Last night I was revisiting a thought I have had a few times before. Why do we have Halloween? I mean, I know why, I guess--but I kind of stripped it down to the bare bones of what we do with Halloween. It's so cute to see all the kids dress up, and it's fun. And it's fun for the kids to go trick-or-treating and all that. My heart melted every time my girls said "trick-or-treat" and then "thank you" after being given candy. But really, people go to the store and spend obscene amounts of money on Halloween candy. Then they pass it around to all the kids, who go home and have piles and piles and piles of HORRIBLE, yummy things. Yes, sweets are fun. I get it. So then what happens next is usually:
a) The kids keep their hordes of candy in their rooms and eat it at will. That's what we did when I was a kid, and it didn't do me any good.
b) The kids' treat buckets are stored in the cupboard or on top of the fridge, or wherever, and they are allowed to have a few pieces each day until it's gone. (This is okay, I suppose, unless you're one of those parents who can't keep your hands off it, and then it does you no favors).
c) You let the candy fun last a few days and then the rest goes in the trash.
d) You have the Halloween Fairy come and take all the candy and leave the kids a present in exchange (a movie or toys or whatever). And what happens to the candy the "fairy" takes? Right. It ends up in the trash. Or in your mouth.
e) You can also donate Halloween candy to all kinds of causes. I thought it was great to send it to the troops--but guess what? Being married to a man who served 2 terms in Iraq, I know that hordes of Halloween candy doesn't do them any favors either--they work hard to stay fit so they can keep their jobs, so adding to their opportunities to eat crap just isn't the nicest thing, necessarily.
So anyway, all this money is poured into the purchase of Halloween candy. Most of the candy either ends up in the trash, or eaten in unhealthy quantities. For days before and after Halloween, offices and businesses have bags and bowls of candy sitting out for people to take. Nice, but probably nobody out there really needs it!
Really, the Halloween Humbug in me says this has absolutely gotten out of hand. It's like Halloween commercialism, but with the salt-in-the-wound add on of extra pounds and rotten teeth. With 5 kids in my house, ALL trick-or-treating age, I am sincerely contemplating switching things around a bit in the future. I think I'll let them go to 10 houses, and then have some really amazing at-home celebrating for them to do. Right now we have 2 Tupperware thatsabowls (those are the huge mixing bowls, people--huge, I tell you) full of candy. One is almost all chocolate. The other is all the other, less desirable candy. And that is AFTER we passed out candy to trick or treaters (yes, we passed out candy that was previously collected by our own kids, we didn't spend a penny on Halloween candy this year), and after we let each of the kids pick out FIFTY pieces to save in ziplock bags, that I can bribe them to eat their vegetables with, AND after my husband and I raided. One bowlful would have been bad enough, but TWO?
Today I'll be putting it (at least the chocolate) into ziplocks and burying it in the freezer in the garage.
And I am promising myself that this is the last time my house will fill up with such insane amounts of candy.