Ask the grumpies: Do you ration Halloween candy or do you let your kids eat as much as they want all at once?

Melva asks:

For Halloween candy, do you let your kids eat as much as they want or do you put limits on how much they can eat at a time?

My colleagues and I were just discussing this before a meeting earlier this week.  The answers ranged from one person only allowing hir kids to have one piece a day and a couple of us (including me) without any rules on how much can be consumed Halloween night.

The conversation included whether it was better to have a little sugar every day for most of the year or to have a couple/few heavy sugary days and then have entirely candy-free days (we’re social scientists, not nutritionists, so this was solely speculative).  Candy quality over time was also discussed.  But the main argument seemed to be that if you let kids eat as much candy as they want, they’ll get sick.

To which I replied, quite truthfully, “Oh, that only happens once.”

Which I guess illustrates how DH and I are very much natural consequences parents.  It’s not like we didn’t tell them that too much candy will give them a tummy ache, but sometimes one doesn’t know what too much is until one has experienced it.  (My learning experience was Easter, First Grade, in case you’re wondering.)

We don’t buy any candy other than extra super dark chocolate that’s mine and they have to ask permission to have, so the only way they get candy is via Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and what they spend their own money on (also the occasional school/party treat and the weekly dumdum from the piano teacher).  They almost never spend their own money on candy (though that’s where all my money went when I was growing up).  So unless they decide to ration out holiday candy themselves, most days will be candy-free.

There are rules on *when* candy can be consumed in my house, but not how much. They can generally only eat it after meals, mostly after dinner.  That’s because they’re still growing and allowing natural consequences doesn’t extend to missing important vitamins that could contribute to their growth because they’re overfull on sugar.

Is this the right thing to do?  Who knows.  It’s the lazy thing to do, which basically means it’s what works for us.  (We also let our kids nap whenever they were sleepy, while the one piece a day colleague had rigid nap schedules– I don’t think it actually matters.)  Last night our kids only ate a few pieces right after they got back, then noted they were full and put their remaining candy back in their bags.  I would like to say they then moved their bags to the kitchen pantry to their candy shelf, but in truth they left them on the dining room floor.  (Because all their bad habits come from me and I leave my bag on the floor whenever I’m not using it.)

Did you have rules growing up about how much Halloween candy you could eat at a time?  If applicable, do you have rules for your kids?

Halloween costumes of years past

So, I was thinking of my Halloween costumes years past…
Here’s what I can remember:
1. Angel (I vaguely remember my mom ordering wings from Sears and them almost not coming in on time)
2. Flapper (I did not look like a flapper– I did wear one of my mom’s old 1970s style dresses. No fringe, but I did have a bob)
3. Beethoven (poet shirt, black pants, teased hair)
4. Witch
5. Witch (same costume)
6. Martha Washington (my mom got married in 1976; this was her wedding dress which was also her bridesmaids dress for her sister’s more opulent wedding that year)

… That’s all I can remember. There may have been a few more witches in there. And I KNOW that at some point I wore one of those cheap plastic pinny costumes with a cheap plastic mask once our town got a Walmart, which was a huge relief to my mom, but I cannot for the life of me remember what– maybe Wonder Woman? I’m pretty sure there were no black-face or Roma or Ninja costumes in my past.

One of the things about being rich is that on the years that my MIL doesn’t just send Halloween costumes, we can go to Target or to a Halloween supply store (last year DC1 needed a costume zie could play violin in Target was out of non-offensive things in hir size that allowed violin playing) and spend $30 and get a costume that will last long enough to be passed down.  No need for creativity or effort!  DC2 is going as a Ravenclaw this year (DC1 is 12 and maybe shouldn’t be trick-or-treating, but if zie does, zie will reuse hir grim reaper costume).

What Halloween costumes do you remember from your youth?

Do you do seasonal decorations?

As Halloween approaches, I’ve noticed decorations going up on people’s lawns in town and in folks’ pictures online.  (Georgia Dunn’s insta shows her Halloween decorations in the background.)

That got me thinking about seasonal decorations and wondering if I’m the only person who doesn’t bother.  (Remembering to get/find the kids’ costumes and candy for giving out is about all I can handle for Halloween.)  Apparently I’m not because #2 doesn’t either.

#1:  Just Christmas.  Most years we get a rosemary tree and decorate it, unless we’re traveling over Christmas, in which case we have a felt tree that DH and DC1 made.  And the kids have stockings.  Usually all of this happens a few days before Christmas after I’ve gotten my final exams graded and entered and school has ended for the year.

#2:  Just Christmas.  We have some seasonal towels but they’re just red and green so we use them normally. We have stockings and some random tchotchkes people have given us.

#1: Oh yeah, we have towels and a bunch of random Christmas tchotchkes people have given us too. There was a time when DH’s relatives would give us Christmas decorations for Christmas. We also have Christmas theme hand towels and if we have ppl over for Thanksgiving we have fall themed table runners, courtesy of DH’s grandma.

#2: There was a time when people gave us holiday stuff, but much of it has gone to goodwill. We don’t have that kind of room anymore.

#1: If we moved we would probably do that.  Our stuff hangs out in a cupboard.

Do you do seasonal decorations?  Did you do them growing up?