This Is Halloween: Jack O’ Lanterns And A Bowl Of Candy

It’s the jack o’lantern and candy time of year! Carefully selected, two large pumpkins sat on the stone floor in the basement, patiently waiting for their transformation. It had been too warm to put them out early, so we got down to the wire with the carving…but ‘better late than never’, right?

Each year, we like to focus on a theme – in past years, it’s been Tim Burton movies (fitting, right?). Can you guess this year’s theme? It’s another holiday-appropriate movie.

This is how they look sitting on our porch, in the dark

You may also know, if you’ve read some of our posts, that we typically eat clean, whole foods…and that effort extends to desserts and snacks. We also don’t each much refined sugar, and commercially-produced sweets and baked goods are usually far too sweet for our tastes. The one exception to that is Halloween: we always buy a bag of candy (and the “good” stuff, with chocolate) just in case a trick-or-treater shows up at our door. Mind you, none have ever shown up during the time we’ve lived here, but I’d feel like a jerk if some kid trudged down the driveway only to be told that we didn’t have any candy.

So we have a bowl ready, just in case some kids brave the bad weather and are desperate enough to try trick-or-treating in the “country”. What that really means, though, is that we eat the candy. I’m apparently a Halloween candy lightweight: we buy the fun size bars, and I’ll eat maybe 4 of them and then want to toss my cookies; my better half, on the other hand, will work his way through them over the next few days until they simply disappear. That’s taking one for the team!

Despite my personal feelings that healthy eating should be a lifestyle, rather than an occasional occurrence, I am perfectly fine with eating sugar-laden candy on Halloween. Why? Because, unless you’re sequestered in a monastery somewhere, you’re going to probably have a few vices – and striving for perfection (like never, ever, eating something that’s not clean, whole, or completely good for you) is unrealistic. I choose to allow myself to eat some junk this time of year…but when it’s gone, it’s gone. And do I go crazy? Honestly, no. I ate a Snickers yesterday and was underwhelmed. It was sickly sweet, stuck to the wrapper in a very unattractive way like it had melted at some point, and that one piece was plenty. Two seem to be my limit at one sitting (and self-limiting candy is probably a good thing).

So the candy’s here for any stray trick-or-treaters that may show up. I doubt I’ll be eating much more of it – it’s okay, not great. But candy is part of the fun of Halloween, and I personally think that kids should get the kind of candy they might actually want to eat, rather than a toothbrush (for crying out loud!) or a box of raisins (nobody wants raisins in their Halloween bag!). Good oral hygiene and healthy eating are important, but more appropriately addressed the rest of the year.

I have fun memories of Halloween as a kid. While I think that a lot has changed from those days, I hope that kids are still having fun with it. As I write this post, it’s raining and windy, leaves are falling – not ideal trick-or-treating weather. But I’ll be watching something suitably scary tonight, ready with the candy, just in case.

And you know we’ll be trying to use as much of these pumpkins as possible – stay tuned to find out what we make!

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