I've stumbled across several articles this week written to help moms like me figure out what to do with the onslaught of candy that follows the bizarre ritual of dressing in costume and going door-to-door asking for it (what a strange and wonderful tradition!). Did you know you could freeze it or chop it up and use it in recipes or take it to the office to share with your fat coworkers? Or I suppose you could eat it (not that any of the articles offered that as an option...). I mean, it is just candy after all.
Liam tallied his up and weighed it (a pound and a fourth!) and divided it into categories. He has 24 pieces in the chocolate pile, six "fruit candies", five for Mama, and two to throw away (does anyone eat Dots?). When he was finished counting and recounting and organizing his stash he said, "It's a good thing Halloween is only once a year. Otherwise we wouldn't have time to get rid of all this!"
Needless to say I'm not too worried about having candy in our house. As much as the kid loves sweets, he's also a pretty big fan of rules. Even rules that don't exist. I stuck a fun-sized pack of M&M's in his lunch yesterday and when I asked him if he liked his Halloween surprise (I don't usually pack treats) he made sort of a snorting exhale sound and said, "Mama, I didn't eat the candy. It was lunch time!"
So I'm going old school. Letting him keep his candy wherever he wants, hoping he remembers to ask for permission before he helps himself to more Skittles, and stealing pieces of the good stuff when he isn't looking.
Bill and I will probably be more helpful with the "getting rid of all the candy" problem this year because, did you see that draw? It's almost all chocolate! And not just mini Hershey bars. I'm talking fun-sized Snickers, Peanut M&M's and York Peppermint Patties! Totally the good stuff.
The reason he got such a prime selection is because he mostly trick-or-treated at his own house. We started off with a bang, meeting up with friends and neighbors, traveling as a pack and running wild like kids on Halloween.
But once we stopped back home to use the bathroom and fill our go-cups, we (and by "we" I mean the children) realized that hanging at the house is just as much fun as running door-to-door in the cold.
It doesn't take much to entertain this crew...
The grown ups were happier at home too. We ate chili and drank wine and hung out on the front porch, taking turns tending to the trick-or-treaters. The group approach was especially helpful when the gangs of teenagers with backwards backpacks and no costumes showed up. What usually annoys the heck out of me (no costume, no candy!) didn't bother me at all last night. The whole group of us would gawk and smile and say, "Oh, wow! What are you supposed to be?" like they were wearing the greatest Halloween costumes we'd seen all night. I've never had the nerve to do this before because I didn't want to get "tricked" (like egged or robbed or whatever) but the candy beggars took it surprisingly well. Some of them even tried to make something out of nothing which I sincerely appreciated. One kid (and by kid, I'm talking 16? 17?) was like, "Uh, um...I'm a dancer!" and then proceeded to seriously break it down on my front steps. Yes! That's what I'm talking about! Bring out the good bowl - this kid's getting chocolate! (We have two bowls of candy - the good kind for costumes and the crappy stuff that gets stuck in your teeth for fakers).
At the end of the night when everyone was putting their clothes back on to head home (why do five year old boys like hanging out in their underwear so much?), one of the kids was like, "Are we going trick-or-treating now?" Her mom was like, "Um..." and I said, "Yes! Grab your bag and head outside. I bet THIS house has some great treats for you!" Then we flashed the porch light, shouted Boo! and filled their bags with everything we had left. A pound and a fourth of the good stuff for everyone!