Note to Self: Don't put crayons or candles in the attic for seasonal storage.
Today I pulled out the Halloween boxes and started sorting through the goodies. We have the usual cobwebs, black cats and bats, and of course some cute ornaments from my days working at Hallmark. I have "spooky" CDs, pumpkin stickers and coloring books that I pull out for just a couple weeks every year. And I even have special plates, place mats & cups from the clearance section a few years ago.
Yes, I love hitting the seasonal section on the day after a holiday. It is then that I stock up on things for the following year. From non-perishable things to hand out to trick-or-treaters or seasonal toys & games, I always stash some stuff away. Last year I picked up mini packs of crayons... well, apparently sometime this summer it was hot enough to melt wax in our attic. Oh well. I was comforted that they had a clearance sticker indicating that I had only spent $1.
The main reason I usually put things away is for my "Halloween Store". Since the Tumbleweed was 2 1/2 I have been offering trade-in deals for her candy (not all of it, but most of it). At 2 she really couldn't eat most of it (gum, caramel, fire balls, etc), so I gave her a choice, 10 pieces of candy would buy her a small toy or a sheet of stickers. Once we come in from trick-or-treating, we sort and count candy (*lots of great math lessons if you have time) and she decides which candy she likes best and wants to keep, and what she would like to use "at the store". After the success the first year I have always made sure to hit the clearance section to "restock" the store for the following year. I have also updated my "pricing" to go along with the increased value of some of the coveted toys and the increased amount of candy as she goes to more houses each year (the goal is still to get her to trade most of it in).
The Dandelion got to participate last year, but I actually think he will enjoy it more than the Tumbleweed this year. She is getting older and "wiser". She knows she likes candy, that's for sure. It might be harder to get her to trade it in for toys or books. The Dandelion, on the other hand, is going to have to trade in a lot of his candy, since he can't have anything made with or processed near peanuts or tree nuts.
The added bonus, since my kids are little and finish pretty early, I use their trade in candy to hand out to the older kids in the neighborhood who come by later. Okay, I still keep some of my favorites around, but much of the excess is generously given away for the neighbors to deal with.
8 months ago