Sweet Baby is over a year old now and we have to start making critical choices on what we want holidays to look like for our little family.
Refusing to settle for the overexposed, commercialized load of crap being fed to us, we’ll have to be more thoughtful and creative. It is finally the opportunity I have always wished for where I can effect positive change in my small little sliver of the world, and watch as those positive ripples flow .
Over the years I have gotten my families to make a Christmas gift instead of buying one; a now cherished holiday tradition. But alas, there are other holidays we celebrate, and I want my daughter to know things other than the thoughtless consumerism that surrounds many American holiday traditions and celebrations.
I want her to know that Halloween can be more than just candy, Easter is more than dyeing eggs, and Christmas, is about togetherness and giving from the heart, not because society tells you to should.
I’m not an expert on these topics, but they are topics that have intrigued, troubled and coralled much of my thoughts long before I was a mama. It is in these early formative years that I begin to create lasting traditions for our family that will impact my child and shape how she thinks and feels about celebrations.
A heavy responsiblity for any parent, indeed.
Halloween is a holiday that has been on my mind for quite some time. It is by far one of my personal favorites; because dress-up, spider webs, witches and cauldrons, black cats, (I love you Bubba Joe), and cemeteries are some of my favorite things. Ever seen the movie Hocus Pocus? I want to live there 🙂 But, aside from the whimsy of it all, there is that pesky candy to deal with… Elephant in a room, anyone?
Have you ever met the Switch Witch?
The “Switch Witch” was recommended to me by our ND’s office while I was searching for a solution to solve the copious-amounts-of-white-poison (candy)-dilemma. You see, I want my kid to feel normal. Well, to a point, anyway. (Being “weird” is a vital part of existence in my opinion).
I want her to have the trick-or-treating experience with her friends, but not damage her body with the white-poison she accrues.
I want her to dress up, knock on doors, run through wet grass and real spiderwebs at night with her friends; get scared-and then giggle; use her imagination and smell the scent of a crisp fall evening while running from house-to-house in a mad dash to collect the goods.
So here’s my solution:
- Trick-or-Treat as usual.
- Before bed, prepare your “offering” for the Switch Witch. Place all of your candy in a bag and depending on the child’s age, write a note to the Switch Witch or decorate the bag. Make it special somehow.
- Have the child leave the candy in a designated place where the Switch Witch can find it.
- While the child sleeps, exchange the candy for a REALLY GOOD TOY. This will vary by age. It’s not to enforce more consumerism, but to exchange one “special” thing for another. The idea is to trade in all of your candy for ONE thing the child really wants.
The concept is similar to The Tooth Fairy. And I’ve heard it works! There are so many ways to modify this idea. make it your own family tradition in a way that works for your family. Don’t want to trade ALL of the candy? Don’t. Just trade half or most. Want to receive a few small toys? By all means.
Since this will be Sweet Baby’s first year going out, we probably won’t need to “switch” her, because the only candy she collects will likely be from the one or two houses she trick-or-treats at, which will be my friend’s house– and they won’t be offering candy. 🙂
Next year though, it will be time to get serious, and we will introduce the Switch Witch straight away!
I do forsee a few snags in my plan, that I hope to have sorted out by then. I fear the inevitable questions that I currently don’t have answers to:
- “Mom,” what does the Switch Witch do with the candy? (This is the big one for me)
- “Mom,” if candy is bad for you, why does the Switch Witch want it?
- “Moooooom,” can I puhleeeeease keep some/a lot of my candy?
Clearly, I’ve got to get my back story in order.
Any ideas? Does your family use the Switch Witch? Please share your insights in the comments below, or let’s connect on facebook!
For my family, the Switch Witch is a practical and healthful alternative to the part of this fun holiday that we do not subscribe to. It is a solution for our family, but may not be for everyone. I’ve got an advantage starting the Switch Witch from birth; I know that. I’m curious to see if anyone implements this in older children and how the transition goes. Share your stories so that all can benefit! 🙂
Good Luck, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
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YES! I love this idea!! I think I will try it this year on my 3 & 5 year olds. And my back story (similar to why the tooth fairy wants teeth – because, ewe – ) is that the switch witch needs the candy/sugar so she can turn it into witchy dust that will transform into happy thoughts, or good dreams, or good deeds. Take your pick. Thanks for the great idea – and for all the great ideas!!! <3 your blog. 🙂
Great idea, Jaim! I knew you’d help me 😉
P.S. Let me know how it goes!
Very cool idea! I will be sharing this with friends.
Witches houses are made of candy. She needs as much candy as she can get to build her house/make repairs
Great idea, Mckell! Thanks 🙂
I’ve never heard of the Switch Witch, but last year we started trading our kids (then 4yo and 5yo) their candy for a toy they chose – price limited, of course. This year, my eldest started talking about what she would get for trading in her candy before Halloween, and before I had talked about it. My son was so excited with the toy he chose that he wanted to trade early on – I give them a day or two to binge, depending on what day of the week Halloween is – before trading, so they feel they get candy, but they don’t get much of it, or for long. This year we’ve already traded in, and they’re happy to play with their toys while they watch me eat their candy. So far as they are concerned, it’s not theirs anymore and they have something better than it.
Great news, Janet! 😉