The Day After

So your kids have gorged out on Hallowe’en excess, what a Mexican grandmother friend once described to me passionately as “horror!”  You may have too, sneaking in some extra junk when the kids weren’t looking.  The thing is, there are still piles more of it in your house, especially if you over-estimated how much to buy for your own household to give.  What’s a sugar-crazed post-Hallow’s Night family to do?

Here’s where the Switch Witch can fly in, if you choose.  She’s been known as the Candy Fairy around these parts, although I prefer the rhyming moniker better now that I’ve heard of it (but it’s kind of too late).  Whatever you call her, this ethereal creature can swoop into your lives and save you from your sugar high selves.  Summon her, and in exchange for some quantity of candy mass, she will proffer a toy, book, or other coveted item.

In our house, these items have been books.  If a child trades half of his candy, the Candy Fairy will gift him one book; if he trades a half of the half left, he’ll get a second book; if he trades another half still, he’ll get a third book.  Theoretically, this could go on, but we’ve never gotten beyond the third trade.  I was more than delighted with this last year, as by then, both of my (trick or treat age) kids had no more than 10-15 small pieces of candy each.  Six quality books were ushered into our lives by Amazon the Candy Fairy, and all was well in the world.

I started this with my kids when they were young; my hunch is that, as with almost any good habit, it’s better to start early than late.  However, it’s never too late to begin, and it’s always wise to keep an eye to changing the rules if necessary.  For if, like someone’s hypothetical six year old son, your child declares “I’m not trading any of my candy.  Fine, I won’t get a book!”, you might have to up the ante on the Candy Fairy, and she might have to work a little harder to get her sugar fix.

I’m not deterred though.  I’ll find a way to rid ourselves of some of the Hallowe’en hyperglycemic horror, because all that poundage just can’t stay.  Come hither, Candy Fairy, there is work to be done.


23 thoughts on “The Day After

  1. We pay .10 a candy. It used to be .25, but Daniel got wise this year and did two trips around the neighbourhood. They spend all of their money at the book store anyway (or on pokemon cards….good grief!) so I don’t worry.

    • A quarter can be steep – my four year old ran down both sides of two long downtown city blocks, and got hundreds of treats! We’ll be doing lots of culling. I’m sure your son will still get a fabulous trade with the more moderate dime. Great idea!

  2. Oh my goodness – this is brilliant! My son is only 9 months but I have been thinking about how difficult it is going to be to deal with this overload of candy in a few years.

    • I’m sure it will work for you, especially as you are exposing your son so young to the wonders of good, healthy food. Congratulations on starting your blog – it looks great.

  3. At the rate I’m going with the pilfering this year, they won’t have any treats left by Saturday anyway. Gah! We’d already decided to lure them into trading for books, though we hadn’t worked out a formula as precise as yours–might need to adopt that.

    • Kelly, I know! I disgusted myself yesterday (and a few days peppered before that) with those mini chocolate bars, which if you eat enough of them like I did become the jumbo-combo-ill size. My husband slept poorly last night because of the gorge! We don’t usually fall for it like we did this year – will have to be better next year.

    • I have this problem, too ; ) Some of the other suggestions here are great, though. Will have to consider donating some of the traded candy next year to get it away from me!

    • At least you’re done for this year. The kids haven’t eaten more, but we still have lots, and it’s too accessible for adult pilfering…

  4. This is such a great idea! I’ve been looking for ways to make Halloween less of a competitive sugar-obtaining holiday, and more of an educational experience. This year we were doing an impromptu, eat-as-you-go calorie-counting/math lesson… Should definitely start doing candy currency, too. 🙂

    • Our school has a no candy policy (thank goodness) – I can only imagine how hard it is for teachers to deal with the sugared-up kids and their candy stashes!

    • I think I saw a dentist office taking back the candy, but I didn’t know it where it was being sent. What a great idea – thanks for telling us about it.

  5. Thanks for the great idea! I introduced my six-year-old to the idea of the Switch Witch and she was not very enthusiastic. (“But Mom, it was ME who worked so hard to get all the candies, not you!” I promised not to eat them, but still…) But a day later, we learned that an outreach centre on the Downtown East Side happily takes donations of candy as treats to go with their meals for the homeless. At this point, she happily (okay, still somewhat grudgingly) decided that the Switch Witch could have half her candy in exchange for a book. And kindly decided that her younger brother (not yet 2) would be happy to donate half of his candy, and then half again, for two books! I was happy to find a use for all this candy too!

    • Wonderful! As I allude to in the post, my six year old didn’t want to trad his candy either. But interestingly, neither of my kids has mentioned the candy since. I think I will source out a place where the candy might be a pick-me-up, as you have, and when and if the candy monster rears its head, we’ll have another option for sharing it. Thanks for the idea.

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