Friday, October 31, 2008
Well, I'm off in a few to take my munchkins trick-or-treating. For all my loyal readers, I'm referring to the kids I've been mentoring for the past year. Is it sad that I'm probably more excited about it than they are? Just goes to show, no matter how old you get, you can always stay young at heart! Anyhoo, I've heard a lot of people grumbling about what they're going to do with all their leftover Halloween candy. I've got a few ideas.
1.Trick-or-Treat for Unicef. Every Halloween, children across the globe help collect money door-to-door to support UNICEF projects. The money is often collected at the same time as the children collect Halloween candy - and then sent to a UNICEF office. The money raised goes to provide medicine, water, food, education, and other services for children around the world. For more information, visit the UNICEF site.
2. Participate in Sight Night. Halloween is "Sight Night" for the Gift of Sight Foundation. Each year, trick-or-treaters collect used eyewear - which is then cleaned, repaired and hand-delivered to underprivileged people in developing countries who couldn't otherwise afford them. Since the program began in 1999, more than 1 million pairs of eyewear have been collected. For more information, visit the Sight Night site.
3. Someone recently told me about sending leftover Halloween candy to the U.S. troops overseas - which they apparently then give out to children in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here's the information, according to my source; "You can go to your local post office and ask for a free "Priority Mail/Flat Rate Box." Since they go to APO boxes, they are not classed as international, and you can mail them for no more than $8, regardless of the weight. I go to "Anysoldier.com" and you can pick the branch of service you want to send the candy to. They have names and address of either individuals or company officers who know which soldiers in their units NEVER get any mail from home (which makes me sad) and give them out accordingly. Or some units make the candy available to all."
3. Donate your candy to a local food pantry.
4. Buy candy that supports a specific social cause - such as the pink bags of chocolate that help raise funds to fight breast cancer.
You get the idea! Use your powers for good this Halloween - not evil!
Now, I'm going to leave you today without a specific recipe, only because I know you'll be gnawing on that leftover candy for most of the weekend. But if you really want to watch calories, buy sugar-free chocolate.
And here is some Halloween trivia for all you ghosts and ghouls out there. Have a fabulous weekend!
* Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
* Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
* Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
* Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
* The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
* Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
* Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.
* Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
* Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.
* Black cats were once believed to be witch's familiars who protected their powers.