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.