In Defense of Candy

This is it people! Crunch time! We have only three days left until Halloween, that glorious, annual, sugar-soaked epitome of childhood joy. Is there really anything about this holiday that is not perfect for children? You get to play dress-up. You get to use your imagination and play pretend. You get to hang out with both family and friends. Everywhere you go, people hand you the one thing that you covet most, and are always told you cannot have: CANDY! For one shining moment, you are complete. Or at least you would have been if there were not an attack coming on this most pure expression of childhood.

I was perusing my local Front Porch Forum posts the other day, when I saw the scariest Halloween notice I have ever come across. Someone stated that their house would not be giving away candy on October 31st, but would instead be handing out healthy snacks. Obviously I dismissed this as the ranting of a deranged lunatic, and assumed that this announcement would be met with scorn and derision. You will be horrified to learn that this was not the case.

The next day’s installment of FPF contained not one, but several messages from local citizens stating that they too would not be distributing candy on Halloween. There were other people chiming in words of thanks for these brave people, and wondered if perhaps there was a way to know which houses would not have candy, the better to ruin their children’s experience. Seriously people?! Have we fallen this far?!

Let me say to you that candy, I will admit, is a sometimes food. If your child eats candy every day, not only does it ruin the magic of the special Halloween treats, but it is probably also not good for their health. I’m no health food nut, but I will concede that candy every day is not good. But it is not a never food. And my feeling (and this is only an assumption, I will admit) is that the parents who are pushing for no candy on Halloween are not the type who feed their kids candy every day. But do they not know what a treat is? Do they not know the joys of occasional excess? Is there no room in their life for mischief and adventure?

There is an argument to be made that Halloween can still be fun without candy. That dressing up and wandering around the neighborhood with your friends is fun enough for everyone. This is a load of crap. Getting pretzels and pencils for trick-or-treat is the equivalent of getting only socks and underwear for Christmas, and no toys. Yeah, a pretzel or two is okay, but if that is the majority of what is in your sack then why even bother to go out? If I run downstairs on December 25th knowing that I am only getting tighty whiteys in all of those packages, opening them will hold far less appeal. Well, for kids anyway. As an adult, I do hope to get mostly socks and underwear in my stocking. Socks and underwear rule!

My point is this. If you don’t want your kids to eat candy, don’t send them trick-or-treating. Or rather, like so many evil parents out there, let your kids go out, and then eat most of the candy yourself. I have heard rumors of a vile candy fairy that steals candy from children. There are plenty of options for giving your kids less candy while not ruining it for the rest of us. And please, unless they have an actual health concern like diabetes or a serious allergy, let your kids have at least some candy. They’re kids, and this is a sometimes occasion. It’s only once a year. And as for my kids, they’ll be gorging themselves on as much sugar as they can stomach come November 1st. That is, unless you don’t give them any, in which case we will spend November 1st giving you some tricks. You have been warned.

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Posted in Candy, Children, Halloween, Parenting.

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