Why I Hate Halloween
I hate Halloween.
I don’t have anything against goblins and ghouls or witches and pumpkins. In fact, I like dressing up and getting (or giving) a good scare.
But what I can’t stand is the avalanche of ooey, gooey candy that makes its way into my home every Oct. 31, turning every meal into a debate.
Parent: “You’ve had three bites of your dinner. No.”
Child: “How much more do I need to eat until I can get candy?”
Parent: “Until you’re satisfied or full.”
Child: “I’m full.”
Parent: “Well, then, you didn’t eat enough to get candy.”
Child: “How much more do I have to eat?”
You see where this is going. This is repeated several times a day, every day. Sometimes, there’s negotiation over “how many more bites” or “if I finish my vegetables.” It’s annoying and tiring and the reason why, as a matter of practice, we don’t usually give desert to our kids. I’m all for a sweet treat now and then, but it’s all about moderation. It’s healthier for our bodies and our teeth, and making it something that’s not expected stops the whining and asking (which is healthier for parents’ brains!).
The problem is it’s not just Halloween. Halloween is just the beginning. Right around the corner are the holidays and, just as you’re recovering from the barrage of cakes, cookies and candies that go with them, up sneaks Valentine’s Day. Then Easter.
What to do?
In the last few years, we’ve let the candy stay for a week. A couple pieces at night and whatever is left seven days later goes to a “good cause,” (Dad’s co-workers). When they were younger, this was easier because we could just take the candy out of sight and they’d forget about it. By the time they hit preschool, though, it became clear that they could easily forget to put their underwear in the hamper or bring their lunchbox home from school … but they NEVER forget about candy.
Here are a few ideas to get you ready for Halloween. Hopefully, one or more of these will work for your family on Halloween, and every holiday after!
- Take the candy to a dentist participating in the Halloween Candy Buy Back program. The dentists exchange gifts and oral health care awareness for the candy. Many of them participate in Operation Gratitude, and ship the collected candy to soldiers stationed overseas. To learn more about the program and find a participating dentist by typing in your zip code, click here: http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/index.html.
- Go ahead and send that candy directly to service personnel yourself in a care package. Enlist your children to help put it together, and find a soldier by visiting here: http://anysoldier.com/WhereToSend/.
- Share the candy with those in your community who can’t or don’t trick-or-treat, but nonetheless would appreciate a sweet treat. Check to see if your local senior citizen center, food bank or children’s hospital would accept a donation. You can even have the kids fill and decorate goody bags.
- Work out a trade with your kids, if you can. They can turn the candy in to you in exchange for a small prize, like a new book or toy, or something even more valuable — you! Give them a game night or a long afternoon at the park… nothing is as sweet as quality time as a family.
Happy Halloween! Stay safe and healthy!
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