Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween Oreos, 2019 Edition

It's that time of year again. Halloween is always a special time for The Little Monsters (and me too for that matter). But I'm not sure just how much longer it will remain the special thing that it has been in the past. It will always be Halloween of course, but as kids grow up they tend to see Halloween in a different way from how they probably had experienced it over their first decade or so. The Little Monster is about to turn fourteen, so I can really see many of those changes happening now. I just wrote about some of my thoughts on those changes in An Especially Eerie Halloween. And this morning (October 31st) the first thing The Little Monster did after she woke up was to come into our room, sit on our bed and say, "I'm sad. I think this might be my last Halloween." Apparently she's become aware of those changes herself. She knows that Halloween will continue of course, and she  still has many Halloweens ahead of her. But she also realizes that they just won't be the same as what she's (and we've) experienced in the past. There are obviously a LOT of changes that happen around this time of life. Losing the innocent enjoyment of Halloween is an incredibly small part of those overall life changes, but the realization of it can be a sobering thought nonetheless.

The Little Monsters in 2012
But this post isn't about the sad realities of outgrowing the childlike enjoyment of Halloween. No, this post is about a very specific aspect of Halloween that has become quite a tradition for The Little Monsters and myself. It is about the strange phenomenon of Halloween Oreos! Oreos come in a dizzying array of flavors and varieties these days (a trend I chronicled in The Overwhelming Onslaught of Oreos back in 2015 and a topic that I've been meaning to revisit). At first glance this might seem like a very small and insignificant aspect of Halloween, considering all the decorating, trick-or-treating and candy involved with the holiday, but it's something that I feel is an important part of the overall celebration of Halloween for our family.

Unfortunately the annual unveiling of the Halloween Oreos hasn't been well documented in our home. I know from photographic evidence that we've been celebrating the limited edition cookies since at least 2013, and have photos of us doing so from that year, 2015 and 2018. I'm pretty sure we had them in at least some of the years I don't have photographs from, but it was during my extended period of writing hibernation, when my blogging output was extremely sparse. In both 2015 and 2018 the Halloween Oreos were written about in the posts The Overwhelming Onslaught of Oreos and Halloween Oreos, 2018 Edition.

The Little Monsters in 2013

The Little Monsters in 2015
The Little Monsters in 2018
Before we actually take a look at this year's Halloween Oreos it's probably worth mentioning that there's another very important element that goes along with the eating of the first of the Halloween Oreos. It may seem very random (and I suppose it IS), but it's what really makes the whole experience a true "tradition" for the Monsters and me. You see, before I actually bring out the package of spooky treats (the idea is to unveil them as a surprise, but by this point The Little Monsters usually know what's gong on as the process begins to unfold) I have to put on and start the "Ship of Ghouls" episode of "The Love Boat". That might not seem like a prototypical show to be watching to really usher in the Halloween season (what about "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"?) but it's what we were watching the first time I decided to make a big deal about buying Halloween Oreos and sharing them with The Little Monsters. There are a lot of other things I try to show them each year around this time, but "Ship of Ghouls" is simply a must--especially when it's time to snack on those Halloween Oreos! And, not only does the episode take place during Halloween, it also features none other than the great Vincent Price as a guest star and passenger on the Pacific Princess!

All of which brings us to the 2019 edition of Halloween Oreos. In years past I've had a tough time actually finding them in stores near us as Halloween approached. Eventually I learned that they actually come out toward the end of summer--about TWO MONTHS before Halloween. Sometimes they simply disappear from the shelves long before All Hallows Eve. It seems that by the end of October the stores are already over Halloween and looking forward to the holidays by stocking up on the seasonal varieties Winter Oreos and Peppermint Bark Oreos.

I've learned to make my Halloween Oreo purchase earlier in the season than I would normally want to. This year I got them at the end of September and had to hide them from The Little Monsters for nearly a month! Which means that I also had to resist the urge to crack into that package myself for nearly a month! I should probably mention here that The Wife tries hard to keep us a healthy family. As a result we don't really have a steady flow of snacks and sweets (junk food) coming in the house. I'm a pretty big fan of Oreos, but generally speaking, the one package of Halloween edition Oreos is usually the ONLY package of Oreos we purchase during the entire year. It's another factor that goes into making this whole experience a special one, and also adds to that feeling of it being a true tradition and not just another yummy snack treat. And here they are...

I do have to admit that The Little Monsters might have been a bit bemused--and maybe even somewhat unimpressed--when I put The Love Boat DVD in and started the episode, but once they realized what was going on and I brought out the Oreos they happily settled in for some quality pre-Halloween fun!

The Monsters decided to add whipped cream to the Oreos this year

That's pretty much all that there is to our little tradition. It might seem like a very minor thing, but it really is a big part of how The Little Monsters and I have been kicking off the Halloween season for quite some time now. I don't know how many more years we have where Halloween will be special enough to them to continue the tradition (see The Little Monster's observation at the beginning of this post). But I will try to keep it going for as long as possible...

2013 Halloween Oreos
2015 Halloween Oreos
2018 Halloween Oreos
2019 Halloween Oreos


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