them to create more costumes.
  • Puzzles, Games, Software you don't use
  • Tools, office supplies, stuff that's cluttering up your house - it may be someone else's treasure
  • CD, Videos, Audio Tapes you no longer watch or listen to.

    © Copyright Eva Rosenberg 1999

    Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, known as the TaxMama, has an extensive portfolio of books and articles about taxes, networking and promotion. Her tax and business experience spans 25 years. She writes a popular free weekly newsletter for folks interested in reducing their tax burden - Ask TaxMama and she is secretly, in another guise, The Original GiftSurfer, publisher of GiftSurfer's Digest , a monthly E-zine with gift ideas you won't find anywhere else. She always includes at least one or articles about clever gifts you can give people for under $25.00

    Using this background, and believing in people, that they want to help each other, Rosenberg created and now moderates one of the most popular daily digests on the Internet, the I-Sales Help Desk, , a resource for about 6,000 people worldwide to get answers to their electronic commerce and World-Wide-Web questions.

    Her awards include being named to Who's Who in California, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in Writers, Editors and Poets, and the Who's Who of Women Executives.


    Yup, you read it right--over 300 articles! I've been busy this summer, putting up tons of new content. Here's a small sampling of what's new in the past few months:

    Cheap homemade cosmetics...replacing expensive cleansers with good old fashioned baking soda...more cheap holiday gift ideas...over 100 reader suggestions to celebrate International Frugal Fun Day...Michael Webb's frugal romance column (greatly expanded)....secrets of earning free flights by getting bumped...

    Profile of Terry Gross, host of NPR's Fresh Air...Several reviews of theatre, classical music, and opera performances...Profile of the curator--and the collection--of a major Vienna music museum (also at Global Travel Review)...Overview of Japanese pop music...An Indian classical dancer and a German fractal artist discuss their art...The Pygmalion story told through a new painting--with an added twist...

    21 tips from a VERY experienced traveler...Destination pieces on searching for jade in Guatemala, the Welsh community in Patagonia, Argentina, a music museum in Vienna, biking through Paris in the footsteps of Van Gogh and Monet, the ancient city of Petra, Jordan, and Florida WITHOUT Disney...A locomotive engineer's reflections on helicopters and other unusual occurrences in the cab...Profile of the foremost historian of the Alamo and the Bowie knife...A guide to exchanging homes for inexpensive vacations....

    Power headline copywriting...Starting and promoting your own holiday...Get free radio time...Use discussion lists to jumpstart your business...

    How to avoid drowning in the flood of messages and still get your real work done...Write a power title for your book or presentation...Make customer service promises that you can keep...40 FREE tools for webmasters to build and promote a fabulous site...Avoiding website newbie mistakes...Drive traffic with a power strategy of GoTo keyword purchases...Why repetition marketing and terrific testimonials are key...Why you need to understand whether your product serves a "core" or a "ring function.

    Return to the Frugal Fun Tips Archives
    Preview Shel Horowitz's Penny Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook a 280-page e-book that shows you how to save a big pile of money on travel, dining, entertainment, recreation, and all sorts of other fun.
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