[Ed. Note: Two Halloween posts on tap today. First, let’s talk about what to give out, and then later today we’ll talk about what to do with the haul your kids bring home.]
In one of my very first posts on this blog (“Outing Myself”), I confessed to being a big fat hypocrite.
I described how I was standing in the school hallway with a friend, mocking those who had fought in the Texas legislature to keep our schools “birthday cupcake safe,” but at that precise moment my own child was bringing donuts to class for his birthday. I just couldn’t stand being the mom who insisted on sending in bran muffins or fruit after my child had been eating everyone else’s treats all year.
Now, if I had to do it again, I definitely wouldn’t cave in to the pressure. If nothing else, writing this blog has forced me to sharpen my thoughts about where I stand, and I can guarantee you that next year it’s non-food birthday treats all the way. So you’d think that this Halloween I would be giving out pretzels or raisins or toys, but in fact we have all the the usual stuff ready to go – Reese’s, Tootsie Pops and Snickers.
Why the inconsistency? I guess there are a few reasons.
First, my kids absolutely love going to the store every year to pick out the candy they want to give away. They spend what seems like hours searching for just the right bag with just the right mix of stuff, and then we come home and sample one or two before putting it all away for Halloween. The whole ritual gives them such pleasure that I don’t want to deprive them of it. (They would also be very unhappy to be associated with the one house in the neighborhood not giving away candy.) Second, unlike the case with birthday cupcakes, where a child is captive in the classroom and away from parental oversight (see this post, where I liken birthday cupcakes to second-hand smoke), the candy I throw into a trick-or-treat sack goes home, where a child’s parents can intervene if they so choose. Third, there’s just a certain sense of hopelessness: on a holiday like Halloween, the candy deluge is so overwhelming that I feel like my one little bag of pretzels is never going to make a difference to anyone. And finally, I can’t help but think — oh, please, it’s Halloween, people! Let the kids have their candy.
So, what do you think? Am I still a big, fat hypocrite?
Share your thoughts, and tell me what you give out on Halloween in the poll below. Also be sure to check out Christina’s post on her excellent blog, Spoonfed, about Halloween candy — giving and getting. She’s clearly standing by her principles and puts this squishy mom to shame.