A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

We’re having a lean, green, and mean Halloween!

Have you noticed the vast selection of non-edible Halloween treats in the stores this year? We’re talking Halloween themed silly bands, bendy monster action figures, temporary tattoos, glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs, mini cans of creepy colored Play-Doh, stickers, pencils, erasers, etc.


How am I supposed to get my annual All Saints Day yeast infection?

Kidding. It usually takes until All Souls Day for me to deplete my children’s entire supply of Kit Kats and Butterfingers.

As a semi-conscientious parent, I suppose the movement away from candy makes sense. You know…all the cavity-causing sugar, the Red Dye #40 that ignites kiddies like roman candles, the neurotoxic artificial flavorings, the risk of cross-contamination from tree nuts, the razor blades…I get it. Long gone are the days of homemade candy apples and popcorn balls.

But you know what? I don’t think I can tolerate any more plastic CRAP in my house.

Because for realio, if I step on one more of those MFing little plastic spider rings in the middle of the night, I’mma be starring in the next episode of Snapped.

Seriously, I’ve already sacrificed one of my formerly lovely toes to the Plastic Clutter Gods. Enough is enough already!

I’m nothing if not practical though. And since handing out non-edible plastic CRAP is the hot trend this year, I’m perfectly willing to get on board.

My approach, however, is a little leaner, greener, and yes, according to my kids, “way meaner.”

It is so simple… you’re gonna kick yourself for not thinking of it first!

This year, I’m going to recycle random kid clutter as Halloween treats! Bye-bye Happy Meal toys, school “Treasure Box” earnings, anything that came home in a birthday party goodie bag, carnival prizes, etc.; it’s all fair game. Your kids want it, and I want it out of my house. Win-win!

Here is a picture of some of the kid clutter I was able to gather in just a few minutes.

"Mom, have you seen my Shrek and Mulan action figures?" "No honey. I haven't." (Heh heh heh)

Frickin’ brilliant, right? And I don’t have to spend a dime! Take THAT, Corporate America!

My husband already thinks I’m crazier than a shit-house rat, so of course this idea came as no big surprise to him. He’s just bummed there won’t be a stockpile of fun-sized Almond Joy bars in the pantry all week.

If you are going to try this at your house, something I learned the hard way is to NOT ask your kids to help you gather your loot. In fact, don’t even do it while they’re around… kids are notoriously clingy to those awful made-in-China choke hazards. Must be all the lead, messing with their brain chemistry. Also, once you assemble your stash, keep it hidden from your ankle biters or you will open yourself up to a world of whining, fighting, and/or stealing.

OH! Lookie here, even as I was taking these pictures, a little hand was sneakin’ in to reclaim some of the booty. That’s my Bucket Head… notorious Crap Raptor.

Hold it right there, Bub.

We get a lot of teenaged Trick-or-Treaters in my neighborhood, so I think I’ll break up the “treats” into two age-appropriate baskets; toys for the little ones, other random household clutter for the older kids.

Finally, something practical to do with our stash of pre-vasectomy condoms! (Clearly, if the kids are dressed up like this little neighbor was last year… a condom or two isn’t such a bad idea. Lord have mercy!)

Look at this little skank rubbin' up against my little Vampire! Maybe she's just cold. Poor thing.

"Well who are you supposed to be? A WHORE? Oh, a teenager? Same diff. Get away from my son!"

So that’s my hot Halloween tip for this year. Reduce your clutter, save the planet, and hoard your cash this Halloween. Sure, your kids might miss some of those toe-breaking-toys, and yes, the neighbors will probably have even more to say about you than they usually do, but think of the serenity you’ll gain by eliminating clutter and reducing your carbon footprint!

And with the money you’ll save you can hire professional window washers to remove the egg shells and soap you’ll most likely receive as a result of your non-traditional “treats.”

Totally worth it.

What do you think? Is this idea a winner or have I gone off the deep end?

I’m going to link up to Org Junkie because I think she’d approve of this idea!


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. 


  1. Merritt

    Oh geesh, I wish I had thought of this before throwing out all plastic foot stabbers last week.
    I love the caption on the older kids costumes. It seems that boys need to be bloody messes and girls need to go as whores/sluts/bloody sluts/bloody whores. *sigh* Where are the days where little girls went as princesses or ballerinas. Long gone are those days I suppose.

  2. Suzanne Lucero

    Problem is, if any of your neighbors read your blog, Halloween will become the day when when all the McToys and other plastic thingies simply get shifted between houses. Looking on the bright side, at least you’ll have unfamiliar things to trip over then, instead of the same-old same-old. “Holy crap! When did we get plastic tiaras? My foot’s been punctured.”

    • Lily

      Yeah, if your neighbours are followers, I agree that this plan is totally going to backfire on you.

