This week I was planning on talking restaurants and their call to order forbidden, calorie rich dishes but I can’t get candy off my brain. I’ve already talked about Halloween candy here, but it’s still EVERYWHERE. Not only does it appear all over my kitchen, with a torn, empty wrapper occasionally found behind the couch but every department at work still has their plastic pumpkins overflowing with colorful, orange or brown mini packages. Have I mentioned I’m a sucker for peanut butter or caramel?? Have I mentioned my kids behaviors are making me batty?

Couple that with thick Christmas toy holiday wish list catalogs showing up in the mail, no wonder Christmas has also forced itself on my mind. Which is bummer because my favorite holiday without a doubt is Thanksgiving. Just food and family. No gifts. No rushing about. But I digress.

I do not praise myself on having or desiring any Pinterest skills, despite having folders labeled “Crafty kid things” and “Exercise-ugh!” And I promise this blog will not change into an ultimate crafting mom site.  

But my candy loving kids came up with a fantastic idea after school pick up while reminiscing about last year’s trip to Costa Rica. (Do all kids have memories like a whale? Mine do!)

Using Halloween candy for Christmas Advent Calendars!!

Genius!!

One of my most memorable family vacations was spent last year, when baby girl was 9 weeks old and we flew to Costa Rica with our 2 and 4 year old in tow for 10 days to take advantage of visiting family that were living there for a year.

We arrived on what the states dictate as Black Friday. And although the Costa Rican culture didn’t quite adopt a sales frenzy extravaganza, Christmas trees were popping up on front porches by December 1st. My cousins 3 school aged kids, also came home from their classes each with the most unique, hand crafted Advent calendar made from a long stick, strings, paper, glue and glitter.

I immediately fell in love with this idea of bringing a little nature into my home, using scrap paper and twine or leftover ribbons to house little sweets treats that are opened every day from December 1st to the 25th. Ever since my first was born, I’ve been looking for an Advent tradition.

Cheap chocolate candy calendars just weren’t cutting it.

And I had great intentions of filling those little wooden, numbered boxes with “experiences” but the creative juices stopped flowing after day 4 and I ended up with a return to Target.

Advent calendars are perfect for excessive candy that happens to be lying around ones home after Halloween. With 2 kids old enough to eat candy safely, that’s 50 less pieces of candy in the bowl (or behind the couch).

FIFTY less pieces calling your name!

I noticed last year when we did this, the kids asked for treats less throughout the day. They got to decide when they would open their special cone and once opened and eaten, that was it for the day.

This also works well for adults. I’ve seriously considered making my own work Advent calendar where the temptation to grab a sweet treat after lunch is the greatest. Because we all know those plastic pumpkin bowls will quickly turn into snowman before you know it.

The kids have often asked if we could make these “countdown” calendars for other special occasions, which I’ve avoided to keep this particular tradition more sacred. However, if Advent is not your thing, no worries, make as many countdown days as you like and let me know if your sweet treat consumption (or your blood sugars) have decreased.

After all, only 100 extra calories every day from the innocent candy jar (think 3 pieces or less) can easily lead to a 5 pound gain (or MORE) in a year. Ouch!!

So forget restaurant chatting next week, instead we’ll be talking about what I call “The Creep.” 

Make sure to share this post with all your Halloween candy loving friends. And let me know how do you handle the candy pile up?

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