Archive for October 24th, 2007

Can we please have a Tooth-Kind, Green ‘n’ Clean Hallowe’en?

You might rightly say that I’m a killjoy – a miserable Hallowe’en Ebenezer but there’s a part of me that dreads Hallowe’en and many times I have come close to banning my kids from taking part in the trick-or-treat element of the festivities.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I love all the merrymaking, the dressing up, the games, the spooky fantasies etc..  But it really goes against my internal system to hand out horrid tooth-rotting sweets to hundreds of sugar-craving little kiddies.  And it buggers up my system even more to allow my own kids to collect huge bags full of same said gelatin-riddled, hyperactivity-inducing, tooth-rotting sweets.

Myself, I usually give out boring oranges and fruit bars to the trick-or-treaters who visit us.  I’m not sure how well these healthy alternatives are recieved because I quickly drop them into their goodie-bags before they see them.  I’m not daft.  I’m not going to give them the chance to decide that a tasteless cereal bar can never, under no circumstances, be classed as a treat and therefore I warrant a good tricking.  They’ll have plenty of time to feel cheated when they get home and tip out their bags.  Trouble is, I can’t control what other households choose to dish out to my own kids and unfortunately, not many of them have wised-up to the Hallowe’en cavity horror so my kids always come home with bulging bags of sugar. 

Anyway, this year I’m thinking of being even meaner and give out little packets of crayons and balloons.  I had seriously thought of buying some mini-packs of toothpaste/toothbrushes to give out but my kids made very vocal protests at this “stupid” suggestion, saying that it is mean and cruel and if I did it, they wouldn’t dare to go out ever again for fear they’d be bullied and beaten by their sure-to-be ex-friends.

Ok then.  I can accept that the toothbrush idea is going beyond the realms of humbugness but what do you think about the other non-edible treats?  The crayons and balloons?   I’m trying to think how I would feel if I recieved such treats.  Would probably feel cheated.  But then, it’s not like all the other parents are going to do the same so they’ll still get their sugar fixes.

And it doesn’t solve the problem I have in getting hold of the goodie-bags that my own kids will undoubtedly bring home.  I usually accidentally dispose of half the contents before they notice  (whoops, were they sweets?  I thought they were just the wrappers) but they are a year older now and a touch wiser.  The only solution is to budget their sweet-eating – say five sweets after lunch and the same after their evening meal until they’re all gone.  It won’t work though.  My kids are sneaky. They know all my hiding places.  They can smell the damn tartrazine.  Sigh.

Anyway, here are some common-sense tips on how to keep it Green:

Try to make Hallowe’en costumes for your kids rather than buy brand new custom-made ones that they will probably wear only the once.  We have lot’s of things lying around our homes that can be used for spooky costumes if we just call on our inner resourcefulness and imagination.

Don’t just throw out the pumpkin.  Pumpkin soup is very sweet and healthy.  Feed the seeds to the birds and compost the rest of it.

Give your kids reusable bags in which to collect their goodies.

Encourage your kids to dispose of their sweet wrappers correctly because they WILL eat some of their goodies en route.  They can’t resist.  They’re kids.