The BIG question… What do you do with all that Halloween candy?

Do you guys know about the Pumpkin Fairy? If you don’t, and you are not mad about your children eating all that candy from Halloween night, you are going to LOVE this story!

Our Halloween night tradition is to go trick-or-treating, dressed in our costumes, with candy basket in hand, just like everyone else. Oh, it’s such fun to be given so much candy! My kids DELIGHT in their rapidly filling baskets. They whoop and compare and smile from ear to ear. Alas, if it wasn’t for the beloved Pumpkin Fairy, I my spirits would drop a decimal with each new addition to their baskets. It would droop at the thought of them eating all that candy… the thought of all the fights we would have when they wanted candy before breakfast, after breakfast, before lunch, after lunch… at bedtime! But, thank goodness for me, I have the Pumpkin Fairy up my sleeve.

Pumpkin Fairy Print from

When we get home from our Halloween night adventure, my kids spread their candy mound on the floor and gaze lovingly at it all. They sigh in amazed disbelief that they have collected SO MUCH! “Oh gosh, people are kind”, they exclaim!

Pumpkin Fairies from The Art Of Felting

Then, they choose 10 of their favorites from their collection. The rest, they put in a bag, along with a note for the Pumpkin Fairy, and set the bag on the front porch for the wonderful Pumpkin Fairy to collect. She come in the night, you see, to collect the bag they have left for her. In it’s place, she leaves orange fairy dust and something really special for them. Something they’d far prefer over a bag of unending candy.


Wood Toys from Nest

Oh, she leaves such lovely things. In the past, she has left them each a set of colored pencils and they have spent hours drawing beautiful pictures of her. She left Teddy a train set once… and Kitty a needle felted fairy that still hangs in her room. She has left a beautiful hand-knitted sweater. She has left a pair of coveted running shoes. Quite frankly, she is the best!!! She knows exactly what each child really wants.

Boy Pumpkin Fairy from Fairyfolk

Do my kids miss the candy? NOT ONE LITTLE BIT!

Thank you, Pumpkin Fairy, for making Halloween night an experience we can all enjoy.

Will she be coming to your home this Halloween night?

Blessings an magic,



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20 Responses

  1. This will be our third year that the kids don’t keep their candy after trick or treating. I had to do it when I found out my son was sensitive to sugar and food colouring. I didn’t want to deprive them of the experience, but certainly wasn’t going to subject my poor little guy to the effects of those treats would have on him. I had never heard of the pumpkin fairy back then, so I simply told them that if they handed me their candy, I would give them a present in exchange. From the first moment, they didn’t miss their candy, and now, 3 years later, they don’t even expect a present in return. They are just happy to keep the chips as occasional treats. But I just may give them a little surprise anyways ;)

  2. We will be doing something very similar, my little ones are told that it is their job to go collect as much sugar as they can for the Sugar Fairy, she needs it to get through the winter you see, and what fun work it is going door to door collecting as much as they can, once they are done, they leave their buckets outside under a special tree, and when they awake, they will find a special surprise, this year it is a little gnome home from Willodel, some peg dolls, acorn dishes for their gnome home table and some beautiful citrine points, along with a few sticks of honey and some organic fruit lollipops.

  3. We call her the Sugar Sprite in our house, and she’s definitely coming!

    I love not having to worry about him getting all that sugar, dye, and who knows what else (on top of the fact that he gets severe gluten-induced eczema, and there’s no way of knowing whether or not each piece of candy contains gluten), he loves getting a special treasure from the sprite (he also loves knowing that his candy is helping her feed her sugar sprite babies throughout the autumn and winter, since she can’t get sugar from flower nectar any longer; the story part of this tradition seems to be very important to his little four year old self), and Daddy’s friends at work (ahem, I mean the Sugar Sprite) love getting all the Halloween candy the next day :)

  4. A lot of people I know invite a pumpkin fairy or candy fairy or other fairy to come and take away the candy and it seems to work fine for their families. But if you’re concerned about the amount of candy kids eat, wouldn’t it also work to only go to 10 houses if you only want the kids to have 10 pieces of candy? Or, if that seems a bit low on the fun factor, one could visit 10 houses and then have the most awesome Halloween party ever, complete with non-candy treats and lots of creative fun?

