Okay, I admit that Halloween was always my favorite holiday. It involved dressing up in costume, lots and lots of sweets and…it kicked off the holiday season with glitter and glamour that is unrivaled.
Then I adopted a healthy lifestyle and it all fell apart. Truthfully. As I work in the mission I love…and I do love my work, I discovered that giant bowls of mini-Kit Kats just didn’t cut it anymore. I simply couldn’t hand out “poison” to all those adorable kids.
I tried everything. Trails of the sticker sheets I gave out dotted my street post trick or treating. Pencils became projectile weapons…mostly pointed at me. Healthy sweets were met with sighs and “no thanks.” It was brutal. This holiday I loved was quickly becoming such a source of stress that I considered turning off the light and hiding out until it was over.
Seriously? I’d sit inside while my friends and neighbors partied outside with cider and wine, being social and having a lovely evening in the brisk fall air? I don’t think so.
So what if I handed out junk food treats one day a year? It would be fun for the kids; fun for me and no stress.
I bought my bags of miniature bars and got ready to set my principles aside for one evening.
You know that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans for the future.
Here’s the scene. I am on my front steps, surrounded by friends, with about 20 adorable kids waiting for treats. I hear a little voice say, “Aren’t you the lady on TV who tells us not to eat sugar?” Oh, boy…I, of course, say yes. He asks, “Then why are you giving us candy?” I tell him that it’s a treat once a year. He scowls at me and tells me that when he tells his mother, she will NEVER watch me again.
Oh, boy! A lesson was learned that night as I dumped the balance of candy bars in the trash and handed out coins for the rest of the evening.
And so, as Halloween approaches and I hand out temporary tattoos instead of candy; as I sit on the steps with my friends and admire the creativity that goes into the costumes of the kids in my city; as we sip wine and catch up on our lives; as we eat cookies that I’ve baked as our own personal treats, I can do it in peace, knowing that I have found a way to be true to my values and still give the kids a good time.