Certain rules have applied to Halloween for years at my house. Visiting me in costume “earns” three pieces of fun-size candy, worth roughly 12.5 cents each.

I can do that with individual gift bags, a CDC recommendation, spreading them on a table for safe access.

Children from the third grade and up have the choice to forego candy for something else, always presented in a small envelope.

The envelopes — and a CDC spokesperson confirmed this — are just like gift bags, meaning they work (again, spread out so that kids don’t reach into a bowl, but instead take the one envelope they touch).

In 2016, eligible kids had a simple choice: candy or a coin envelope with at least a quarter in it, and a “jackpot” of $5.

As the only house in the neighborhood giving away cash, it was no surprise that 50 kids took cash; two more would have but the envelopes were gone. Just four children chose candy.

In 2017, there were envelopes that had at least 25 cents and up to $3, or kids could trade a piece of candy they had collected to select from envelopes containing 50 cents up to five bucks.

All 48 children who took the money went big; four kids wanted candy.

In 2018, children could trade one piece of candy for an envelope with at least 50 cents to a maximum of $4 [half of these “small-money envelopes” held the 50-cent minimum], or trade three candies to pick from envelopes where half of the pouches held $1 to $10, but the other half had no money at all.

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