When my boys were little, I decided to start a Halloween tradition. While my husband took our sons around to Trick or Treat the neighbors, I stayed home and made homemade hot chocolate. I could hardly wait for my pint-sized Indiana Jones and Tigger to get home. I imagined the four of us, sipping hot cocoa from stoneware mugs as the boys sorted their candy and described the costumes they'd seen. They would always remember our Halloween hot cocoa! We would treasure this tradition. I barely gave them time to dump their treats out of their jack-o-lantern buckets and onto the counter before asking, "One marshmallow or two?"
Jack burned his tongue on his first sip; and Will was much too interested in the little bag of Halloween trinkets the neighbor had dropped into his bucket to even give his hot cocoa a taste.
The tradition didn't take.
The next year, I tried a different tactic...the "Make Yourself Sick Milkshake." I bought a gallon of vanilla ice cream, set up the blender, and invited the boys to toss in whatever candy they wanted for a one-of-a-kind Halloween taste sensation!
Jack chose cookies and cream Hershey bars and a Reese's cup. Will tossed in Butterfingers and a couple of Gummy Bears. Both boys were thrilled at the idea of making themselves sick on their original milkshake flavors. A tradition was born.
Word spread fast. The next year, Jack's friend, Zach, joined in. Each year since, additional friends have enjoyed our unusual tradition. Not only do my sons invent new and more disgustingly delicious milkshake combinations each Halloween, but more and more of their friends have started stopping by after Trick or Treat to toss a handful of candy into my blender.
Last year, six teenaged boys crowded around my kitchen, gulping down various ice cream and candy concoctions.
To date, no one has actually made himself sick; but they certainly have put forth their best effort...Snickers and York Peppermint Patties; candy corn, Hershey's kisses, and caramels; Skittles and Sour Patch Kids. It might not be the Hallmark Halloween moment I had in mind when I laboriously melted chocolate in a saucer on my stovetop all those years ago; but our annual "Make Yourself Sick Milkshakes" have done exactly what traditions should do...provided us with something to look forward to and something to remember.