      BTW, if we lived in Atlanta and not Ontario, my 2-year old would pick those shrek toys outta that pile before he could say, “Wha a do i my sop?” (“What are yeh doin’ in my swamp?”

  3. jenny

    Hahahaha! I love it! When you said, “since handing out non-edible plastic crap is…”, the idea of recycling my own plastic crap came to mind. Then low and behold, it was YOUR idea too! Just love it. Except just yesterday I threw out a trashbag full of plastic crap. I detest those little things.

  4. Kim at Let Me Start By Saying

    I had a pile of loot bags from my Halloween party last year in the decorations bin. Before my kids could see it, I SLAMMED that muthuhtruckin’ lid back on and snuck that shizz upstairs. Then put all those plastic spider rings, plastic skull rings, tiny stickers, semi-permanent tattoos and silly bands into the stash of Halloween candy that we’re giving away.
    Could I be nice and give it to my own children?
    Of course.
    Do I need another tiny piece of eternity under my couch?
    Absolutely not.

  5. Allysgrandma

    Another winner Iris! But why not just tuck a few of those mini almond joys here and there, maybe under the covers, for DH to find??

  6. Ann

    Girrrrl, you better schedule the window washers NOW to show up 11/1 cuz you’re gonna need them. Kids have weapons now, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    As usual I’ll be at the end of my driveway with my husband and our cooler full of adult beverages that get me through every Halloween. You’re welcome to join us!

    • Crista

      Ann, our neighborhood gets liquored up at Halloween, too! It’s like a surburban Vegas Strip with all the open containers! Cheers!

    • Meili

      Ooooh, ALCOHOL for Halloween sounds awesome! Maybe I’ll come trick or treating at your house, and then I wont mind all the screaming & squabbling & sugar-fueled hysteria that’s usually going on at mine by 9pm on 10/31!

  7. Trish the Dish

    Cannot. Stop. Lauging! Posted this on my facebook.com – hope you get some new followers. We’re giving out the creepy colored play-dough to younger ones, and card games (go-fish a la Disney) to older ones. If they don’t want either they are too old to be trick-or-treating…

  8. Mary the Oinkteller

    The idea of recycling your kids’ plastic crap is brilliant! As you know, I just throw the s#!@ out. (I love the photo of Bucket Head’s hand sneaking in to reclaim his dinosaur.) Our house is giving out all the hard candy my kids collected from the 4th of July parade. I put it away, it never got eaten, and boo-yah: now it’s Halloween loot. Efficient and economical. So what if it’s a little dinged up from the asphalt?

  9. Pricilla - Famous SpokesGoat

    I am not in favor of this. I am in favor of APPLES. Lots and lots of BURP apples.

  10. Hannah

    LOVE it! I think I’ll get a box to keep throughout the year to collect all of the plastic crap that my son brings home. By next Halloween I’ll have a huge stash!

  11. Megan at declutterdaily

    We get so many teenagers, I think I am going to have a bowl of shiny, new pennies just for them, or maybe pencils. I hear teenagers LOVE pencils.

  12. Stacey H.

    We just had this discussion at our household at bedtime last night. My oldest Kindergarten plastic hoarder said, “I found some toys in the trash! Who would have done that?!!!” Her father said (adult version of her), “It had to have been a mistake. No one would throw away toys. Here do you want to sleep with them?” “Thanks, Daddy! You’re the best!” ***stifling a scream from under a pillow*** Why can’t I get rid of any of the crap in this house? Next time I’ll drive straight to the dump!

  13. Amanda

    I was thinking of military sign-ups or McDonald’s applications for the teens who decide to come by our house this year. We’d totally be cleaning toilet paper oyt of our trees for that! I told my kids when their age has two digits they are done begging the neighbors for candy.

  14. Mel

    Winner, winner chicken dinner! I am adding all of those cheap plastic crap toys to my Halloween bucket the minute I get home! Oh, and, maybe in addition to giving the scantily clad teens some condoms, you could consider hading out bits of cloth to add to their hemlines. Just a thought.

  15. Kathryn Frost

    Lamesauce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Candy all the way for the Frost-Davidson household!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Mads

    There’s nothing I hate more than plastic crap. I’m an adult without children, and yet that stuff still manages to sneak into my life.
    That being said, I would be tempted to rip the heads off any of those action figures if chocolate was not offered as a Halloween goodie. Just sayin…

  17. Julie

    Things are crazy in my house right now, so I’m gonna have to go back and read this again to be sure, but did you just suggest handing out condoms instead of candy for Halloween?

    That’s genius.

  18. Kelly

    Last year my husband and brother-in-law passed out job applications to the teenagers that came knocking…

  19. Angela

    You’re so generous, Iris! Add helping the economy to the list, because window-washers are probably not making a ton of money nowadays.

