I am going to say it … right out loud.
If you are sensitive, please leave now.
Are you ready?
Do you ask your friends how much candy your kid should eat on the big day? Do you worry about oral hygiene and glucose levels, or ponder what IS the appropriate allotment of candy per day following Halloween? One piece, three pieces?
Does everyone tell you that Halloween candy rots teeth, causes hyperactivity, and could lead to obsessive over-indulgence later in life? And are you certain it’s true because it was in the NEWS?
Did your best friend just share a new Halloween candy study concluding that if you give your child carte-blanche with his Halloween candy, it could lead to a life of one endless sugar high after another? Sad. Very sad.
Okay. I am making fun of you. I’m sorry. I will make it up to you. Please stop biting your nails and whimpering! Here are some suggestions for “WHAT TO DO WITH THE HALLOWEEN CANDY.”
- Offer to buy the candy back from your child at 10 cents per piece. If you go this route, make sure your kid does not take the candy from your candy bowl and sell it back to you.
- The Great Pumpkin Switch. Take the candy, put it by the front door and the Great Pumpkin comes while your kid is sleeping and exchanges the candy for a present. This involves figuring out a suitable present, buying it, and remembering to make the exchange. Hint: Make sure you don’t leave the candy on the kitchen table when you make the exchange. I know one gleeful trick-or-treater who ended up with candy and a present when this mistake was made. Her dad was too weary to go for the save.
- Have your child trick-or-treat for Mommy or Daddy’s office. The child goes out and collects the candy, and the next day you take it to the office to share with the poor starving candy-less office employees. I am not speaking theoretically here. I do know a family that pulled this off.
Now that I have shared my sweet and sensitive side, indulge me as I share the REAL way to play the Halloween candy game.
- Let the kids trick-or-treat until they can’t carry their own bag, are limping, and are so weary that “Trick-or-Treat” comes out “Rekcirt Reeks.”
- Suggest it is time to go home and weigh the candy.
- Weigh the candy and greatly exaggerate the amount collected. It’s Halloween, not a math lesson. Loudly announce the number of pounds of candy collected with pride and gusto. It’s not as much candy as you collected as a child, but close. Very close.
- Dump the candy stash out on the table. Oooh ..! Ahhh ..!
- As the responsible adult, pretend to check for open packages and pieces of candy that could be poisoned. Naturally, you are culling the stash for your favorite candy.
- Curse the raisins and gluten-free treats. Try to remember which houses handed them out as “treats” so you can bring it up at the next block party.
- Go to bed. Make sure the candy is out of reach of any and all family pets. Being the parent who has to explain where the candy is the next morning while the other parent makes an emergency Walgreens run to replace the five pounds of candy the family dog ate and is now throwing up will put a damper on your Halloween spirit. And if the dog dies from too much candy consumption … that is not good. This has never happened to me … the dog dying part.
- The next morning, suggest candy before breakfast. Clap wildly at their selection. “Bravo Tootsie Roll!!” “Oh my God, is that a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup?!” You get the idea. Add candy to their lunch if they have school. Of course, it’s not allowed. Live dangerously. Leave the candy on the table in a bowl.
- Later, suggest the kids sort the candy into piles and throw out the icky candy. Encourage them to eat one piece of candy for each piece of candy they throw out. “Wow! These Smarties sure look good! Have you tried a piece of this taffy? Milky Ways – mmmmmm good!”
- That night, take some of the candy from the bowl and throw it into a bag. The bowl of candy stays out in plain view on the table. The candy bag is hidden.
- The next day, encourage more candy eating, Each night, throw more candy in your secret candy bag.
- By day three, the candy is bowl is largely ignored and will have diminished considerably. Continue to ask often, “Have you had a piece of your Halloween candy?” Collecting Halloween candy brings with it the responsibility for eating it. Be firm.
- By day five, Halloween is a distant memory. The candy bowl only has a handful of good pieces left and you are treated to rolling eyes and deep sighs each time you insist they eat candy. “Well,” you say in a huff, “If you aren’t going to eat it, we will just have to get rid of it.” If you have done your job, there will be a moment of objection, a lunge at the candy bowl, and then it will be over. Until next year.
Bonus: The next time the kids ask for candy, say, “Nope. You did not eat all of your Halloween candy.”
Now you ask, “What do we do with the secret bag of Halloween candy?”
For Gosh sakes, just pitch it! Enough already with the Halloween candy!
Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to drop by any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!