Hello Again, Halloween

Candy is good. I love the unlikely caramel flavor of candy corn, the salty savory chewiness of real caramel, the capsacin burn of an old fashioned Red Hot, the flaky wafer crunch of a Kit Kat, the crystalline snap of a Skor (do they still make those?), the sour floral aroma of a green apple Jolly Rancher, the elusive nutty umami of a malted milk ball, the subdued vaguely berry appeal of Orbit chewing gum. My kids think candy is good too. Except their love for it is unbounded by type, brand, or flavor profile. Which is sufficient incentive for them to brave the wilds of Los Angeles, and its scream masks, slasher-flick-worthy front yard horror scenes, and other holiday terrors.

For me, the terror is that 3 pound bag of assorted candy that you have to deal with afterward. Part of me thinks: there’s gotta be another way of doing Halloween, something different than the onslaught of all sugar, great and small. The sugary spike and cranky crash of kids. And this year, as in every recent year, we forget about the whole candy issue until the last minute, focused as we are on which of seven costume options our children will alight on. And then it’s there: post trick or treating, we’ve got a ton of candy on our hands. They want to eat it. And they certainly can eat some of it. But no way are they going to eat all of it. We don’t like the idea of just throwing it away. Nor do we think there’s much value to be gained from donating candy to some worthy, pre-diabetic cause. So what the heck do you do? Just roll with it, I’m guessing (which is what we’ve done each and every of the past few years). But I’m just curious: has anyone concocted any Halloween traditions that celebrate all the joys of the holiday and candy and sugar, without turning it into one big glycemic crash and burn?
—Hugh

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6 Responses to Hello Again, Halloween

  1. Uly says:

    Buy their candy from them, like some sort of demented afikomen. Offer them a trip out, or a special toy, or plain cold cash for their leftover candy by November whenever.
    Then, put the candy away and dole it out for dessert for the entire rest of the year, or until it runs out. (Alternatively, share it around the office, but that’s a good way to make your coworkers blame you if they should gain weight.)

  2. Maria says:

    Bring it to work. Your colleagues will complain about what you’re doing to them, but the candy will disappear. Do this in small batches so the kids don’t notice. My best making the candy disappear trick was the year that we had lots of work done on the house around Halloween. Leave the bowl out, candy disappears, outraged children are too shy to hector the workers about their crimes.

  3. Stephanie says:

    We let the kids go crazy. We have one rule — no candy before school. They have until Sunday at bedtime to eat as much candy as they possibly can and then it is gone.

  4. Andrea says:

    Hugh -
    We have been doing the Great Pumpkin thing recently. After a day or two, my kids put their candy out on the front porch. In the morning they wake up and there is a small toy or $ waiting for them. They seem to be ok with it. I take their candy to work where adults can enjoy it responsibly! ;)
    Andrea

  5. sarafina says:

    There always seems to be too much candy in our house, largely supplied from outside forces. I’m not anti-candy, but I am pro-moderation. Each kid has 1 large zip-type baggie with their name on it. They can choose 1 or 2 (if small) pieces of candy from it a day in lieu of whatever other dessert option is offered, and some days there just is no dessert – ‘bag’ or no. Who needs it all the time? I even break up the larger bars into smaller ‘servings’. The Halloween candy is available until Christmas. Then it is unceremoneously tossed. It’s been picked through enough. The Chrismas candy is available until Valentines Day. Valentines until Easter, Easter until the summer parades where candy rains from the sky/parade floats, clowns and pirates, and parade candy until Halloween again. Anything from a birthday party is added to the bag, so it all stays in one place. Of course the kids must pay the occasional ‘parent tax’ when I get a craving for something sweet.

  6. Tivon says:

    We take our leftover candy to work where it disappears quickly in the break room. As far as the candy our son collects, he gets to eat what he wants on Halloween, and then one a day till Thanksgiving (a month later). What ever is still around by Thanksgiving also goes to work.

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