I first heard of the Switch Witch a few years ago when a good friend of mine shared the idea with me. The story goes that if a child leaves his or her candy outside their bedroom door on Halloween night, the Switch Witch will trade the treats for a toy. Apparently my friend's kids were crazy for the idea and didn't even miss the sweet morsels that were swiped in the night once they had their hands on a shiny new toy.
I have resisted inviting the Switch Witch to make a stop at my house as I've watched several of my friends adopt the new Halloween custom over the years. My resistance has been a very personal choice.
When I was a child, I spent most of the year counting down to Halloween. In my mind it was the most awesome holiday ever invented. I got to dress up as a princess, run around like a maniac, stay up past my bedtime, collect candy, dump it all on the living room floor, and sort through it.
I would then stuff as much candy into my mouth as my parents would let me until they forced me to go to bed. I would usually crash in a sugar induced coma with rosy cheeks and dreams of candy bars floating above my head. It was fantastic! If my parents had attempted to dupe me into giving up my candy for a toy, it would have come to fisticuffs. Why would I give up the candy that I worked so hard to gather? It would have been like killing the spirit of Halloween for me.
So, I decided that I didn't want to kill the spirit of Halloween for my children either and avoided the Switch Witch all together. It's not like the candy is a huge problem for our family. We simply hand it out over time for dessert or a lunch box treat until it's gone. I might even steal a Snickers now and again.
I decided to do a little research for this article and ask my 6 year old son what he thought about the Switch Witch. In my heart, I just knew that he would be appalled at the idea of giving up his candy for a toy.
So I sat him down and told him that I was not putting any pressure on him and that I knew how awesome Halloween candy was. Then I told him that some kids chose to leave their plastic pumpkin full of candy outside their bedroom door at night and the Switch Watch would swap it for a toy while they slept.
He sat in silence for a moment and had the same inquisitive look on his face as he did when he first learned of Santa Claus. I worried for a moment that he felt betrayed that I had even asked him to give up his treats. Until a huge grin spread across his innocent face and he said, "I'm in!"
It looks like that crazy witch needs to add my house to her route on Halloween night.
Do you think that the Switch Witch kills the spirit of Halloween or is it the most brilliant trick ever invented? How do you handle all the candy that your kids bring home after trick or treating? Please share your opinions and experiences in the comments.