Many traditions have been lost to the coronavirus pandemic this year, but my hope throughout the summer has been that Halloween might be spared.
Since 2016 at my house, instead of “Trick or treat?” the question has been “Cash or Candy?”
It’s become a fun, fabulous and favorite personal tradition, where I help neighborhood kids learn about money, decision-making and more. I have written about my efforts in the hope that more people will find their own way to participate, giving children food for thought rather than candy.
So when the Center for Disease Control issued guidelines for safely celebrating Halloween and suggested that door-to-door trick-or-treating would be high risk, it was clear I had to change my plans but that changing traditions also creates opportunity.
So this year, again, I’m encouraging you to try something like my system, which can be tweaked to meet CDC guidelines if your community decides to allow trick-or-treating.
The CDC suggests that a key way to dramatically reduce trick-or-treating risk is to allow kids to pick up individual gift bags — given at the end of the driveway or yard rather than the front door — while preserving social distance.
Cash-or-candy was built for this.
Certain rules have applied to Halloween for years at my house. Visiting me in costume “earns” three pieces of fun-sized candy, worth roughly 12.5 cents each.
I can do that with individual gift bags, a CDC recommendation, spreading them on a table for safe access.
Children from the third grade and up have the choice to forego candy for something else, always presented in a small envelope.
The envelopes — and a CDC spokesperson confirmed this — are just like gift bags, meaning they work (again, spread out so that kids don’t reach into a bowl, but instead take