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My fantasy Halloween

Robyn Openshaw - Oct 31, 2012 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links


Matthew sent me this cartoon last week.

Comic depicting house advertising no candy for halloween from "My fantasy Halloween" by Green Smoothie Girl

I wrote back: “I wish!”

If you’re a new reader, you might not know that I’ve tried lots of things to
deal with this holiday. I love the costumes and macabre fun, and hate the

What has worked best for my family is that my kids go trick-or-treating, and
when they come home, I pay them $20 for the privilege of throwing their
candy away. My kids have never balked at this—they like money more than

If you have very small children or don’t have kids yet, remember, it’s not
wrecking their childhood if you opt out of the candy-collecting part of the
holiday, unless you decide to take them door to door asking for junk food.

I was raised doing it. And then I’d be sick for weeks after Halloween. I
don’t know what’s good about that rotten tradition.

Some friends of mine take their kids out to dinner on Halloween every year,
opting out completely and making their own memories in a different way.


Posted in: Relationships

12 thoughts on “My fantasy Halloween”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A friend of mine gave me a great idea that we’ll be using this year: The Halloween Ghost. If you leave your candy on the doorstep, he comes overnight and leaves a small toy in return. We’ve paid them for their candy in the past, but for my 5 year old, since he doesn’t necessarily get the reward right away (i.e. it takes mom a few days to make it out to the store for them to spend their money), he wasn’t really excited about it. But, when I told them about the halloween ghost, they were ecstatic!

  2. Bonnie says:

    Trunk or Treat last night…way too much junk offered. My little monkey is young enough that I can easily hide (throw away) the candy quickly. Though he did get a few pieces thanks to dad and others. I hated it. I love the ideas offered to combat the poisoning of my child every Halloween. But how to participate in a church social and avoid the candy…ideas?

  3. Steffanie says:

    Ugh! Trunk or Treat was revolting… Cake walk, Donuts on a String, Homemade Rootbeer… AND THEN the candy! People look at me like I’m the psychotic one for not letting my kids eat all that crap. I just don’t get it. My kids (3 and 1) immediately came home from trick or treating and dropped their candy baskets (which I then took and dumped in the garbage – and no I don’t feel bad about that) and devoured leftover rice and beans from dinner along with several glasses of water. Their little bodies knew they needed fuel not junk! They didn’t ask for candy once!

  4. Katlyn says:

    We “kept collecting” the candy this week from various outings to offer the Switch Witch…I told my daughter, “the more you give, the bigger your reward!” It’s our first year doing the Switch, so I want her to really feel rewarded for giving away SO much candy. (she’s 5) She chose to eat 4 small candies out of the entire stash. Still too much, but at this age I can’t force her, just give lots of encouragement. I’m sure it will only improve each year as we keep eating better and -hopefully- changing our palates…!

  5. Cherie says:

    We have a candy bank where all treats received during the season are collected and can be spent at the “candy store”. Generally the spending happens on Halloween after Trick-or-Treating. The store usually has small toys or alternate treats that we approve of, this year it was just a model airplane kit and Batman tokens (permission to play Lego Batman on the Wii) that everything was traded for.

  6. Laura says:

    For the second year in a row I offered money for my kids Halloween candy. We got home from the gathering of “junk” and we began talking about how much to give up. My girls are 6 and 7 yrs old. They weren’t as enthusiastic about the money this year so I said if you give up the majority of the candy (less the 7 pieces I allowed…hey it’s better than 50 pieces allowed…baby steps) perhaps a new DS game is a possibility. They dumped the candy on the table without any regret. Then we spent some time discussing why I was encouraging (ummm bribing) them to not keep the candy. They both understood candy is not healthy and we really do not need to eat all that sugar. Hoping these baby steps are working and that our discussions on the “whys” will maintain good choices as the years go by and I have less and less “control”.

  7. Gail says:

    So what did you GIVE out to the trick or treaters you got?

  8. Theresa says:

    Our neighborhood “trunk or treat” begins with a soup/chili dinner. We dress up and participate in the dinner. Then when it is time to pass out the candy we go home to watch “Hocus Pocus” as a family and enjoy some yummy healthy treats. We don’t pass out candy because I refuse to spend $30 on something I don’t believe in. Also, I was able to talk all 3 of my daughters teachers into 100% juice and a single cookie or cupcake for the class parties! Making progress one holiday at a time.

  9. Lara says:

    As usual our home was 100% candy free for Halloween this year. So were my 5 children. My policy is that I don’t make my children sick for anyone or anything. Not grandma, not primary, nothing. Life is too awesome to waste on junk food.

  10. Carrie Rose says:

    Our 5 youngest children enjoyed the switch witch this year! They told everyone even their teachers. We usually throw the candy away, but this was more fun. We also gave them 2 pieces of organic candy, one dark chocolate and one lolly pop. We handed out organic lolly pops & Halloween erasers. We also just attended the Vetrens Day parade and they gave all their candy to the kids next to them. Everywhere we go people try to feed them junk at school, church and after sports. I have out my foot down and I am not letting people do this to my children. We bring our own snacks everywhere and say ” no thank you” to the junk!

  11. Tatiana says:

    This year we gave out Endangered Species Dark Chocolate and glow-in-the dark bracelets 🙂

  12. Britni says:

    I tried your method for the first time this year, Robyn, and it went over beautifully! I let them each (3 1/2 and 22 mos) pick one piece (i also had them drink an extra green smoothie on the wayto the trunk or treat) and then we gave them each $5 to spend at the dollar store. They were both so excited that they had to take their little things to church with them the next day. I was extatic! People thought I was a bit harsh but I stood my ground and we were all happier for it! Thanks for the fantastic idea!!!

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