With the welcome arrival of cooler temperatures and October in sight, our thoughts turn to planning Halloween festivities, choosing costumes, and trick-or-treating with our children. Do you know how trick-or-treating got its start?
Its beginnings can be traced back to Britain and All Souls' Day when poor villagers would go from door to door beseeching homeowners for treats called, "soul cakes". During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the emphasis shifted from treats to tricks as Halloween became a night of mischief for young people, performing pranks and minor vandalism.
The tradition of giving a treat or getting tricked emerged in the 1930's. Today, the holiday focuses almost entirely on treats, much to the delight of our children and the dismay of many parents. A creative and fun way to prevent sugar overload may be found in a visit from the "Candy Fairy". My girlfriends and I introduced this new tradition when our kids were young and it's been a bit hit with many children ever sense. Here's how it works: At the end of the evening, explain to your child(ren) that you've heard a "Candy Fairy" has been spotted around the neighborhood tonight. Explain that she wants all children to share their candy with other kids who were unable to trick-or-treat. Allow your children to enjoy some of their loot on Halloween night, but before going to bed, encourage them to leave the remainder for the Fairy. Say something like, "To thank you for sharing with others, the "Candy Fairy" will leave you a small gift in exchange for your candy." (This is a fun compilation of filled Christmas stockings and money under your pillow from the Tooth Fairy.) "Now, let's place our buckets/bags of candy in front of the fireplace, or near the back door. When you get up tomorrow, you'll discover what the Fairy left for you!" Remember to pick-up a small gift ahead of time so you can seamlessly make the switch before morning.
Finally, discretely place all candy out of sight inside the trunk or back of your vehicle. This will help you remember to take it to church, a local hospital, or fire station. The "Candy Fairy" can be a welcome addition to your Halloween traditions. You'll feel better knowing all that candy is out of your house (and in my case, out of my mouth) and your child will be so excited to anticipate a gift from the Fairy. Have fun and stay safe.
Kirsten Berger Coaching