Do you have your battle plan draw up yet? Halloween is almost upon us, and even if you don’t participate in the festivities, chances are good that your home will be awash in high fructose corn syrup and yellow dye #5. If you prepare your mind ahead of time, you can avoid that fistful of wrappers “ARGH! What have I done?!” moment.
Here are a few tactics you can try:
1. Buy candy only at the last minute. Who are you kidding? How many times have you purchased your Halloween candy at the end of September and had any left on the 31st? You end up buying a replacement bag on the 29th anyway, so skip the 15,000 calorie bag of temptation until you absolutely can’t avoid it. (40oz bag of assorted non-chocolate candy = approximately 15,000 calories = approximately 4.3 pounds of weight gain. How much in chocolate candy? I was too afraid to look!) The stores will not run out of candy. They will run out of bread and milk before they run out of candy. They may even have it on sale.
2. 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 shoeboxes. (They do not accept chocolate; it tends to melt on the way to the Equator.)
4. 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!
5. 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. For example, you can eat a snack sized Twix only after you’ve done ten pushups 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. Candy Filter Giveaway. We’ve done this a few years in a row; it works great. Trick or treating is generally 6-8pm, so we go out with our costumed kids and collect candy from 6-7pm. We let the boys chose a piece of candy to eat and send them out onto the front porch while my husband and I quickly separate the chocolate from the non-chocolate candy. The non-chocolate, with very few exceptions, goes into the bowl with the tracts to be given out to trick or treaters from 7-8pm. (Why tracts? Because if you come to my house and ask me to fill your bucket, I choose to give you something of value. Candy rots your teeth for a day, but Christ saves for eternity.) By 8pm the bowl is empty and we only have a little bit of chocolate to contend with using #5.
Prepare yourselves for battle, Dessert Snobs! The victory is yours!
“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