I love Halloween.
I love it because of how excited the children get.
I love it because of the three weeks of planning costumes.
I love it because we blend old traditions and leave room at our table for our ancestors - we talk about Grandpa Jack and Bobbie and Maggie and Nana G – gently reminding our children of these important people in our lives.
We light candles and decorate the house and carve pumpkins and bob for apples - the children's eyes shine with anticipation and fun. We pop popcorn to hand out to trick or treaters and raisins they like too. The traditions of Halloween and of entering into the dark part of the year run deep.
But how do we survive the candy hangovers that last for days afterward?
When I started my family this problem weighed heavily on me. We don't allow refined sugar or junk in my house. But how could I deny my children the joy of experiencing what Halloween was - I had such wonderful memories of it from my childhood - but when I thought about it carefully I realized that most of my memories had to do with the
costumes and the thrills of knocking on doors. Not so much to do with the treats.
I met a very wise woman when my Jacob was 18 months - a mother of 4 older children who told me about the "Good Witch".
The Good Witch is a friendly witch. She likes green things and sunshine. She has a very sweet tooth. She needs candy to survive the winter. She really has a hard time if she doesn't get enough candy. So, she asks that every child leave her some of their halloween candy so that she can survive the winter and return in the spring to do good deeds. So, the idea is that the children leave out a big basket or bucket that is filled with most of the candy they have collected, the good witch comes mysteriously in the middle of the night, takes the candy and leaves each child a lovely gift. In our house my children get to keep as many pieces of candy as they are old - and they always get a choice weather they want to trade their candy or not. Every year they choose to trade. And every year she
leaves them lovely little things. This year Jacob (8) is getting a lego bionacle and a book, Alden (5) is getting spiderman underroos and a book and little Eli (2)is getting a pair of fancy socks and a book.
I hope that this idea gets passed on and used by those who need it. Ah, and I would advise all of the “Good Witches” out there to just throw that bag of candy in the trash rather than stash it somewhere in a back cupboard so that you can secretly munch on it – it’s the Good Witch that needs the sweets to survive the winter – not YOU!!!
Have fun preparing for Halloween this year!