Hello again from Columbia!
As midterms and group projects are coming and going, leaves are starting to turn, and scarves are being brought out from the closet, one thing is certain- it’s fall. I love fall. From the weather to the apple cider to the pumpkins, it all excites me. But, (there’s always a but), there’s one thing I could certainly do without- Halloween.
Don’t get me wrong; I love costumes and scary ghosts and all that jazz. The thing I could do without on Halloween is all of the candy. The simple concept of another holiday focused around food angers me more than one may imagine. This country as a whole worships food and schedules their whole day around it. Don’t get me wrong- food is important. But food should be about nutrition, not about socialization. However, I won’t go off on a tangent on my opinions about America and its food obsession…that’s not the point in this article. Today, I want to talk about some alternatives for Halloween trick or treating.
One alternative is to take your child and do something that they like to do. When I was on the elemental diet, and my extended family would get together for big meals, my mom would take me on a “date.” My go to activity was shopping. We would go to a few stores, walk around a little bit, and I would get to pick a special treat. It was a way for me to get my mind off of the delicious food I was missing while spending quality time with my mom. But you could do any activity with your child! Let him/her dress up in their costume and take them to the movies! Take them to putt-putt! Or ice skating (if you live up north.) It’s a fun way to take the focus off of candy, while still having the fun of dressing up.
Another alternative is more on the service side. One thing that can happen to a lot of older children is self-pity. And while I understand how hard it can be, I also believe that too much self-pity can be a dangerous road. I always remind myself that there is someone else out there who is terminal, or who is in pain worse than mine. Back to the alternative- take them to a local children’s hospital and let them pass out small toys or stickers or candy. You can purchase a big bag cheaply, and yet it can make a big impact. It not only feels good to give the kids in the hospital an experience that they can’t have right now, but it shows your child how, not only are they blessed even though they go through hardship, but that they can help another child in need. It can be a wonderful night that will be much more memorable than walking around a dark neighborhood.
I hope this article helps a little bit with the dilemma of food-centered holidays. Be expecting more when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around!