Saturday, November 3, 2012

All That Candy

Last Halloween, I threw out the idea of the "Switch Witch" to my kids.  There are several version of this being.  Some say she is a Sugar Sprite who needs the sugary Halloween candy to make it through the winter and will gladly trade for a trinket.  In some versions the Switch Witch will pay you a set amount per piece of candy if you leave your stash out for her on Halloween night.  And then there are lots of other permutations of course.  Well I had proposed that the kids could either keep their trick or treat candy or they could give it to the "Halloween Fairy" and get a present instead.  You might think that no child would take that option, but up until the last minute last year, mine had.  I continued to give them the opportunity to change their mind and once they got their candy they did.  It was no big deal really because last year, both kids were interested in candy and treats, but usually forgot about them pretty quickly.  So the candy was placed on the counter and once they no longer asked for it, Honey took it to work. 

This year, I hadn't thought at all about it.  We spent more time making a map of the neighborhood and deciding which houses to go to, and practicing the etiquette of the holiday rather than deciding what the treat plan was.  After going to a parade where the people on the floats threw out candy to the kids, my thoughts changed a bit.  They began to count their candy like Midas.  They asked for a piece after breakfast lunch and dinner.  They clearly were not going to just forget about it this time around.  A friend had mentioned that they go through candy with their kid and take out all of the ones with red food coloring.  Since both kids reach to the red40 found in tons of candy, this seemed like a good place to start.  Then someone else reminded me of the Switch Witch when they asked if we had talked about it with the kids this year.  No, we hadn't, and come to think of it, we really should.

So one day, I threw out the options.  One, keep all of the candy and have a piece every day or two at mom and dad's discretion.  Two, trade all of the red candy for pieces of chocolate, and proceed as above.  Three, leave your candy in a bag on the bedroom door and the Halloween Fairy will bring something special in return.  To my surprise, they both chose option three!  Well, I'd been here before so I didn't want to celebrate yet.  But they decided then and there to give me the remainder of their parade candy so they could add it to the Halloween candy they were sure to get. 

After trick or treating, they chose one piece of candy to eat then, and one to save for the next day.  They put all the rest out for the Halloween Fairy, and were as excited as they get on Christmas about what they might find in the morning.  Pumpkin had asked (with some prompting of what might be an awesome gift) for a fireman outfit, and Peanut had asked for a baby doll (a specific one that was out of stock at several stores I might add) and a bottle with "real milk" for the baby to drink.  Each got their wish and they were happy as clams. 

Give it a try next year - you never know! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Unifying Holiday

I love Halloween.  It's really one of my favorite holidays - not because of the candy, but because of the way that wearing costumes creates a bit of oneness.  Class and society distinctions fade a bit when people look goofy.  I love that.  It's like how people say we should all fight wars naked or while wearing pink or something. 

Before I had kids, I always had a super fun Halloween party, and did lots of very colorful, loud, and sometimes scary decorations.  It was kind of my Christmas, since I didn't really "do" Christmas then.  Now that I have these two sweet little ones, I realize that my fun was potentially super scary to some of the wee ones, but I still miss doing all that decorating!  I recall some younger trick or treaters sending mom or dad to the door so they wouldn't have to step on the howling mat or get close to the scarecrow with the pumpkin head.  I can completely relate now. 

So, I was proud this year when Honey told me the kids walked right up to a well decked out house with scary music and all to knock and say trick or treat!  Actually, I'm just proud that they decided to say Trick or treat at all.  About an hour before heading out, Peanut came to me and said "I think I am ready to say "trick or treat" to people even if I do not know them.  Of course, we then practiced with me in the bathroom and she and Pumpkin knocking on the door, and then they stood on the front porch to give it a try while I pretended to be a stranger.  One step at a time right?  They ended up going to 7 houses - way more than last year - and they brought home a nice little load of candy.

Knowing our love of good food and lack of super sugary treats, you may be asking what we did with all that candy?  That, my friends, is a story for another day.  Stay tuned!