I

I

'm not a huge fan of Halloween excess. My boss still thinks of me as the Cruella who brings the bulk of the Halloween loot into the office rather than letting the kids nosh on it for weeks and weeks.

But now that the kids are used to choosing their favorite pieces to keep and giving the rest away, there's no going back.

Every year, it's fun to see what makes the cut as the best Halloween loot.

Here's my list, based on several years of dumping and sorting with the boys:

5. Tattoos/Stickers: Given the sugar high of the night, it's always nice to have a few non-candy items in the pumpkin. And what kid doesn't like a scary spider crawling up his or her arm or a cute little pumpkin? A lot of the older boys like to go for blood spatters and fake scars, but there are hundreds of less gorey water-transfer, peel-off tattoos and stickers from which parents can choose.

4. Lollipops: Want to make sure you don't eat the candy stash before Halloween night? Or are you worried about having leftovers? Then, this is the treat to hand out. Kids like them and most adults won't touch them — at least if my office is any indication. One year, those suckers sat for a month or more in the candy jar while everything else got devoured within a week.

3. Hershey's miniatures: So long as chocolate's a main ingredient, that candy's worth it. And it's a sure bet with all the different types that every member of the Halloween house-hopping crew will find one to suit his taste buds.

2. Reese's Peanut Butter of any kind: Chocolate, peanut butter, addictive ... need I say more?

1. Eyeballs: Some are marshmallows, some ooze, some are chocolate. Whatever the stuff on the inside, the coolness factor of eating an eyeball puts these in the kids' "keep" pile every year.