Go Ahead -- Take Candy From a Baby

Photo: Carrie Kirby

If Santa brings your children candy in their Christmas stockings, now is the time for Santa to shop. All the premature holiday decorations in the stores will get you in the mood, but the real draw is the left-over Halloween candy, now being sold at 50 percent off or better at discount stores. Some candy has Halloween motifs on the individual packages, but much of it does not. Do children really care if their Hershey's kisses are red and green colored? Not at my house.

Stash the candy in the freezer -- try using an opaque plastic container labeled "beets" or something your children find equally unappetizing -- and it should taste just fine come the holidays. To be honest, you wouldn't even have to freeze it. You can bet that the candy actually being marketed for Christmas stockings has already been produced. In fact, some if it is already sitting there on the store shelves, and more of it will come out as soon as they unload the Halloween candy at half price.

One of my girlfriends takes candy frugality a step farther. She waits until her little ones have gone to bed on Halloween night, and then she thins out the loot they received and stashes some in the freezer for Christmas stocking use. Of course, this will not work on children over 5 or 6, but it works with her preschoolers.

What, you say? Only an evil mom would steal the bounty these kids worked hard to collect all over the neighborhood. Wellllll ... it's a matter of perspective. She and I both feel that even in short walks around the neighborhood on Halloween night, our small children get way more candy than they should be eating. Add that to the sweets our kids received from well-meaning grandparents, and we have enough candy in the house to last until Christmas, when the deluge starts anew.

At this age, trick-or-treating is more about the fun experience than it is about eating the spoils. Personally, I don't put candy in the stockings, because my kids' grandparents give them more than enough on every holiday. So I won't be saving the Halloween treats for the sock.

However, I cannot guarantee there will not be a certain amount of, er, shrinkage of the stash. Affecting mainly the chocolate candy, especially that of the Reece's and Hershey variety, this shrinkage generally occurs between the hours of bedtime and 11 p.m.

What can I say? It's a spooky Halloween mystery.

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Guest's picture

We too thin out our kids' halloween "take". We also take a little something off the top for our... troubles.

Guest's picture

Stealing candy from the kids after Halloween?

Unbelievable, so how do you hope to raise honest kids then?

Linsey Knerl's picture

hmmm... my kids are given up-front disclosures and hold-harmless agreements that they have to have signed and notarized prior to any "thinning" of the candy supply...

Are you kidding? If it's an issue of honesty, you could just explain to the kids prior to going out that they will be limited to the amount they are allowed to keep and eat.  As a parent, I doubt it would be any different than going into your kids rooms and "stealing" something they really shouldn't have in there in the first place.  

I think you would be hard-pressed to find too many parents who are against the ritual of reallocating the candy wealth.  My home is not a democracy.  I'm the boss, my kids know that, end of story.

Great article Carrie! 

Guest's picture

My dad always called it "taxes." So yes, he was upfront about it. When my kids are older I will be upfront too. At this point she just doesn't know any better and I don't say anything about it.

Actually, my daughter is pretty generous at age 3. On Halloween night after she went to bed I ate two Hershey bars and left the wrappers on the coffee table. The next day saw the wrappers and asked, "Who ate two Hershey bars?" and I confessed that I did. She said, "Ok."

Guest's picture

I thin out my sons, but I take the chocolate bars, kisses and m&m's, pieces etc. and use them for holiday cookies. I stick all the candy in a freezer bag and use them on top of or in cookie mixes. I save all the lollipops for the candy jar and give those out for surprise once in a while or for a road trip. He doesn't even miss it.

Myscha Theriault's picture

That's a great idea. Another cool tip for extra chocolate is to chop it up in the blender or food processor and use it to top the frosting on cakes or to roll truffles in. Really elegant. Making homemade toffee with the extra chocolate is also a fun fancy treat with a little extra splash. Can you tell I'm addicted to this particular stretch of holidays?

Guest's picture

I do the exact same thing. In fact, we have kid's birthdays right after Christmas as well and we recylce any candy that does not look like Halloween or Christmas candy for use in the stockings at Christmas and for the birthday party treat bags as well. The other thing I do (as we have 3 kids and lots of candy) is donate extra candy and trinkety toys to our church to give as prizes in Sunday School.