Still Celebrating Halloween?

December 16,2008
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

So here we are on the precipice of Christmas and I feel as though Halloween has not fully ended. Why? First, some background…

When my boys went trick-or-treating six weeks or so ago, SPH (Sweet Pea Husband) and I were appalled at how much candy we had allowed R and G to amass. Halloween is a big deal in our neighborhood; people go all out with their decorations--and also, apparently, with their candy. 

We had tons of full-size and even (gasp!) king-size candy in our pint-size little boys’ bags. Perhaps since this was the first year we had two little boys collecting the sweets, or perhaps because we were just not out the full allotted time in the past, we couldn’t believe how much sugar R and G collected. 

Holidays get a pass from our healthy eating endeavors in our home. So, on Halloween night, R ate a few candies and G had some cookies. We then unloaded about 2/3 of the candy on SPH’s office and dwindled our supply, thanks to our “you can have a treat if you have a good day” policy. 

While R has a pretty good sweet tooth, the last couple of years the bag just sort of faded out of the picture after a week or so, and with it, the candy sort of disappears. 

Imagine my surprise when today, during lunch, out of the blue and amongst all the Christmas hoopla, R asks, “Hey, what is left in my Halloween treat bag?”

Since I try to reserve my white lies and fibs for more delicate situations, I replied, “Let me go get it.” Thankfully, SPH had helped further dwindle the supply, so we had much less than the haul we had on Halloween:

I poured out the mid-December contents:

(Side note: I cannot *believe* he still had a Reese's and a Butterfinger--albeit a small one--left in his bag. My "last-to-go" treats were always Whoppers and Tootsie Rolls, those inexpensive, "chocolate-like" molded chocolates.)

R was happy to split his Halloween treats with me and I was happy to rid my house of at least one holiday of candy.  But I have a feeling there is a lot more to come…

I have heard of families that give their excess Halloween and holiday candy to homeless shelters or retirement homes. One friend told me that they exchange all their children’s candy from Halloween for a small gift. Another friend wrapped their holiday candy up and sent it to a neighbor’s son, who was deployed overseas. 

Here I am trying to promote healthy eating in our home, and I feel like the months between October and Valentine's Day are one big candy-fest.

'Tis the season for some extra sweets, I tell myself. After all, whoever heard of a kid that had "visions of cauliflower" dancing in his head on Christmas Eve?

SPC