I know, it’s such a cliché: “This year, no more eating children! Not even the wicked ones!” But it makes sense. Fresh start, new beginnings, and soooooo many children eaten over the holidays. So this year, I’m doing it!

Of course, it’s probably the worst time of year to stop eating children. It’s cold out, it’s bleak, it gets dark early, and that really is the best time for sneaking up on children and, you know, eating them. Those snow pants really slow them down. Plus, all that stored winter fat? Yum!

But you know what? I’m actually doing it! The new year is well underway and I haven’t eaten a single child! I did nibble a pre-teen, but surely that doesn’t count.

People have asked me, “Why don’t you just cut back eating children?” and then they wave their torches and pitchforks menacingly. Trust me, I’ve tried cutting back to one child a week, maybe two as a special treat. But one child always leads to another and then another and next thing you know there’s a woodsman at the door with an ax, and then I have to eat the woodsman, which is real rock-bottom stuff, let me tell you. Next thing I know, I’m eating children simply to dull the shame… and the taste of woodsman.

So I’m cutting children out completely. (Instead of cutting them up completely, ha-ha!) It’s all about willpower, yes, but also about setting myself up for success. That means trying to avoid triggering situations, like lying under a bed or lurking beneath a sewer grate. I’ve also converted the house from gingerbread to melba toast and switched from fiery furnace to baseboard heating. Unhinging my jaw outside a daycare is a big no-no.

The early days were rough. I suffered terribly from the DTs: Dearth of Toddlers. There were sweats and shakes—but enough about what I was wearing and drinking, quitting children was really difficult.

I think it’s the blood I miss the most. I sure love gobblin’ that ol’ hemoglobin!

The evenings have been especially difficult, what with my bad habit of night snacking. After a long day of conjuring spirits and spoiling harvests, you just want to kick back with a few chubby bambinos, you know?

And then there was that child who walked up to me wearing a hot dog costume. I mean, come on!

But I’ve been strong! Yesterday, a mother passed me her little baby. (She was new to the village, she didn’t know.)

“Look at those tiny feet!” I cried. “I could just eat them up!” But I didn’t!

Yes, fine, I swallowed one little toe, but it was already loose and I swear it just fell in my mouth.

It’s been a lot of hard work, but waking up in the morning without shame or bits of diaper in my teeth? I feel so much better about myself. And I have so much more energy—ironically, energy that I could be using to catch and eat small children.

My friends don’t get it. When I’m at the coven and they’re all crouched around the cauldron munching on wee bairns, they’ll ask, “What, you’re not eating children?”

“I’m good,” I’ll say coyly and continue sucking on my eye of newt.

“Not even a newborn?” they reply.

“Gotta watch my churlish figure,” I joke and hope they’ll move on.

Do I miss it? Sure. There’s nothing quite like the satisfying crunch of an unfused baby’s skull. But now that I’ve stopped eating children, I think I’m a better, less cannibalistic person.

Unfortunately, I’ve been compensating with puppies.