Halloween is almost here! Many people love this time of year.
Here are a few suggestions to participate in a different way.
My first suggestion is probably a bit unpopular, but just skip passing out candy altogether.
I have a confession: I don’t like Halloween. I seem to be a bit of an anomaly. Most people love to get into the “spirit” of the season – picking out costumes, getting candy to pass out, watching scary movies, and visiting haunted houses, among other activities. I do not like any of those things.
This is much more feasible if you don’t have your own children. The last few years, Halloween has fallen on a day that my husband and I have not had the girls so we’ve just not participated. For me, I have a hard time deciding to spend $60 on candy for strangers. Now, don’t get me wrong – this is NOT a judgment on anyone else. I just cannot reconcile the thought of buying pounds of sugar-laden, artificial ingredient-packed “treats” for people that I do not even know, especially as I’ve become paleo in the past few years.
Enjoy a night out with your significant other or children. Last year, I took a good book and hung out at Starbucks for a couple of hours.
If you do decide to participate:
Pass out candy
These days a lot of parents are looking for better brands because they are trying to just be healthier in general or for specific health concerns of their children. There are brands, like Yum Earth, that have no egg, milk, shellfish, nuts, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, or soy (https://yumearth.com). Natural Candy Store also carries items that are organic, dye-free, non-GMO, allergy-friendly, gluten free, and vegan (https://www.naturalcandystore.com/category/organic-candy).
Pass out non-food treats.
A lot of parents have children who have such serious food struggles that receiving candy really isn’t an option. Even for children who have issues such as ADHD, Autism, or Type I diabetes, food treats really are not the best option for them. A movement that’s been gaining recognition is the Teal Pumpkin Project (https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project). Homeowners participating in Trick Or Treat will paint a pumpkin teal and display it on the front porch to indicate to parents that they are giving out non-food treats. Small toys can be purchased by the gross for a reasonable price from Oriental Trading Company (https://www.orientaltrading.com).
photo from Food Allergy Research & Education
Consider having a small game in your driveway. If you have a cornhole/bean bag toss set, get it out and have the kiddos toss the bags to win certain prizes. If you have a basketball hoop, you can do something similar – a small prize choice for an attempted shot and maybe a slightly larger prize toss for making a basket, for example. It’s a novel idea that can foster good relationships in your neighborhood.
Now, what to do with all that leftover candy?
Some dentists offer a candy buy back the week after Halloween, where children turn in their uneaten candy for something. Contact your family dentist to see if that is an option.
Operation Gratitude is an organization that collects candy to send to our troops (https://opgrat.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/halloween-candy-for-the-troops/). It’s a great way to support our armed forces and prevent your children from being on a week-long sugar high.
Call a local women and children’s shelter or Ronald McDonald House in your community to see if they will accept donations of unopened candy. Many do. These children and their families are dealing with heavy issues and aren’t necessarily experiencing a “normal” childhood. A simple act of donating candy could add a bright spot for them.
In the past, my girls and I have dropped off our extra candy at the fire station that is located down the street from us.
What other ideas do you have?