Today marks Noah's 4th Halloween and Tait's 2nd. It also marks the 4th one in which we have not taken our kids trick-or-treating.
I've had several family members and friends ask if we are dressing the boys up and taking them out this year; if they are looking forward to Halloween; what they want to be this year.
"They don't know what Halloween is", I reply each time. "They don't get candy and sugar and don't know what most of it is."
It's not that I don't have fond memories of my Dad driving us to many of their friends' houses when we were younger, knocking on doors in our cute little home-made Clown, Ragetti Ann and Andy, Bunny, Two Headed Monster (a classic, may I add!) costumes. Then, when we were older we sported the "in" costumes such as "Punk Rocker" and the like. I remember my costume included heals so high once, my Dad had to run home partway through our "route" to get me something practical. I even remember standing on our bathroom scale to weigh myself. Then, hop off grab my pillow case of candy and re-weigh myself to see how much loot we brought in that year.
It's not that I don't think that little ones dressed up as pumpkins, supermen, or cats aren't adorable.
And, it's not that we don't have 2 sweet costumes handed down to us a couple of years ago sitting in the boys' closest upstairs. Actually, they wear them frequently...just for fun.
It's not that I am disturbed by the evil or demonic portrayal that can become evident among some Halloween circles.
It's simply the fact that, in this day in age where, as of 2008 The #1 Leading Cause Of Preventable Death In The USA Is Obesity, I am concerned by the amount of necessary junk our kids take in. (Canada is not far behind on that stat, by the way.) Yes, we now choose to harm ourselves, end our lives even, by what we consciously put in our mouths.
I don't believe that my kids fall into that classification. I don't think that one evening of going around and being given candy is going to push them over the edge either. However, I do think that each action has a consequence. Each decision does make a difference.
We choose applesauce and an extra banana, over the sugar and oil in our Banana Bread. We eat red peppers before supper instead of ritz or gold fish (they're not to be found in our pantry anyway). We make our pizza dough from scratch and top it with mushrooms, onions, meat and cheese. We lace our food with flax...and grate carrot finely into grilled cheese sandwhiches.
While I look forward to my kids choosing their own costumes as they grow older. I want to preserve these years of sugar-free living. I think it can be fun but right now, for us, I don't see the point.
So tonight when our 5 camp staff kids come trick-or-treating - and they will be our only ones...because we live on "old folks road" in the middle of "rural-ville" with only 2 street lights...it's a waste of time down at this end of town- we will be handing out a sweet but healthy homemade treat:
Honey Butter Crunch.
A Cheerio, Popcorn, Walnut combo. Clustered together thanks to melted honey and butter...with a few Candy Corn thrown in for festive colour.