Halloween came and went this year. As usual, we didn’t celebrate. Jereme had to work, and I had a hair appointment after I got off work, so by the time I got home all the kids were pretty much done trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.
We had a potluck at work, and it was fun to see everyone’s crazy costumes. I didn’t really dress up, but I tried to at least be a little festive by wearing an orange t-shirt that showed off my baby bump, or what I called “my little pumpkin.” I wanted to get one of those maternity halloween shirts on cafepress.com, but I couldn’t justify spending upwards of $30 for something I’d only wear once.
I did have fun, but in general, I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween. My esthetician told me that would change when we have kids, but I’m not so sure about that. Don’t get me wrong. I love the idea of dressing up, especially for young ones. I definitely don’t subscribe to the notion that it’s somehow sacrilegious to let your children pretend to be whoever they want to be. Halloween is the one day out of the year where they’re actually encouraged by all of us grown-ups to use their imaginations and embrace “play”. In today’s public school system, I doubt most of them are getting that kind of encouragement on a daily basis, so in my opinion, Halloween can be a very healthy excuse for kids to really be kids and to really be themselves.
I think it’s all the candy that bothers me. The idea of taking them out after it gets dark to stock up on enough sugar, chemicals and high fructose corn syrup to last another year just doesn’t seem right, especially in this day and age, where over 80% of Americans are obese or overweight and one in two people will get cancer — both of which, I believe, can be largely attributed to the junk we’re putting in our bodies.
I know I can limit the amount of candy they’ll eat when it’s all said and done, but that seems kind of cruel. To take them out to stuff their bags full of sugar and then tell them they can’t eat it, or that they can only have 1 piece a day (which in my opinion is still too much) or even 1 piece a week (which will make the whole stash last an entire year) — that just doesn’t seem right either. And I know that most households aren’t exactly handing out “healthy” treats.
So, I’m wondering, parents with kids who are also organic-health-food nut jobs like me: how do you celebrate Halloween with your little ones?
A. Let them enjoy the candy fest and not worry about it? (After all, it’s only one day out of the year!)
B. Let them enjoy the fun for one night and find some way to make all that sugar disappear the next day without them eating it.
C. Find other creative ways to celebrate, dress them up and let their imaginations run wild that don’t involve piles of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, food dye, chemicals, and God only knows what else? (If so, please elaborate in the comments below.)
D. Not celebrate at all and let your kids grow up wondering why they missed out on all the fun? (If so, do you worry they’ll resent you for it later?)
E. Other (please elaborate in the comments below!)