I have mixed feelings about Halloween.
Throughout the year, we tell our children that too much candy will rot their teeth and make them fat. We assure them that the boogieman isn't real, and neither are ghosts or goblins or werewolves or witches. And we make sure to pound it into their brains that they should never, ever, ever take candy from strangers.
Except on Halloween night, when we actually allow them to dress up in costumes we accompany them to strangers' homes to not merely accept candy, but to actually solicit candy. From strangers.
Along the way, we encourage them not to be too frightened as they encounter vampires and axe murders.
At the end of the night, the children take home vast amounts of candy - the Halloween haul this year weighed in at 14 lbs. That, my friends, is the weight of about 2 newborn babies. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but wouldn't 14 lbs. of candy (or 3.5 lbs. of candy per child) qualify as "too much candy"?
I also have philosophical objections to Halloween. To be blunt, I think it glorifies evil. Perhaps you will find that too harsh, but at the very least, it does muddy the waters a bit, doesn't it? Little fairy princesses and little boys dressed up as Power Rangers are cute. But it's downright disturbing to see people with fake blood dripping from their severed heads and it's just a little bit disheartening to approach homes with screams and moans emanating from within.
Up until last year, we managed to avoid Halloween altogether. We went out for ice cream sundaes as a family when our children were small and naive. When they got a bit older and realized that they may be missing out on something, we participated in All Saints Day parties, where they played games with their friends and got loads of candy handed to them without having to brave the cold of Halloween night.
Don't get me wrong; we've had a bit of fun letting our kids dress up and cruise the neighborhood seeking sweets, but I'm starting to think, "OK, we've had our fun. Let's go back to being young and naive."
My daughter just said to me, "Let's just go back to the All Saints Day party next year." I think we could make a good case for it - no creepy werewolves, no dodging traffic, no freezing your buns off just to get a good stash of candy.
Remind me next year when Halloween comes around again.