Do you hate leftover Halloween candy as much as I do? I mean, really, do my kids need that much sugar? I read about this idea before I was ever married and I’ve been using it since my oldest child could understand the concept. The Great Pumpkin comes on Halloween night, takes the candy that kids put out for him, and leaves a present in its place.

Here’s the scene. On Halloween night I get my kids dressed up in their costumes, make them eat dinner, and then either my husband or I takes them out trick-or-treating. It’s always cold here in October, so they don’t stay out too long. My kids walk into the living room, dump their candy onto the floor and check out their loot. I let them eat as much candy as they want. I let them keep all of the non-candy items. And then they willingly put their uneaten candy back into their trick-or-treat bag and put it on the kitchen table. They don’t have to do this–it’s purely voluntary. But they know that if they leave their candy out, if they can part with the mini sized candy bars and endless rolls of smarties, there will be a cool present waiting for them when they wake up. The Great Pumpkin then comes sometime during the night and takes all of the candy out to the car to be taken to work the next day. Much like Santa, he then leaves a gift for each child.

Why I love this:

1. I don’t need all of that candy lying around my house and I certainly don’t want my kids to eat it. I know, I sound like the bah-humbug of Halloween. I’m not. All four of my kids get to choose if they want to participate. Every year every single one gives up their candy.
2. I don’t have to fight with my kids over getting rid of the candy.
3. I really love Christmas and since it’s still 2 months away, I love the chance to give my kids a quick present to tide us all over through the holiday season. I know, it’s contradictory. I don’t care.

I’m posting this early in the month so that you’ll have time to think about this, an opportunity to introduce the concept to your kids, and a chance to purchase a Great Pumpkin gift for whoever wants to participate. Let me know if you’re going to give it a try.


  1. what an awesome idea! (we usually keep our faves and give the rest away ie- husbands work etc.)

    kribss    Monday, October 5, 2009
  2. What a neat idea … we often sell our candy back to the dentist but I think my kids might like your idea better.

    Randi    Monday, October 5, 2009
  3. Brittany, this is a GREAT idea!!! I just posted it to my facebook to share with my friends and family….. My daughter is 14, so I’m not too sure if she’s trick or treating this year (hoping, NOT), but, if she does, I’m definitely going to see if she’s "in on this"!!! My husband, on the other hand, I’m not too sure about…..he loves his candy (no matter how yucky it is)! Thanks for sharing this.

    Karen Wilson, lillybelle Designs    Monday, October 5, 2009
  4. That’s a GREAT idea (even though I don’t have kids) I’ll have to remember this! :)

    Stephanie    Monday, October 5, 2009
  5. What a great idea! I’ll have to keep this idea in mind too until I have kids. :)

    Cindy    Monday, October 5, 2009
  6. I love your blog and I love the Great Pumpkin idea! I have tried bribing my kids over the years with money for candy. This is the perfect solution and it makes it fun and exciting for the kids. Do you mind if I post this over on my blog and link back to you? I also love all of your other ideas here.

    Jen    Monday, October 5, 2009
  7. This IS a great idea. I would like to try it, however, do you think a 2 year old will understand the concept that when she wakes up the candy will not miraculously appear again? Or my 5 year old, for that matter. I am afraid they’ll keep asking for it days later.

    Hannah    Tuesday, October 6, 2009
  8. Halloween is always a big argument for the candy in our house because I definitely don’t want my daughter getting that much sugar. This is awesome and definitely the plan we will do this year. Thanks for the idea!!!!

    Misty    Tuesday, October 6, 2009
  9. We do it, every year. But we don’t bother with the Great Pumpkin. If they give up their candy, they get a present. Usually I last a day, sometimes, I don’t last the evening, before the wrapped presents come out and the option begins!

    kimber    Thursday, October 8, 2009
  10. Great idea! Here is another thrifty way to use that candy. Can it! Or vacume pack it! Literally put it with your food storage canned in a #10 can or mylar bag or vacume pouch. What ever you have access to. Then you’ll already have the candy you need to pass out for next halloween. Sounds nasty but when stored proplerly it stays fresh!

    LeAnne    Tuesday, October 27, 2009
  11. brittany, you are just too good. i’m so impressed at all of your excellent halloween ideas. i’ll be linking!! xo.

    marta    Wednesday, October 27, 2010
  12. I LOVE this idea!!! My children see a dentist who rewards them with points for the candy they turn in to her office the day after Halloween. She has a great point system where the kids earn points for various things – like good grades in school or a visit to her office where they have no cavities! If they save up enough points, they can earn little gifts like balls or jump ropes, or big gifts like a Nintendo DS!

    Anyway. I’m so glad that I’m finally going through the older posts on your blog :O) It’s neat to see how it has evolved over time.

    Susan    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. some last minute halloween links | One Charming Party on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 4:02 am

    […] And every year my four sweet kiddos leave out all of their trick-or-treating candy for the Great Pumpkin to take on Halloween night. He leaves them a gift in return. You can read my post about it from last year. […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

Terms & Conditions