I looooooove Halloween!
Seriously. Even as an adult, I love going to Halloween parties and seeing what kind of crazy costumes everybody comes up with. This year, I am going as Captain America and Kevin is going as Ironman. Avery was supposed to be Spiderman, but he changed his mind and went with a koala at the last minute. He is two so he is allowed to do things like that.
Seeing Avery in that furry little Koala costume and hearing him say “tick-or-tweat” as he holds out his orange pumpkin for a piece of candy just melts my heart and I would never want to deny him to opportunity to go trick-or-treating. It’s just part of being a kid!
But, I don’t love a giant basket of leftover Halloween candy sitting around my house for months.
Halloween is ONE DAY and I am totally down with letting Avery choose a few of his absolute favorite pieces of candy to enjoy after he has roamed through the neighborhood and filled his plastic pumpkin with treats. Heck, I may even let him have a piece with breakfast the next morning!
After that, though, I want that leftover Halloween candy Out. Of. My. House. My food philosophy is that if you are eating healthy, whole foods most of the time, you’ve got a little wiggle room for a treat now and then. A giant basket of candy, however, can quickly turn “now and then” into a daily routine of sugary treats all day long. I’m not just talking about kids, either. If that leftover Halloween candy is in the house, it’s going to be hard to resist, whether you are 3 or 30.
I’ve got a few ideas that will keep Halloween fun, without making it all about the candy.
Trade it in
I listed this option first because this is what we actually plan to do in our home with Avery. After we let him choose a few pieces (and sneak a couple for ourselves), I plan on getting him all excited to “trade in” his candy for something he really wants like a new toy or a roll of pennies to put in his piggy bank. This could turn into an annual tradition! Sure, kids love candy, but I bet there is something (budget-friendly) out there that they’d be willing to give it up for. What to do with the candy once it’s been traded in? Try one of the following ideas!
I am sure there are similar services out there, but the one I’m most familiar with because it is offered in my local community is the Halloween Candy Buyback. This program benefits Operation Gratitude, and organization that ships care packages to veterans, first responders, wounded warriors, and service members deployed overseas You can find shipping information on their website, but the most popular method is to donate it at a local participating dentist’s office. When you visit the site, just enter your zip code and find a location close to you.
Time to get out the hot glue gun! Why not turn that leftover Halloween candy into a work of art? Break out some construction paper and markers and let your kids use their candy to create a mixed media masterpiece. M&M’s would make great eyes, candy corn could be turkey feathers and a row of Laffy Taffy could be a city skyline. Let your kids get creative , see what they come up with and display it proudly!
Make an autumn centerpiece
Last year, I stalked the Halloween clearance candy to make a cute centerpiece for my dining room table. This year, I may just save my money and borrow Avery’s candy. Take a clear vase and fill it to the top with candy for a fun fall centerpiece. I like the idea of filling the entire vase with candy corn (hello, fall colors!), but you could also throw in a mixture of candy to fit your chosen color scheme. Super cute!
Save it for a gingerbread house
I still get together with my Mom and sister every year to decorate a gingerbread house. Our gingerbread houses are so comically horrible and they sometimes fall down before the night is even over. At least we have a good time doing it. One thing about those gingerbread decorating kits, though, is that there is never enough candy. Why not save some of your Halloween candy to decorate your gingerbread house this year? Gluing on the candy with that messy, sticky icing is the most fun part so more candy = more fun.
If all else fails, the break room at work is the best place to drop off unwanted candy, baked goods or anything else you want to disappear with a quickness. Instead of being stuck with an entire basket of candy that you don’t even really want, you can spread the love and let everybody fight over their favorites.