  20. Fiveogrrl

    You are axin to get egged. Make your jack rabbit doesn’t get slipped in that pile of ” unused” toys bitchtits.

  21. Joanne B.

    Kill joy! What are you trying to do- eliminate Halloween all together? Bring the plastic crap to Good Will or a day care center if you want to get rid of it, but don’t be the loser neighbor who gives out the equivilant of apples or boxes of raisins… Don’t you remember when you were a kid and you got the healthy snacks? We threw them back into the homeowners’ flowerbeds! WE WANT CANDY! SUGAR! EDIBLE CRAP! With every one these days trying to be healthy most of the time, it’s okay to have one day off the wagon! Besides, your kids will never get over the stimga of being the kids whose Mom gave the loser treats out. Not to mention the extra yard work you will be doing Tuesday as you de-toilet paper your trees and de-egg your cars thanks to the over age gorks who don’t even dress up and come begging for candy! (and while I am soapboxing, can I just share how I ABSOLUTELY HATE that most kids (all ages) don’t even know to say “Trick or Treat!”- they just stand there and expect the handout! – Parents- you must teach your kids the fine art of SHREEKING at the top of their lungs- “Trick or Treat! We love Halloween at our house and besides- having leftovers is just a casualty of miscounting how many kids you think you’ll get- what do you mean having 4 bags of 150 pieces each is maybe too much? Some one will have to eat those leftover Snickers ( try them frozen/LOVE/support your local dentist) Don’t be a loser Iris!

  22. Joanne B.

    Just had an idea that might work! Soemtimes at our house we’ve had to do an ‘honor basket’ where we left out our Halloween candy and a sign that says “TAKE ONE”. (I know- CRAZY- but when they’re gone- they’re gone.) Maybe put out a basket of the plastic crap toys and let the little ones take what they want, but still give out candy. Then the kids ( including your own) will love you- even if thier parent HATE you. They probably already hate you, right?

  23. Lisa

    Sorry, Iris! Some of those toys probably came from my house over the years. In addition to those glow necklaces I hand out each year in celebration of my youngest’s Halloween birthday, I have a bucket by the door with non-used happy meal, chic-fil-a, etc. toys! I usually only hand them out to the little ones but I like the teenager idea. Maybe we should have a plush bucket! I know my girls have tons of those little beanie baby like dust collectors. I bet they won’t even notice them missing! Thanks for sharing your genius!

  24. Linda

    Hmmm, I seem to be in the minority big time, but I don’t mind the teenaged trick-or-treaters as long as they’re in costume. Making an effort counts.
    Then again, I went trick-or-treating in college . Don’t egg me! We were in costume, were polite and always said “trick or treat”. Does that count?
    Anyway, I like the “honor basket” idea a lot.
    Do kids really look at what they get at each house? I don’t know that we always saw what we were getting. Maybe you should wrap them in tissue paper to disguise them. Bwah ha ha!

  25. Leighann

    We don’t get trick or treaters where we live. Good thing cause my daughter isn’t old enough for tiny toys yet and I’m not giving my chocolate away.

  26. Heather Novak

    CRAP RAPTOR. Oh will you please be my best friend today. OH my. ANd love the whore comment on that teen costume….REALLY? What parent cares that little. It makes my heart hurt. Funny, my parents taught me to be responsible about my appearance AND any sex life I might have thought about having and…..then I didn’t have a baby during high school! Or even College! Or by accident at any point in time! IMAGINE THAT.

  27. Kristen Kotrlik

    Woman. I did that shit last year. You know that crazy crap you get in birthday bags… gave it allll up. Easter candy… gone. And the candy wrappers left over from when my husband and I would snack, or eat the Daddy Tax, – those go into the bags of the rude teenagers… the ones that don’t even bother to dress up, wear their school backpacks on the front, and don’t even say trick or treat. THEY GET A WRAPPER.
    One little punk ass kid got a whole handful of wrappers and a bunch of lollipop sticks because he pushed a little girl dressed as Boo out of the way. Don’t be shovin’ my Boo.

  28. Heather @ That Uncomfortable Itch

    Nothing wrong with giving out condoms to younger ones, getting the message out as early as possible. Plus, OMG, have you seen some of the ho-ho-hostess costumes for small children?

    I’m gonna go raid my son’s Happy Meal toys and flower the neighborhood kids with them. Share the love!

  29. Jules

    What is with all the uptightness with the teenagers?? My husband told my older daughter who is a high school senior that she could not go out this year and beg . She always dresses up in an appropriate non-sexual costume and is polite. I told her “go for it”. I also notice that the teenagers tend to be far more polite than the pushy elementary kids shovin’ their grimy hands in my bucket without so much as a “please” or “thank you”.

  30. Shannon

    We are loving this! My husband suggested giving out all of his old floppy disks and I told him that would surely lead us to getting egged!

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