Have you noticed the vast selection of non-edible Halloween treats in the stores this year? We’re talking Halloween themed silly bands, bendy monster action figures, temporary tattoos, glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs, mini cans of creepy colored Play-Doh, stickers, pencils, erasers, etc.

WTF?

How am I supposed to get my annual All Saints Day yeast infection?

Kidding. It usually takes until All Souls Day for me to deplete my children’s entire supply of Kit Kats and Butterfingers.

As a semi-conscientious parent, I suppose the movement away from candy makes sense. You know…all the cavity-causing sugar, the Red Dye #40 that ignites kiddies like roman candles, the neurotoxic artificial flavorings, the risk of cross-contamination from tree nuts, the razor blades…I get it. Long gone are the days of homemade candy apples and popcorn balls.

But you know what? I don’t think I can tolerate any more plastic CRAP in my house.

Because for realio, if I step on one more of those MFing little plastic spider rings in the middle of the night, I’mma be starring in the next episode of Snapped.

Seriously, I’ve already sacrificed one of my formerly lovely toes to the Plastic Clutter Gods. Enough is enough already!

I’m nothing if not practical though. And since handing out non-edible plastic CRAP is the hot trend this year, I’m perfectly willing to get on board.

My approach, however, is a little leaner, greener, and yes, according to my kids, “way meaner.”

It is so simple… you’re gonna kick yourself for not thinking of it first!

This year, I’m going to recycle random kid clutter as Halloween treats! Bye-bye Happy Meal toys, school “Treasure Box” earnings, anything that came home in a birthday party goodie bag, carnival prizes, etc.; it’s all fair game. Your kids want it, and I want it out of my house. Win-win!

Here is a picture of some of the kid clutter I was able to gather in just a few minutes.

"Mom, have you seen my Shrek and Mulan action figures?" "No honey. I haven't." (Heh heh heh)

Frickin’ brilliant, right? And I don’t have to spend a dime! Take THAT, Corporate America!

My husband already thinks I’m crazier than a shit-house rat, so of course this idea came as no big surprise to him. He’s just bummed there won’t be a stockpile of fun-sized Almond Joy bars in the pantry all week.

If you are going to try this at your house, something I learned the hard way is to NOT ask your kids to help you gather your loot. In fact, don’t even do it while they’re around… kids are notoriously clingy to those awful made-in-China choke hazards. Must be all the lead, messing with their brain chemistry. Also, once you assemble your stash, keep it hidden from your ankle biters or you will open yourself up to a world of whining, fighting, and/or stealing.

OH! Lookie here, even as I was taking these pictures, a little hand was sneakin’ in to reclaim some of the booty. That’s my Bucket Head… notorious Crap Raptor.

Hold it right there, Bub.

We get a lot of teenaged Trick-or-Treaters in my neighborhood, so I think I’ll break up the “treats” into two age-appropriate baskets; toys for the little ones, other random household clutter for the older kids.

Finally, something practical to do with our stash of pre-vasectomy condoms! (Clearly, if the kids are dressed up like this little neighbor was last year… a condom or two isn’t such a bad idea. Lord have mercy!)

Look at this little skank rubbin' up against my little Vampire! Maybe she's just cold. Poor thing.

"Well who are you supposed to be? A WHORE? Oh, a teenager? Same diff. Get away from my son!"

So that’s my hot Halloween tip for this year. Reduce your clutter, save the planet, and hoard your cash this Halloween. Sure, your kids might miss some of those toe-breaking-toys, and yes, the neighbors will probably have even more to say about you than they usually do, but think of the serenity you’ll gain by eliminating clutter and reducing your carbon footprint!

And with the money you’ll save you can hire professional window washers to remove the egg shells and soap you’ll most likely receive as a result of your non-traditional “treats.”

Totally worth it.

What do you think? Is this idea a winner or have I gone off the deep end?

I’m going to link up to Org Junkie because I think she’d approve of this idea!

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.