Halloween night after the kids are in bed, my husband and I have a naughty ritual: we claim our “Parent Tax” from the kids’ candy bags – preferred payment is in chocolate – and we gorge ourselves on candy bars we haven’t tasted since last Halloween. Candy is a rarity in our house for the simple reason that if we have it, I eat it and if we don’t, I don’t. To stay on track with my health and weight loss goals, I’ve created a Post Halloween Candy Survival Guide for my benefit and, hopefully, yours.
1. Donate extra candy to charity.
Samaritan’s Purse runs Operation Christmas Child where volunteers pack shoe boxes with toys, hygiene items, clothes, and/or school supplies and give them away to poor children around the world, many of whom have never received a Christmas gift before. The collection week for this enterprise is, conveniently, the second week of November – ie. AFTER Halloween. If you don’t want your family to eat that entire bucket full of sweets, take the extra goodies to one of the drop off locations. They’ll be happy to portion the candy into little baggies to add to the shoe boxes. (Note: they do not accept chocolate; it tends to melt on the way to the Equator.)
Another option is Halloween Candy Buy Back. Participating dentists buy candy back from kids for $1.00 a pound. The candy is donated to Soldier’s Angels and shipped overseas in care packages (complete with toothbrushes) to our troops overseas. Their website has a search feature to find a participating dentist near you.
2. Hide under the bed between meals. Or in a closet. For the month of November. Maybe December too.
3. Fill a bowl. Every time you run errands, fill one pocket with candy. Many offices have a bowl of candy on the front desk, but instead of taking a piece, leave a handful. Secret Agent 00Sweet!
4. Give a handful to the child of the unfriendly mom who made a snide comment about your bathrobe at the bus stop. Then repent, forgive, and…oh, come on, people, it’s a joke, lighten up! It would be funny, though….
5. Make yourself a rule and stick to it. For example, you can eat a snack sized Twix only after you’ve done ten push-ups and thirty sit-ups and jogged up and down the stairs twice. Whatever balances you out calorie-wise so that your net intake is zero.
6. Human Piñata. Fill all of your pockets with candy and go to a play date with your children, grandchildren, nieces/nephews. Be the first ones to leave and as you walk past the children on the way to the door, “spill” the candy. If you want to make a little show of it, put headphones in your ears and groove to the music; the extra shaking makes it more believable when Starbursts and Milk Duds leap from your jacket pocket. Just be careful not to leave the room until you’re positive that your pockets are empty; you don’t want any unsupervised children following you home.
7. Freeze it/Hide it. Chocolate keeps for a nice long time in the freezer and if you hide it in the back or in a freezer in the garage, you’ll probably forget it’s there. When you do remember, the frozen solid nature of the treat slows down how many you can consume before you come to your senses. For non-chocolate candy, hide it somewhere you don’t go often, like with the dusting supplies or filed with the income tax papers. When a birthday rolls around and it’s your turn to fill a piñata or party favor bags, pull out your hidden stash and you’re ready to go!
“For the Lord takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory.
Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.”
Psalm 149:4-5 NIV
Images courtesy of: Real Nutrition NYC (bowl), http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/search-results.html (truck full of candy), https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ (shoe boxes) Reading Confetti (Spiderman piñata)