Handling The Candy
Here we are, in the middle of March, and I still have not written a post about how we handled candy and Halloween! So, what better time than when Easter, another holiday involving candy and other treats, is right around the corner? For Easter, our community is having an egg hunt, and this is the first time our daughter will participate in it. When we first received the message about the hunt, I stressed a little because, again, I knew the eggs would be filled with stuff my daughter would have to turn over to us, and I was hesitant to sign her up for it. However, my husband immediately reminded me that we already had a plan, and my execution of introducing her to the Switch Witch was seamless. So why not do the hunt? All it will take is a little forethought, just like Halloween did, and I already have the general plan down. I essentially have to tell my daughter (my son is too young, in my opinion, to participate) that the Easter Bunny will do what the Switch Witch did for her for Halloween. She was so excited about the bucket of candy and treats and stickers that was left for her that I do not think she cared about having to turn over what she collected originally.
So, here is how Halloween went. Obviously, since it was my first time doing it after having planned for it since I was pregnant with my daughter four years before :), I was antsy but ready! I bought her a card at Dollar Tree (to be given to her by her Switch Witch), and I bought, in addition to already-vegan candy like Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish, some Yum Earth organic Halloween fruit snacks and various treats by No Whey! Foods, all of which were perfect because they were in small individual bags, so they were really the gift that kept on giving. The Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, and Swedish Fish (and the Yum Earth fruit snacks) were the treats we handed out to the people who came by our house, so I started her bucket off with some of those (except the Skittles, because I was worried they'd be too hard for her). I don't recall whether I told her before she and my husband set out whether she could eat candy along the way, but my husband knew what she could have if she wanted to snack on something.
I had no idea how it would go anyway because my daughter can be very cautious and hesitant, but she absolutely LOVED trick or treating!! She really enjoyed saying "trick or treat" and having something put in her bucket. It was FREEZING, and she was definitely underdressed 😑, but she had no interest in stopping. She didn't even really want to eat any of the stuff in her bucket; she just liked the experience, which made me very happy. I've mentioned before that I would like to keep things as "normal" for my kids as possible and limit experiences they feel left out of, so it made me very happy that she enjoyed participating in this tradition. When they got home, she excitedly told me all about how it went, and we talked about how she would leave her bucket out for the Switch Witch to come and switch out the stuff we don't eat for things we do eat (and other, non-edible treats). I kind of made the logistical stuff up as I went, frankly. I put a decorative door mat my husband had found at Dollar Tree or somewhere similar weeks earlier outside her bedroom door and told her to leave her bucket there before she went to sleep and we'd see what kind of fun stuff would be there in the morning. She was on board!
When she went to bed, she placed her bucket on the door mat. I will add that I don't know how it will be when she is older but, for now, specifying that every surprise will happen after she goes to bed is CLUTCH, because she cannot go to bed fast enough! She did not think, yet, to try to stay up and see if she could catch the Switch Witch making the trade. I am also patting myself on the back for thinking in advance to have her leave the bucket outside of her room rather than, say, next to her bed. I want to make sure to keep this in mind when the Tooth Fairy makes her way to our house! Anyhow, once she was in bed, I filled out the card from the Switch Witch, and, at that moment, I decided to giver her a name so that she'd be our own personal Witch. For absolutely no reason, the name Sina popped into my head, and, so, Sina the Switch Witch was born. I took out the non-vegan candy and put it in my car to take to work the next day, and I replaced that with several bags of the other treats I bought her, as well as some Halloween-themed stickers.
When she woke up the following morning, she was ECSTATIC!! She was so excited to see that her bucket was filled with fun and yummy stuff, and we established a rule right on the spot that she could pick one thing every morning until the bucket was empty. It worked very well for us. Every morning, she asked for her bucket, and she picked her piece for the day and that was that. It really could not have gone more smoothly, and this is a perfect example of why I start thinking about scenarios and strategizing WELL before the possibilities become reality. Like, it's almost silly how far in advance I start loosely planning (at least in my head). I get (good-naturedly) made fun of, but this is why I do it!! When the day arrives, I'm r-e-a-d-y. 😀 Because it went so smoothly, we'll be implementing the same or similar for Easter and any other situation where candy is in the spotlight.
For the last couple of years, we held a private egg hunt in the backyard for our daughter, and she STILL talks about it! All the eggs were filled with stickers and she was so excited and just loved the experience, so I know she will love the community one. We might still do an additional one in our backyard, just because she loves it so much. For Easter, I purchased various treats from Yum Earth and No Whey!, and what I really love about their holiday-specific treats is that they come in perfect little individual sizes, so they are very convenient for trick or treating and filling eggs. In 2022, it is really simple to continue traditions for kids who have dietary restrictions or allergies, because there are SO MANY OPTIONS out there!! I'm one of the least creative people but things have been made so much easier for me as time has gone on because of the kinds of things I have at my disposal. I think the abundance of options will help parents of kids with allergies or parents who have decided to raise their kids vegan feel more confident in the journey!