Monday, October 31, 2011
MOMday: Candy-less Halloween
Since moving to Langdon almost 5 years ago, we have stopped giving out Candy on Halloween. No, we aren't the house on our block with the darkened windows. Yes - we still entertain a stream of ghosts and ghouls at our door. But instead of handing out candies, we try to get a little creative each year and we give out candy-less treats.
In the months before Halloween, I keep my eyes out for inexpensive little treats that can be fun for kids. Some years, I have put together little baggies with erasers and balloons in them. One year, we bought a few boxes of crayons and tossed a couple of colours into the treat bags - the little kids were OVERJOYED about these. Last year, we stumbled on little card games at Costco and handed these out.
The parents really seem to appreciate the toys instead of candy. The little kids are so excited to see toys go in - far more excited than I ever saw them react to candy when we lived in Calgary. The older kids aren't too thrilled about it (you should have seen the faces on the 16 year olds who got crayons - luckily my house didn't end up decorated with them). Perhaps the best part of adopting a candy-less Halloween is that we don't have any left over candy to ruin our diet with...and the Halloween leftovers are just a good to give away the next year.
A candy-less Halloween doesn't need to be expensive. Dollar stores are a bonanza for finding great treats. And as more people are adopting the candy-less approach - there are great options to be found that will fit any budget. Costco usually has bags of mini tubs of playdoh. I've found huge packages of balloons and stickers and erasers at Dollarama. If you keep your eyes open, you can pick up big boxes of Halloween pencils for cheap, cheap, cheap. This year, I found 10 packs of glow in the dark vampire teeth for $1 at Walmart! We usually set a budget of $20 for our treats and we usually have leftovers (our house is on the opposite side of the sidewalk so we don't get more than 45 kids ever). That's really not a bad budget for the holiday and you might find that you were spending significantly more on the years you gave out candy!
If you're worries about older kids targeting you for going candy-less, I recommend picking up the little treat bags to conceal what you're giving to them. But keep the treats out of the baggies for the little kids because you are instantly rewarded by how much their faces light up when they see what you have for them.
Even if you only try it once - why not give a candy-less Halloween a try. It's a fun way to change things up a bit...and makes it easy to keep the candy out of the house and away from ruining your diet :)
(and, now, a sneak peek at what the ghouls and goblins will be seeing at our house tonight :)