A Slave-Free Halloween (Without Breaking the Bank or Being a Jerk)

I am really excited about not celebrating Halloween this year.

Even though it’s tempting to go the DC route and put in a lot of effort to make the perfect Mitt Romney costume or dress up as the Health Care Reform Bill, I will instead be chilling out over some apple cider and enjoying the excuse that my husband is overworked and I am exhausted and that is that. My door will be locked to trick-or-treaters, and no I don’t care how cute your 5-year-old is in that homemade Occupy DC Protestor costume.

BUT last year I did the whole shebang, dressing up as a rabbit opera star (what can I say? That’s what we had to work with) and creating dozens of treats for kids that also gave their parents a very quick (child-friendly) intro to some of the corruption behind the chocolate industry – obviously, I’m the super fun neighbor.

The project was actually quite easy, and I paid for it in part with money we’ve set aside for causes that we care about. Here are some tips if you want to try something similar:

  • Unlike when you’re handing out the cheap (slave-harvested) crap, you probably can’t afford to buy a bucket of the good stuff. If money’s tight, underestimate so you don’t end up with pricey leftovers.
  • Assuming you wait until the last minute, as I did, you may be disappointed in offerings at the grocery store. Ordering online is ridiculously cheaper, and will allow you to buy mini sizes. It may still be an option if you do it…NOW! You can try Amazon’s options and pay extra for fast shipping…
  • I went to Whole Foods last year, but it was too late to buy mini chocolate sizes or Fair Trade options. Instead I purchased a box of the Newman’s Own peanut butter cups (organic but not Fair Trade). Each box contains 24 packets of 3 pb cups each, and I gave the begging tots at my door 2 packets a piece. I got a bulk discount for buying the whole box. Total price: approx $35*.
  • I used the trick-or-treat handout that’s available on the resources page of this site and just gave the short note to the chaperones. Then I asked them, “Do you enjoy spoiling your children with the blood of slaves?” Just kidding. I smiled and wished them, as I do you:

Happy Halloween!

8 Responses to “A Slave-Free Halloween (Without Breaking the Bank or Being a Jerk)”
  1. Darrell says:

    Its hard to see how you could turn away little children who ask nothing but a piece of canday.

    • joannacastlemiller says:

      Nope! Not guilty. Other people who are less tired will give them candy. If not, there’s an obesity epidemic in this country anyway so it’s for their own good.

  2. Darrell says:

    God help the little ones.

  3. Mary says:

    I love it, Joanna! Of course, I’ll have to sit on my hands, to not actually made all the kids cry and the parents freak out over the blood comment. I’m probably doing the Martha Stewart Halloween this Year. Turning off the lights.

  4. If you lived in my neighborhood, I would let Hunter knock on your door until you answered! He’s 2, so he could go all night! 🙂

  5. JCM says:

    Fine with me! This year, we’re so tired we’d probably sleep through it…

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] On Halloween, I handed out (really good) slave-free chocolate and gave a little info to the parents about what was so great about it. You can read more about that project here. […]

  2. […] On Halloween, I handed out (really good) slave-free chocolate and gave a little info to the parents about what was so great about it. You can read more about that project here. […]

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