Today is Halloween.
Some embrace it wholeheartedly, celebrating the childhood glee of getting to dress up, over-binge on candy, and maybe even make a little mischief.
Others eschew the day entirely and joyfully revisit the reasons Martin Luther chose this day nearly 500 years ago to pound the 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenberg.
Whatever camp you're in, however, the truth is – you very likely still have to deal with trick-or-treaters.
TRICK OR TWEET: A teen went trick-or-treating while texting on her phone. When she got to the first house, a man opened the door and she yelled, “Trick or tweet!” The man was confused and said, “Don't you mean trick or TREAT?” “No,” she said. “Give me a treat or I'll post bad things about you all over Twitter!”
As usual, our mission here at Nourishing Joy is to inspire and equip you to make thoughtful, intentional decisions, and Halloween is no different.
A number of my colleagues have written incredible articles about the inconvenient truth about your Halloween candy and where to find ethical Halloween chocolate and even how to take Halloween candy away without a fight.
But what if you could get rid of the candy and still give kids something they thought was cool? After all, if you're giving out treats, the point isn't to be a party pooper, but to still give a treat.
Just one that doesn't rot their teeth or mess with their immune system or enable child labor just so they can have a night of gluttony.
Now don't get me wrong – I don't mind my kids having candy tonight. In fact, that's part of the fun. It's the ONSLAUGHT of candy everywhere – and not just tonight – that, quite frankly, gravely concerns me.
Non-Candy Ideas for Trick-or-Treaters
So, here are just a few ideas for non-candy items to share with trick-or-treaters (and obviously, choose what fits your budget, especially if you'll have hundreds of kids at your door like in our old neighborhood):
Small games, such as jacks or other party favor games
Books – These can be small activity books or candy-themed, budget mass market paperback editions, like The Chocolate Touch or Chocolate Fever, of course, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Early readers can be fun too and can be found very inexpensively at Costco and other mass merchandisers.
But what do we do with all the candy?
And what to do with the candy stash that your kids DO acquire?
There are a ton of great ideas out there, but here's what we do in our house:
Any candy that comes in the house gets put in a jar and that's the “Sunday candy” jar. Each Sunday when we get home from church, each child gets to choose one piece. It helps make the Sabbath sweet and there's a treat to look forward to each week – a practice in patience. We've done it this way for years and it works well for us.
Share what works for you in the comments!