By Guest Blogger Amanda Stahl
If you ask my kids what their favorite holidays might be, they’ll yell out with excitement … Christmas, Easter and Halloween! Halloween is around the corner, and I remember clearly from last year a quadruple dose of trick-or-treating: at school, our community party, going door-to-door at our neighborhood and our friend’s neighborhood. Luckily Sammy Switch Witch arrived after they went to bed. Just like Santa or the Tooth Fairy, Sammy will visit my kids after they have gone to sleep and switch their candy for prizes that will make my kids happy in the morning and makes me happy, too! This year I’m inviting Sammy the Switch Witch over again!!!
Are you familiar with the Switch Witch? The Switch Witch is a good witch that visits your home on the night of Halloween, usually after the children go to sleep, and she swaps all of the Halloween candy and leaves a toy(s) instead. The beauty of the Switch Witch story is that it is not part of the traditional Halloween mythology so you can adapt it to your family’s needs. If you are concerned about your child’s weight or nutrition, (or your own!) this makes it easy to remove temptation.
We’ve been doing Sammy Switch Witch for few years. I love Halloween as much as my kids. I love the costumes, and who can resist the siren song of mini-Kit Kat’s? But I sure don’t fancy the toothache, tummy ache and not to mention what all the artificial colors & high fructose corn syrup do to your body. You can be sure to blame that for your kids jumping from couch to couch and doing the best headstand, even better than you’ve ever done.
At our house, after they have collected enough candy, I go through it to make sure that it is safe to eat. The kids then get to indulge for that evening. I do remind them about Sammy’s visit several weeks ahead of time so there is no disappointment. I also ask them what they would like Sammy to bring. The idea of Switch Witch is not to spend a lot of money on more toys. It should be something small that doesn’t cost a lot of money. Something that your child can use. This year both of my kids asked for books.
So parents…are you ready to try it yourself? I have a few tips to get the broomstick flying:
• You still have time to plant the seed. Decide what do you want your Switch Witch to achieve. Don’t wait until you kids are putting on their costume to mention it.
• Prizes don’t have to be big or expensive. Remember how happy your kid is to get a toy from gumball machine? Consider stickers, crayons, quarters, or small toy from dollar store…as long as your kids find it roughly equivalent to the amount of candy they traded.
• If you are like me … out of sight out of mind. Consider getting that candy out of the house. Donate to the food pantry, women’s shelter, or take to a local dentist where they will trade for cash. Bring it to work so your coworker can enjoy it.
The main thing to pull this off is to not go gleefully snatching all their candy and replacing it with a toothbrush and dental floss. This isn’t about taking all the fun out of Halloween! It is about helping kids to understand that fun doesn’t have to mean food.