Trimming the Treats

My kids are grown and gone, so I don’t have the “problem” of too much candy dragged home on Halloween. I say problem in quotes, because they hated my favorites, so I always got a good share of the haul. I don’t have the problem of my eating the candy I buy for neighborhood kids, because we live back in the woods; anybody who came trick-or-treating back here, I’d be afraid to open the door to. In other words, I don’t buy candy for trick-or-treaters, because we don’t have them.

BUT, I’m all about public service, so this post is about trimming down the amount of candy after the haul is brought in. Thanks to Kristi Approved (The Body Blog) for this post idea and the candy buy-back alert.

Our kids loved to gloat over their haul. They emptied out their candy buckets and arranged the candy. Sorted it by kind, by most-liked to least-liked (I got those), by size, by how long it took to eat it. Encourage your kids to do this. A big part of the joy of the candy is reveling in the sheer quantity of it. It also lets you get a handle on what they have and how much. Let them indulge in a (reasonable) candy orgy that night. November 1, you can start culling.

How much candy a day do you consider reasonable? One piece? Two? Three? Decide, then announce it to the kids. Give each one a clear plastic bag with his/her name on it. Let each child start with the “best” treat and count out pieces to last through the end of November. Then they need to lay off, so they’ll be ripe for Christmas. 🙂 Whatever is left is disposed of.


You can take it to a homeless shelter, a children’s home, a soup kitchen, a food pantry, a nursing home, a police station or the nurses’ station of a hospital.

You can go to the Halloween Candy Buy-Back site and see if there’s a dentist in your area who pays kids for candy, then sends the candy they buy to military support groups.

If there’s no buy-back site in your area, you can go directly to the Operation Gratitude page or Aunt Nancy USA and find out how to send it yourselves.

Have the kids help you package the candy in small bags and think about one thing they like about the adults they know, have them write those thoughts on cards, put the cards in the bags, and give the bags to those adults. The adults will appreciate the thought, even if they don’t like the candy.

Visit Green Halloween for more great ideas! Link courtesy of Dani Greer’s post at Little Pickle Press.

What are some other ways to trim the treats?

WRITING PROMPT: What is your main character’s favorite candy (or sweet, or bad-for-you treat)?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Trimming the Treats

  1. Leslie R. Lee

    October 28, 2010 at 11:31am

    Good thing Halloween is this weekend. I’m almost through the giant Costco bags we bought. They should just call it HalloDiabetes. A real horror.

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  2. Patricia Stoltey

    October 28, 2010 at 7:07pm

    We don’t buy candy for Trick or Treaters any more. But if I did, I would buy packets of candy corn for the little kids, and yummy truffles for my protagonist and me.

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  3. Enid Wilson

    October 28, 2010 at 8:30pm

    I’m trying to cut down from a small package of M&M to just 5 pieces for a day. Crying here.

    My Darcy Mutates…

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 28, 2010 at 8:49pm

      Oh, Enid, I weep with you! I went on a diet that worked once. It’s totally doable, but everybody in the USA and possibly Canada conspire to sabotage you. But it feels SO GOOD to conquer the weight. I started my exercise regimen again, but my mother had a series of serious health issues that took me out of it. When I come back from Magna cum Murder mystery convention this weekend, I hope to combine National Novel Writing Month with another go at the exercise.

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  4. Holly Jahangiri

    October 29, 2010 at 9:40am

    Wonderful ideas, all of them! They’re all new to me, too.

    For better or worse, I think we’re skipping trick-or-treating this year. I hate to tell my kids “you’re too old for this,” but now that even the 14 year old is over 6′ tall, I think it’s best if they stay on this side of the door and hand out the treats.

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  5. Brad Loan

    December 10, 2010 at 8:41am

    I grew up with everything focused on Christmas Eve, we would bring in and decorate the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve, go to Christmas Sauna inside the evening, and afterwards open the presents. No bedtime either, but I would typically fall asleep playing just before morning came. Christmas Day was spent doing not a heck of a whole lot, eating what was leftover from Christmas Eve dinner, having fun with new toys and such things. Now that we have our own kids, our traditions are a mish-mash of nordic, german and north american traditions. The children put their shoes out on the windowsill throughout nights leading to Christmas, and Santa fills them with candy. Christmas Eve is family christmas time, so we do presents at my inlaws with my wife’s family. Christmas morning is santa present time. Christmas dinner is moved to Christmas Day.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 10, 2010 at 9:57am

      I love the bringing-in-the-tree on Christmas Eve. 🙂 I’ve tried that, but my husband is the one who has to cut the tree and bring it in, and he wants to bring it in when he has time and inclination–hardly surprising. I finally decided to just get a freakin’ artificial tree and not fight it. Did you say, “Go to Christmas Sauna”?

      Do you have a pickle ornament on your Christmas tree?

      We have so many blended families, it’s sometimes hard to squeeze everything in. Spouses each want to spend time with THEIR families, naturally, ex-spouses want time with the children, my husband’s late wife’s family has “adopted” me and my daughter. We go to my husband’s family on Christmas Eve–my mother, my only close living relative, comes with us–then we gather at a daughter’s house to give gifts to the children (adults don’t get gifts; we give the money to The Heifer Project). Then Christmas Eve church. Christmas morning, as you said, is for the kids to have Santa presents for THEIR kids in their own homes, then we go to my husband’s late wife’s family for Christmas Day.

      Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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  6. Cathie Haithcock

    December 19, 2010 at 6:31pm

    Easiest ways to shed weight?i am 12 and i weigh 215 lbs .. i want to tell the truth with my own self and reduce weight. i would like to be healthful. just how do i eliminate fats effectively? i want to target all of it over. just what are the greatest diet pills? best exercises? greatest body fat targetting foods? please all replies to provide support! anything!! quickest possible way!!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 19, 2010 at 8:21pm

      Sweetie, there is no HEALTHY way to lose weight quickly. It takes a long time to take weight off and keep it off. Don’t do diet pills or crash diets. The sure way is to eat less and exercise more. Cut meat and dairy way down or completely out. Cut down on sugars (including fructose and especially high fructose corn syrup), oils and white flour. Eat mostly whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

      Use a smaller plate, so smaller portions look bigger. Eat slowly, so you feel full before you reach for seconds. Walk more. Go up and down stairs. Don’t exercise until you hurt, just start out pushing yourself a tiny bit–do a treadmill for two minutes, for example. When two minutes is easy, do three, then five, then ten, then work up to twenty. Be sure to stretch before and after exercise, to get your muscles limber.

      You WILL lose weight all over, but you’ll SEEM to lose in your face and hands first, because you have less fat deposited there. It’s a little disconcerting, for everybody to be telling you you’re too thin when you still can’t fit into the size clothes you want to, but they’re looking at your face, which WILL look thin. Stick with it, and you’ll keep losing.

      Good luck, sweetie, and let me know how it goes.

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