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We made a quick trip to Costco yesterday with Trick or Treat goodies on the shopping list. I am always conflicted about the ethics of giving away things that I wouldn’t eat myself, but just turning out the lights seems a bit Scrooge-ish and not likely to endear us to the neighborhood urchins. We don’t get many, since we live in a rural area, but I just can’t bear to disappoint them after they walk up the long, dark driveway to our door.

Most parents are no longer willing to let their kids eat home-made treats or fresh fruit from their bags. What to do? I looked for individually packaged nuts. No luck. Small bags of popcorn without bad fats. Nope. Xylitol-sweetened chewing gum, packets of sugar-free cocoa mix. None of those either. Small dark-chocolate bars. Not even any of those. Finally, my husband suggested Peanut M&Ms. They’re not all candy and the peanut part is real food. They are less bad than the alternatives, so that is my compromise this year. Next time I’ll start looking for a better solution while there is time to order something online. Promise.


(C) 2008, Judy Barnes Baker
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  1. I save coins in a jar all year and give them out at Halloween. I have been doing this for years. Nell

  2. I have the same dilemma. In the past I've handed out packs of sugarless gum. This year I went to the dollar store and bought packs of decorated pencils and small notepads. I emptied the packs into a big bowl and set it out (we were out trick – or- treating with our son.

    Our son (aged 11) still enjoys trick – or – treating with his friends so we allow it. But, we have a "chocolate only" policy. When he gets home, we sort through the "loot" and toss everything edible that isn't chocolate (the lollypops, hard candies, taffies, bubble gum, etc.). About a third remains, and we keep that in the kitchen where I can keep tabs on it. He has one piece after his lunch and one piece after dinner. I know it's still too much sugar because most all of the chocolate is milk chocolate, but it's a compromise I can live with. We've done this for the past -4 years and he's pretty reasonable about it.

  3. Until my hearing made me stop,I could not hear themknocking. I always gave money, a dime to the average trick or treater, and more for the special ones, neighbors and friends. For the family, I went to the bank a week or two beforehand, and got $2 bills, that made them squeal, as most had never seen one.

  4. Hi Bill. Thanks for the comment. Great idea to give out $2 bills! I'll try to remember that one.

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