With kids, you expect them to see an idea and twist them into their own interpretation. With parents sometimes, I'm finding, you should expect the same.
A few years back, I mentioned on my blog the idea of saving Happy Meal and other toys for trick-or-treat swag. As my daughter grew and we were invited to more events, I found myself stuck with random "toys" that were cluttering up my house. One by one, over the next year, I snuck them away for a Halloween stash. It was an absolute hit - particularly with the teens in our neighborhood, who I suspect cleaned us out.
My mother got wind of this idea, and thought it was great. She had realized that the child-size meals at fast food restaraunts were ideal for portion control and better on her budget when eating out with her friends, so she began stockpiling the toys. The next trip north, she presented me with the Happy Meal toys. I allowed my kids to play with one, and spirited the rest away.
And then another friend heard the news. Not being blessed with children, she opted too to share her lunchtime "treats" with us. Now, each month, I'm struggling with the influx of plastic bags crammed with movie-themed toys that my kids are dying to get into. (Nevermind that I do suspect that there are children in her neighborhood, too.)
Long story short, I now have not one but two cardboard boxes in my garage crammed with Halloween toys. The good news? I won't feel guilty about giving kids candy this season. But I think, in the course of eschewing clutter, I have created a monster or two.