Monday, November 3, 2008

Thoughts from My First Greenish Halloween

It was quite an eventful October 31st around here. Not only was it Halloween, but the entire region was caught up in Phillies Fever. The local high speedline station that goes into Philly was crazy with parked cars that spilled out into the side streets making it dangerous for me to drive down the street o my doctor's office.

I had a genuine ear infection, and I was reminded exactly why my boys would scream their heads off as babies when their ears were infected. I wanted to cry like a baby, and since I usually wait until it's painfully obvious I need to see a doctor before I'll go (most things eventually clear up on their own), it was bad.

So I spent the day in pain, answering the most asked question of the day - "You going to the parade?" No, we didn't go to the parade. We didn't even watch the world series. But I wish you all could have been in this area on Friday to feel the energy in the air. Between the Phillies win and it being Halloween, there was a feeling of optimism and good will floating around. It helped that it was a beautiful, sunny 65 degree day.

But, on to Halloween. I took some steps to be less impactful this year. The biggest step was ordering the fair trade organic candy to give out. We also had the reverse trick-or-treat kit. Additionally, I purposely did not buy any new decorations. 

I did buy my kids' costumes brand new from the store, though. I'd love to have been able to whip up really creative costumes from scraps of stuff around the house, but that's not my talent. So I opted for the new costumes. And, of course, I bought the cheap pumpkins to carve, but I've already explained that.

The most unexpected thing that happened with my greenish Halloween? I've still got quite a bit of fair trade candy left. We missed all the after school trick-or-treaters because my husband and I went out with the boys. I went with my oldest and his friends and my husband took the youngest around with his group. They got back first and went to our neighbors across the street where all the neighbors ended up after trick-or-treating. 

My husband grabbed our bowl of candy and took it with him as did some other families. There were several bowls of candy for kids to choose from when they walked up to this one neighbor's house. Apparently, when placed next to bowls full of Snickers and Reese's Cups, my organic candy was unappealing in its unrecognizable wrapper. Kids skipped over it. Okay, I totally get that. I must admit I've had a few Snickers and Reese's out of my kids' bags this weekend because well, they're really yummy.

The reverse trick-or-treating kind of confused some people, too. Even one of my best friends looked at me like I was a little off my rocker when handed the card and candy. At first she thought I wanted her to give it out to someone else and she said she didn't want to. I told her, no, it was for her. The conversation didn't go much past that, but I'm thinking I came one step closer to being the crazy hippie lady in my neighborhood on Halloween.

Other than my candy choices being a little suspect, the day was fantastic. The boys had a lot of fun, took all their candy down our neighbor's basement with the neighborhood boys, and when I went to get them at 10pm, they were on a genuine Halloween sugar crash, staring like zombies at the tv. Now, I wouldn't want this to be a regular thing, but I'm okay with it once a year on Halloween. 

I was amused by many of the comments that were left by the people I tweet with on twitter. The majority of my twitter network consists of green/natural/organic type people, and some of them seemed genuinely surprised that people still give out sugary, unhealthy treats in this day and age. One person wanted to know why someone would give out cans of lemonade that are 100% full sugar. 

One thing I new going into Halloween was that I can only control what comes out of my own house. I could not control what was being given to my kids nor could I be judgmental of it. I was amused when I sent organic chocolates in to my sons' teachers as a little treat on Friday, and my oldest son came home with candy called toxic sludge. I thought it was quite symbolic of what the rest of the day was going to look like. 

I'd like to think that maybe one or two people who ended up with some of my organic fair trade candy took the time to think about it or check it out, and that they might make different choices next year. But I think that if my family is going to participate in mainstream cultural activities like Halloween, then I've got to be fully prepared for the ungreeness of it, and try to make a small impact by my example. 

How was your Halloween?
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