How to Handle Halloween at Any Age
By Debbie Koenig
After more than 40 Halloweens, almost 20 of them as a Lifetime Member, I have a pretty good handle on how to get through the holiday. And more important, how to enjoy it, without going gaga over goodies.
If you’re attending a grown-up Halloween party:
- Decide ahead of time how much, or if, you’ll drink. Alcoholic beverages will cost you a minimum of 3 SmartPoints® value, and that’s before you add mixers. Plus, liquor’s inhibition-loosening effect can lead you to eat more than you intend.
- Similarly, decide if you want to indulge in any Halloween treats. Don’t dive right in immediately — you’ll enjoy it that much more if you’re anticipating the pleasure for a while. In the meantime, position yourself as far from the food as possible.
- Be a good guest and bring along a platter of crudités or cut-up fruit, to ensure there’ll be something you can eat with abandon.
If you’re staying home and expect trick-or-treaters:
- Don’t buy candy until Halloween day. The less time it spends in your possession, the better.
- Buy a type you’re not especially fond of, or one that takes a while to eat (like lollipops).
- If you still have plenty left when the teens show up, let them take as much as they want. Your goal is to have no candy left before the last ghoul passes by.
If you’re taking your elementary school kid door-to-door:
- Talk with your child ahead of time about trick-or-treating, how much fun it is to gather candy one night of the year. The idea is to plant the seed that this is an extremely rare occurrence, not something to expect regularly.
- With younger kids who believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, consider introducing them to the Switch Witch, the kindly hag who visits while they’re sleeping and trades their candy for a prize. (I wrote about that idea for Parents a while back, if you want more detail.)
- Another option is to parcel out the candy, just one or two pieces a day until they forget about the whole thing. I was never a fan of this approach, since I found it too hard to resist the container I stowed high enough that my son couldn’t reach, but was still easy for me to grab.
Read more Picky Kid, Busy Mom.