Holidays Vivian | 30 Nov 2010 11:52 am

Trick Or Treat – A Better Treat Than Candy

After editing a book on diabetes for a client, and learning about the complications of this horrible disease, I could not in good conscious give sugary treats to my little visitors this year.

The kids who come to our door this Halloween are in for a surprise. No, we are not boycotting the holiday, but the kids will get a special treat when they visit us. I’m not giving away candy or anything to advance tooth decay or lead kids toward having to deal with diabetes, which is at an epidemic level already. Nope. They are getting something fun and useful. My husband and I walked to the discount store in our neighborhood this afternoon. I told him we were going to get something for our trick-or-treater so, naturally he thought we were getting candy. We walked into the store and he headed straight to the candy aisle. While he went exploring and doing some detailed research on chocolate, I went to the school and office supply section to gather items for our trick-or-treaters. I found bargains and managed to get enough things to serve two hundred kids of all ages for less than $30. Anything that is leftover will go to good use rather than ending up as extra pounds on my hips! Here is a list of items you can give as an alternative to sweet stuff. Many come with several in a pack.

  • popcorn (four per pack)
  • stickers (separate the sheets or cut into segments)
  • note pads (there were three in a pack for a dollar)
  • pens (I got ten per pack)
  • pencils (twenty per pack)
  • erasers (twenty-five per pack)
  • balloons (twenty-five per bag)
  • party blowers and other party favors
  • crayon packs (twenty-four per pack for 59 cents)
  • post it notes
  • hair decorations for the girls
  • army soldiers for the guys
  • trading cards

The teenage guy at the checkout counter didn’t think it was such a good idea. “Halloween is all about getting candy,” he said. “No, it’s actually about honoring our deceased loved ones,” I replied. “Getting a gift at the door of a stranger is secondary.” My husband just shook his head as he put his chocolate on the counter. “What about him? He gets candy, but the kids don’t?” “I can’t do anything about him,” I said. “He’s an adult who knows better.” Once I got home and opened all the packages, I made three separate bowls and filled each one with items organized by age appropriateness from youngest to teenagers. When we answer the door, I will simply pick up the bowl with the prizes most likely to please the visitor. I’m really looking forward to sharing my surprises!

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