While I enjoy taking my kids from door to door as they partake in the Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating, I dread the basket full of Halloween candy that accompanies us home. One year, my son ate on that bucket of candy from Halloween night up until Christmas Eve, with the help of his father and I, and no, I’m not exaggerating.
I’m not sure about you, but for me, I’m ready to dump the basket of Halloween candy after about a week. I mean, the holidays are coming up and most of us are trying to watch our weight anyways, right? Plus, what child really needs that much candy? Can you imagine what all the dentists, dental assistants and other similar professionals think about this holiday? (My mother was an oral surgeon’s assistant for years, so I have an idea of what they think about this time of the year.)
Over the last 5 years, I’ve gotten creative about making that Halloween candy dissipate a little faster than it used to. Here are a few of the things I do with it:
1. Trash all the hard stuff. The first thing I do is trash all of the hard candy, unless it’s a sucker or something like that. When I was 9 or 10, I choked on a jawbreaker and my dad had to do the Heimlich on me in order to get it out. Ever since then, I have had a fear of hard candies like that. Naturally, now that I have children, that fear has only gotten worse. I know I can’t control everything they put in their mouths, but at Halloween, I can. While it sounds harsh, to me, it’s a safety precaution…but it’s also one that helps whittle down that pile of Halloween candy too.
2. Use it in the lunch box. Halloween candy makes a great “treat” for my son at school. I don’t usually buy candy to put in his lunchbox, but after Halloween, he gets at least one or two pieces a day for his “dessert.” When my husband worked a job where he took his lunch every day, I would do the same for him.
3. Donate it. I’m not sure about your school, but at my son’s school, the teachers reward the kids for various things with little pieces of candy. Most of the time, the teachers have to pay for these rewards out of their pockets, which is why I like to donate part of excess candy we have after Halloween to the teachers in my son’s class.
4. Make Christmas gifts with it. Sounds a little weird, right? I only do this for a few of the people on my Christmas list…you know, the ones that you want to give something small too so they know you’re thinking of them. I go to the craft store and pick up some of the small decorative glass jars, buy some holiday ribbon to tie around the jars and then fill the jars with some of the Halloween candy that doesn’t have any Halloween themed wrapping on it. It makes for some easy, inexpensive Christmas gifts!