Apparently, there are phases to Halloween candy acquisition in my house—
First there’s collecting (trick-or-treating).
Then the assessing (dumping it on the kitchen table to see what you got).
Then categorizing (chocolate vs colorful vs wrappers).
Then the trading (minimally successful).
And then the consuming (OK, the consuming was done throughout the entire process).
It’s a fun family activity!
It was a ball watching my kids’ excitement with each house (will it be “good” stuff?), learning the hierarchy of candy for each kid (100 Grand bars were big this year), noting their negotiating skills and enjoying their enjoyment.
Once the fun was settled by the sugar coma, I was struck by the sheer volume of the sweet stuff.
The question quickly becomes: what to do with it all?
Do you let your kids eat their entire haul—even eventually? Will it be dangerous environmental-control-wise to keep any of it in the house?
If the decision is to get rid of it, here are 3 ways:
1. Switch Witch—something I heard of only a few years ago is the “Switch Witch”. The kids pack up their candy and put it under their pillow then the “Switch Witch” exchanges it for a coveted non-food prize. Clever, right?
2. Donate—our school has a bin in which a Girl Scout troop collects the extra candy and packages it up to send to our troops overseas. Maybe your community has this too. Win/win.
3. Trash it—use the good old-fashioned garbage can. I know this one can be tricky—it can feel difficult to throw away “perfectly good” food. But I always visualize this: Either it goes in the garbage can or I’m deciding my body is the garbage can. No brainer.
After the candy evaluation, my sweet kids gifted some candy to us parents—our favorites. I gratefully accepted, enjoyed a few, and packaged up the rest for “later”.
I woke this morning knowing what I have to do: I have to throw away my booty.
The bottom line is: I don’t want to eat any more candy.
There is nothing evil about candy. It can be enjoyed responsibly and without undesired consequences, but I know from experience that having it around is not easy.
And it won’t support my thoughtful decision.
Now, why did this occur to me in the morning and not last night?
It’s the same reason we can feel determined about our commitment to eat well all day, but find that by 4:00pm our behaviors fall short.
We wake in the morning refreshed. Our well is full, but by the afternoon emails and traffic and meetings and errands have depleted that well. We no longer can make the same decisions we could at 7:00am. It's unfair to expect this of yourself. Instead we must PLAN for it.
So listen to the wise morning voice—then go about supporting the idea. Make the list, toss the junk, pack your lunch. Then arrange for some restful, replenishing activity in the afternoon that doesn’t require much decision-making.
You never regret what you didn’t eat—let that thought pass through your head as you gaze out the window from your couch this afternoon.