My deal with the devil – er, with Batman and Darth Vader

by DaniGirl on October 31, 2008 · 17 comments

in Mothering without a licence

I’m trying out a new experiment this year. I’ve made a deal with the big boys: they can go trick-or-treating as usual, but they’ll trade all of their Halloween candy, save for a very tiny bit, for a new Webkinz each.

I have no idea if this is going to work. Beloved and my mom both gave me a look that was a cross between ‘Are you kidding?’ and ‘Hey, good luck with that!’ But the boys are enthusiastic about the deal. Heck, I think they would have traded in their baby brother if I’d thrown in a Bakugon or Pokemon into the deal!

There may be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth (on the part of the kids, perhaps, but most likely on the part of Beloved!) come Saturday morning when there is no candy to be had. I have reiterated the deal several times, so they understand they will get to keep only two or three bites of candy each and give up the rest, and they didn’t even hesitate to agree. We’ll see!

I must admit that a small part of me is rolling my own eyes at me, thinking ‘Oh great, she’s become one of those mothers. Next stop, hemp underwear and no TV.’ But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we simply don’t need to have several pounds of candy in the house. Part of it is my new family healthy eating kick, but part of it is purely selfish. I’m within five pounds of my goal weight on Plan B, and there will be enough room for sabotage come Christmas — might as well eliminate as much temptation as I can.

What do you think? Would your kids go for it and would you subject them to it? What would be a sweet enough deal to entice them to give up their candy?

And, most importantly, any thoughts on what to do with an extra two sackfuls of candy? I’m thinking the last kid to show up trick-or-treating at our door is in for a delightful surprise!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meghan October 31, 2008 at 11:04 am

I let my kids gorge for a few days and then the candy slowly starts disappearing…..I usually bring it to the office and plunk in on the lunch table-its gone within a few hours. My daughter mentioned today that one of her friends still has Halloween candy from last year-GROSS! I remember parents who froze it-double gross! One year we saved it and used it to decorate gingerbread houses. What I find interesting is that the kids really do not like a lot of what they get. They keep their favorites and hand over what they don’t like. My favorite part is dumping the bags and going through it all-counting everything. I think that is even more fun than a webkin!

2 Lynn October 31, 2008 at 1:46 pm

I think this is a great idea. I’ve never heard of anyone trying it before, so I’m definitely interested in hearing how it went!

My son can’t eat a lot of his Halloween candy due to food allergies, so this year we bought a bunch of candy that is safe for him so he could “trade up” when he got home. I wish I’d had your idea — trading him for a toy instead would have been so much better. Next year!

3 Valerie October 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm

I’ve never let mine keep it all. We sort it, put aside what I’m willing for them to eat, then try to give away the rest to the kids who come later. Then they get a few pieces for less than a week and the rest “disappears” (dh takes it to work). I’m so mean. I guess I could be nice and trade for a toy – dd would certainly go for another Webkinz.

One of my friends lets her dd have a piece every night after supper – all year long. They replenish the stack themselves if it gets low. We rarely have dessert in our house, though.

4 Rev Dr Mom October 31, 2008 at 2:26 pm

I have to admit I wouldn’t subject my kids to this. They never trick-or-treated so far and wide that they had tons of candy. Mostly they gorged for a day or two and the last bits were forgotten.

We didn’t keep candy or many sweets around most of the time so I figured Halloween they could have at it.

5 Jen October 31, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Our church takes leftover Halloween candy and donates it to a charity that works with recovering addicts and prostitutes. I think they make up gift bags for them. Not sure they really need the candy, but I think the idea is just to make them feel like they are cared for. I’m in Vancouver though…maybe you could check to see if there’s something similar in Ottawa? It’s a nice lesson in sharing for the kids…

OK, I did a quick search and found Jewish Family Services of Ottawa (…I’m sure there are others!

6 alison October 31, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Bwahahaha! Hemp underwear. You slay me. *sighs and wipes eyes*

What I do is limit the number of houses we hit on our trick-or-treating outing. It’s worked so far, they have candy enough for a few days and then I pitch the rest.

As for the Webkinz idea, sounds good. And in the immortal words of Spongebob to Plankton (and apparently your mother), I’ll chime in with a big, “Well, good luck with that.”

7 Ingrid October 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm

You should give ti Beloved to take to school. the students will love it and you wont be saddled with it. My college students used to love ME for doing this!

