In this, the year of our Lord 2017, November the 1st, All Hallow’s Eve, the day after Halloween, the first day of November and the rest of the holiday season, falls on a Wednesday. According to my school calendar, I will be as I am many a Wenesday– teaching 2nd graders.
Last year, the same such November day also fell on a school day. My vice principal came in to do an observation. Seriously, I thought? Today? When they’re all in some state of candy hangover? Why would you do this?
But he did it and that is that. And with another post-Halloween school day approaching, I hope for much of the same: another miserable day after kids Trick-or-Treating.
I recently stumbled upon a concept of which I had never heard, one that is supposedly pretty old. The Candy Witch. The Candy Witch is a Santa Claus ripoff of childhood wannabe folklore. The concept is that you let your kids keep a miniscule amount of candy while sacrificing the rest to this mysterious entity the Candy Witch. She then leaves some toy or, according to some accounts, school supplies!
Now, while there is a respectable amount of kids who wouldn’t mind trading in candy for a cool toy and maybe even a few lovable nerds who want school supplies, have these people met the majority of children?
At least in that one MLP episode where apparently tradition dictates little foals leave their candy to a statue of Nightmare Moon they get an awesome eons-old tradition contribution. For me, this is going on my list right up there with trunk-or-treats flat-out replacing trick-or-treating.
I understand the philosophy is to teach healthy habits like moderation. You know, because one night of getting a bunch of candy throws off an entire year of reasonable healthy eating practices. A recent Dear Abby letter was full of comments about just how stupid this thing was, mentioning their kids tended to get sick of the candy after a couple of days, solving the problem right there.
I loved trick-or-treating as a kid. I went far longer than I should have. But oh, what glorious times! Romping through the dark streets with friends, gathering candy, costume-watching… then getting sick of walking around and going home to watch a Halloween movie while trading candy like some delicate stock system. After that, I could enjoy a book with a treat or sneak candy to school.
I have a different memory: buying giant lollipops at something or another. They stayed at my grandmother’s house for us to enjoy until one day the darn Tooth Fairy apparently switched them out for plastic toys. At the time, it was pretty cool. But now, I’m bitter. You switched out sweet sugary goodness for a kazoo? Grandma, had you met before?
No kid goes out Trick-or-Treating to get ten pieces of candy. Trick-or-Treating is a wonderful time when kids get to be kids and experience a little bit of wildness, a little bit of freedom from parents to explore neighborhoods, be with friends, and get lots of candy. Unless a kid has willingly signed a contract to trade candy for a really decent toy, the Candy Fairy is a joke.
If my students show up on November 1st tired, miserable, and sugar-rushed and make my day a living hell, good for them! I will take a deep breath and hope this is because they had a fantastic time the night before.