For years my kids and I bagged up our Halloween leftovers when we’d bought more than we needed for trick-or-treaters. In their younger years I’d hand some off to the sainted bus-driver who safely shuttled my kids to and from elementary school. She liked to reward good behavior with sweet treats. In surplus candy years we’d send some more off to the elementary school or my kids’ current recreational groups, zip-locked shut and safely in the hands of my older child, as the younger couldn’t be trusted to ensure the candy arrived at its intended destination.
But candy, and sweets in general, have become a disposal problem. There is just too much of the material in constant supply for the average family to safely consume or spread around. My mother had never been confronted with this issue during my childhood. She simply never bought candy for us, and since she didn’t pay us an allowance for our assigned daily chores we had little opportunity to procure it for ourselves. Teachers rewarded us with stickers or exclamation marks next to the words “Good Work” penned across the top of especially neat handwriting assignments or high-scoring tests.
When Halloween came I hit the streets as early as allowed and returned with a paper grocery sack stuffed as full of candy as I could get it. Then, I’d find a hiding place safe from clever older siblings and ration my loot out to myself over a few weeks’ time. I determined to make candy a staple in my own kids’ lives—someday.
I realized early into motherhood, though, that there would be few opportunities for me to treat my kids with sugary substances as every other adult in their custody chain beat me to the punch. Cunning preschool and elementary school teachers, crafty scout leaders, and desperate piano teachers all kept the kids in line with the promise of a sweet reward. And every sports event called for a “snack” making it hard to get dinner into the kids after their activities. Completely sated with sugar, they quite happily went along with doling out our extra goods after trick-or-treating.
Now that my kids are grown and gone my post-Halloween candy distribution channel has dried up and I’ve had to figure out some other good landing places for my annual leftovers. Dealing with leftovers is kind of my thing, so it wasn’t too hard to come up with good candidates among our local food banks and shelters. Find information about food banks, and resources to find them near you here.
But before I could even turn my attention to the matter this year my doorbell rang. Peering out the front door’s panel windows revealed that two young neighborhood girls stood on my front porch. I assumed I’d need to find my checkbook for some fundraiser or other. So I was pleasantly surprised when the girls explained that they were collecting leftover Halloween candy to bring to the local children’s hospital. I gladly bagged up my goodies for them. Okay, I admit I kept a few bags of M ‘n M’s and a couple mini Snicker’s bars, but handed the rest over to the girls. They saved me a trip! And it occurred to me that trick-or-treating for leftover Halloween candy to donate to a good cause would be an excellent activity for kids on National Candy Day.
My work has been done for me! How will you celebrate the day?
Photo Courtesy of Easy Weekly Meals.