In the world of Halloween, not all costumes and candy-carriers are created equal. And while the streets may be littered with young kids carrying plush pumpkins with plastic handles, drawstring backpacks, useless fur-bags that could probably only hold like, 10 pieces of candy, or plastic buckets sure to overflow and spill due to candy-crazed mania, there is only one type of treat carrier that matters: the pillowcase.
But, you argue, Halloween bags are so cute. Why would you allow your kid to carry your old laundry on the streets? Because you like candy and because eventually your child will tire and go to sleep and then you’ll want to eat candy. And candy thrives in a pillowcase environment. Pillowcases, because of the seams, don’t compress multiple bars into one. They also “need to be washed,” which is a great excuse for taking them back. Also, pillowcases are big. As the laws of science would dictate, the larger the pillowcase, the less candy the gifter will perceive your kid to have. Pillowcases attract candy in a way that purpose-built Halloween bags do not. It’s one of the holidays ironic truths (the other being that the people who can pull off costumes aren’t the ones wearing them).
Unassuming and low-key, already in your linen closet, and with boat-loads of space, the pillowcase also offers undeniable anti-spillage protection. Gone are the days of your carefree child swinging their glow-in-the-dark ghost bucket too high, and like a hyperglycemic Icarus, having it buckle towards the asphalt. No more crouching on your hands and knees to pick up the dirt-covered candy. Because the pillowcase can be gripped tightly at its opening, candy loss — and the tears that come with it (it’s ok if you cry, too, Mom and Dad) — are avoided. Kids literally can’t screw up carrying one of these things. And it remains remarkable how kids manage to screw up carrying simple things. In fact, it’s difficult to think of any other way to carry a pillowcase full of candy. It doesn’t have straps.
There’s also this: The pillowcase won’t match a kids costume. Some kids may see this as a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing. It means the pillowcase can be reused. It also means that, once children understand it as the established norm, they won’t agitate for branded totes.
None of this is to say that buying specific Halloween bags or using those weird pumpkin buckets is bad. We’re not here to candy container shame people. It is simply to say that pillowcases are the best thing going in Halloween luggage. Always have been. Always will be.