We all remember being a kid at Christmas and the feelings of anticipation that we had on Christmas Eve. There was that frisson of excitement that came over us as we thought about the wondrous things that Santa was going to bring us the following day.

As I look back on my childhood, I'm not sure that even Christmas Eve could surpass the day before Halloween for suspense inducement.  Would the other kids think my costume was cool?  Would it be warm enough that I didn't have to ruin the effect of my costume by wearing a jacket?  Would my kid sisters have to tag along and dampen my Halloween chi?  These were the questions that worried my 10-year-old mind.  (Well, maybe not that last one, per se.)  Because on Halloween, I was like a heat-seeking missile.  Except my components were wired to seek not heat, but candy.

When I was a little kid, my mom used to buy my sisters, brother, and me those small, imprinted paper bags.  By the time I was 8, I had discovered that a pillow case makes a much better candy-catcher, and my goal was to have that case bursting at the seams by the time my quest was over.  My friends, or family, or the whole neighborhood would literally run from house to house so that we'd have time to hit everyone in a 2-mile radius.

At the end of the night, I'd lug that bag home and dig through it to see what wondrous treasure was to be discovered.  What I was looking for most was candy corn.  I loved me some candy corn.  I would find every last little kernel that I could and eat that on the spot.  Then I might find a Snickers or two and eat those, and then--I was done.  Then the pillow case would be tossed into my bedroom closet where it would lie until the next Halloween.  Oh, I might eat a couple of pieces of Butterfinger every now and then, but the candy corn was all gone, and I had basically lost all interest.

Halloween to me was essentially a candy corn quest.  And today I fondly remember the days of my youth, because today is National Candy Corn Day.  George Renninger of Wunderle Candy Company invented this craveable confection which was originally made by hand-mixing corn syrup, sugar, water, marshmallows, fondant and carnauba wax.  The classic candy concoction is now produced by machines, but is made with the original ingredients.

So, if you still haven't bought candy for the big day tomorrow, stock up on candy corn.  There's bound to be at least one kid out there that's on a quest for the Holy Grail of Halloween candy.