By: Heather Desmond O’Neill
Call me a glutton for punishment. We’ve incorporated one more “tradition” in our house around a holiday. The Tooth Fairy has made a few visits lately. Buddy the Elf leaves magic Christmas Pajamas on Christmas Eve. Lucky the Leprechaun has made a few appearances around St. Patrick’s Day. The Easter Bunny never fails. And most recently, The Switch Witch has made an appearance.
The Switch Witch comes to town after Halloween (or after any of those parades where they obnoxiously throw tons and tons of junk candy at the kids, causing them to fight over who got what and whose turn it is to pick out which candy to eat. I can’t stand the bags of cheap candy that seem to last forever.)
If you leave your candy for the Switch Witch, she will leave you some sort of gift in return.
“What happens if I don’t leave my candy for her?” my six-year-old asks.
“She just takes it and you get nothing. She is a witch, after all,” I reply.
We started this a few years ago and so far it’s worked pretty well. The kids choose a few pieces of candy to keep for themselves. We’ve settled on whatever age you are is the number of candies you can keep.
Then they choose a spot to leave the bucket/bag for the Switch Witch and she leaves something in return. Last year she left new light up toys. This year she left Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cups, plates and utensils.
When the boys found their “gifts” this morning, one cried, “This is AWESOME! We can use these all the time! So much better than candy that you can only eat once!” The other cried, “We’re rich!” (Not so sure he gets what that really means, but we’ll go with it.)
I don’t want to deprive my kids of their Halloween candy, but I don’t want them eating it all either. This way they have a few pieces, we stash some of the good stuff for the adults (the rest I bring to work), and the boys get something in return for their donation. Win-win all the way around.
Yes, it’s one more thing to remember, but seeing their true joy over plates and cups rather than candy truly is worth the extra effort.