8 Marianne October 31, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I like the webkinz approach. I also support the idea of limiting how many houses are visited (and thus the amount of candy recieved) and doing a sort at home to have the kids select what they really actually like. My mom used to buy candy from us — 5 lollipops for a nickle, etc (yeah the prices weren’t that good even then!) and it cut down on how much junk we ended up with. Mini chocolate bars she saved for treats on cross-country skiing days in the winter, but the rest I beleive she either gave out to the late comers at the door or threw out (after my dad got his share, I’m sure!)

9 Susan October 31, 2008 at 5:55 pm

The last 2 years, our dentist traded candy for prizes, which I thought was great. We let CG keep a small bowlful, and then she traded the rest for happy-making crap. This year, I don’t know what we’ll do–probably let her gorge for a bit and gradually make it disappear. But I can see the appeal of the trade. One of my friends trades for a book.

10 Fawn November 1, 2008 at 12:48 am

I don’t get why anyone thinks this is a crazy idea. You really DON’T need that much candy in the house. But then, Halloween isn’t exactly sacred to me. My parents didn’t grow up here and didn’t believe in it, so the first time I ever went, I was about 9.

My daughter just started an extremely strict new diet in which 90% of her calories come from fat and only about 2% comes from carbs (to control her seizures, since drugs have not worked). We went around to all the neighbours’ houses and gave them non-food treat bags to give to her. She enjoyed going around in her costume and loved her new toys — she doesn’t really know that she’s missing out on candy (she’s not quite 3 yet) but she got to have all the fun. I’ve heard of other parents of kids on the diet who trade their kids’ candy for toys and other prizes. If it works for them, why not for you?

Let us know how it goes!

11 jennifer r. November 1, 2008 at 7:04 am

I have a friend who uses the “good witch” principle….Halloween night before the kids got o bed they leave their candy on the front porch. The good witch comes and takes the candy to give to kids who did not get to go out in exchange for a present.

We don’t do that here, I let them eat their fill Halloween night, they then pick out 12 pieces to put in their room to eat WHENEVER they want, (please don’t tell mommy when you are eating it) and the rest gets separated into chocolate categories (frozen and eaten over the ski seaon), chips for special movie nights and other candy given away at the door to the kids who come late!

12 Lindsay November 1, 2008 at 8:54 am

I can’t say I’ve ever really given any thought to not letting her keep the candy. We don’t have chips/cookies/ice cream/chocolate in the house regularly so I guess I figured that a once a year binge probably wouldn’t hurt anything. I mean, I don’t let her keep the bag of candy in her room so she has to ask for it specifically… and last year she forgot it existed after about two weeks and eventually I tossed it.

Trading it in isn’t a bad idea if they go for it. But I’m okay with the candy. 🙂

13 ewe_are_here November 2, 2008 at 5:02 pm

I can see myself making most of my boys’ candy disappearing into the ether… for their own good. Next year I’ll ‘trade it’ for something they want; that’s a great idea.

Hope it went well!

14 jules November 2, 2008 at 8:31 pm

great stuff, I can relate.. hope it all worked out

15 DaniGirl November 2, 2008 at 8:59 pm

The deal is done! You know what, they never even flinched. It was me who kept saying, “Are you sure, are you *sure*?” and the boys were all about the Webkinz. Beloved took them out yesterday, and they haven’t once asked about the candy. As Ingrid suggested, Beloved’s students will be the happy recipients of the excess.

We’ll definitely consider this again for next year! Consider this experiment a success!

16 fizzchick November 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm

I know I’m a bit late on this, but my elementary school (ages ago) used to collect extra Halloween candy for the local soup kitchen. The local scout troops would sort it and put it in small baggies. Then when the high school key club made bag lunches, they’d put a small bag of candy in each lunch. The soup kitchen gave out the bag lunches at the end of their Thanksgiving meal, since they were closed afterward for a couple of days. It was a really good way to get the candy out of the house and make the kids think about someone else for a change. Plus it made a good lead in to the holiday canned food drives. Anyway, it might be worth asking if your local food pantry/soup kitchen would appreciate donations.

17 liz November 9, 2008 at 9:47 pm

I always bring our extra candy to the Polls. But that’s because EVERY year’s an election year here in Virginia.

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