Passionate About Boston
and the Moms Who Live Here

A Sweet Halloween with the ‘Sugar Witch’

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Last year my sugar-deprived 2-year-old went trick-or-treating THREE times. With a preschool party, a church bash, and our neighborhood trick-or-treat, his little pumpkin bucket was filled to the brim with sugar, sugar, and more sugar (or should we say high fructose corn syrup?!). Funny thing is, he was too naive and inexperienced with sweets to realize that all those colorful wrappers contained candy. He never asked for a bite and was none the wiser. One of my proudest mom wins!

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No candy for this guy!

But this year is a different story. He’s had a little more exposure to sweets. He’s read books about Halloween. He’s figured out that the costumed door-to-door thing means candy. And I’ve been racking my brain to figure out the best way to handle the loads of sugar that’ll come into our home as a result of Halloween.

And then I came across a book called “The Sugar Witch Switch” by local author Marcella Ricker. Halloween problem solved!

Cover

“The Sugar Witch Switch” tells the story of a young boy who encounters a silent and strange trick-or-treater — dressed as a white, shiny witch — while he’s out Halloween night. As he goes from house to house, he learns that this mysterious creature is in search of candy to build her sugar castle, and she relies on costumed children to increase her stash of sweets.

Now, most young ones aren’t ready to give up their Halloween loot for a complete stranger dressed as a witch. Worried she’ll take his candy, the little boy eats himself sick. But the Sugar Witch has a deal for him. She hands over a colorful magic box and instructs him to place all of his candy there before he goes to bed. When he wakes, he races to find the box exactly where he left it in the kitchen, but the candy is gone. In its place is something even better — a toy knight in shining armor that the boy had been wanting!

The book closes with a challenge to the reader: “This year, see if the magic works for you.” There is an allowance to keep a few “secret pieces” of candy, but the rest is to go in a colorful box or Halloween bowl. Then the child awaits a middle-of-the-night visit from the Sugar Witch, who will replace the sweets with a longer-lasting gift — a new toy.

I’m excited to start this new Halloween tradition in my family and love the idea of gifting my son an inexpensive puzzle or game as a tear-free way to say goodbye to the candy. (And lest you think I’m an unrelatable sugar-free mama, please know that I will be keeping any Reese’s for myself!)

Ricker’s book can be used for a variety of ages — the engaging illustrations kept my boy hooked to the story, even though the text was a bit wordy at times (I summarized here and there to meet his level and offer supplemental explanations). Older children would be equally absorbed and able to easily follow the story and get excited at the thought of the Sugar Witch visiting them.

All in all, it’s a sweet story of healthy habits, helping others, and sharing — and a solution to the problem of candy overload at Halloween time.

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