    It seems like collecting so much unwanted candy only serves to encourage neighbors to spend money needlessly (some of those big bags of candy are expensive!) since most people that I know try to buy as much candy as they think they’ll give out, based on the previous year’s trick-or-treaters. Seems like if families only collected what they really wanted and then enjoyed Halloween in other fun ways, kids could still have tons of fun, neighbors could enjoy trick-or-treating (without it breaking the bank), and there wouldn’t be so much waste.

    1. I have to admit to thinking about the waste. If people buy or there is a demand to buy, then companies manufacture. It’s “stuff”. Lots of sugar and colourings people don’t want to eat and tonnes of plastic wrapping and bags. I don’t want to be a kill-joy but I think we need to down-size. I like the fairy stories and other activities and crafts though it saddens me that Australians are now hopping on the trick or treat band wagon. Once upon a time All Saints Day had religious meaning albeit piggy-backed onto a pagan ritual of centuries past, but I did like dedicating a Mass to all the dearly departed. Not living there I don’t really have a full understanding of the day or the peer pressure you must face. It must feel very hard, like trying to turn back a wave.

      1. I agree on the waste end! I just posted- but we do pretzels which children can have for a special snack – but really my sons idea of handing out what he’s collected seemed kind of like cheating but he was so excited to be generous that it has been beautiful to watch. He did also tell me today that in Spanish and while modling beeswax they were talking of “the day of the dead after halloween. we made skulls. and i want to make one for Great Grandma Lois and then we can talk to her and about the things she liked and stuff”. It was really sweet! And made me really appreciate that at least on him it has not just been about sugar that we parents just want to throw out!! There are SOOO many things that will have to change to change for this simple day to BE simple, but I feel like there is a small but hopefully long lasting and growing group of parents in the US that ARE trying?

    2. yeah, i am not sure i get it. i mean it is sweet and all, but not only do you take the kids out to collect alot of unwanted food stuffs, then you give them a gift. i am not sure i get the lesson… or maybe there isn’t suppose to be one. why not have a huge party and the kids can dress up, you can have a pot luck and everyone has a good time. what do you do with all the candy? throw it away? that seems wasteful ( i mean i get not wanting to eat it, but what do you do with it, if you don’t want to feed it to your kids?)

        1. Also, the lesson, should there be one learned, is that the kids will choose something long-lasting, possibly nurturing their creative/imaginitive side (depending on what the ‘magic’ yields), instead of something that is nutritional garbage. It’s a healthy choice that can yield a rewarding lesson. My kids look forward to this every year. They get the best of both worlds: the thrill and fun of dressing up and trick or treating, eat a couple suckers along the way, and then trade-up for a magical gift to arrive in the morning! And fewer dentist visits!

  5. Once again, another wonderful, wonderful article! I love it! At my home, I allow 2 pieces of candy per child (the only junk food they are allowed in their lives, before they eat it, I tell the story of how people used to think candy was good for children but now they discovered it was the root of so many unhealth symptoms,..), regardless of how much candy they gathered home. The rest of the stash will have to disappear. But your story is much more magical! -Jzin

  6. I think this is such an amazing idea and can’t wait to implement it next year, or the year after, when my daughter gets into trick or treating. Thank you for sharing this post. I am going to link through to it from my own site.

  7. We have been part of the Prairie HIll Waldorf community for 4 years now and our oldest sons Wondergarden teacher so wonderfully shared the legend of the toothless witch. VERY similar to the fairy :) We leave out our candy cauldron with a note to her lest we seem greedy- if you do not, she will take all of your candy- even the favorites!
    Prior to this and sometimes still- our son just went along with it and still does without any conversation- any candy he collects he hands out to trick or treaters at our home before he heads out himself! This is also incredibly helpful when we’ve had more than one celebration which is rare, but still so generous of him :)
    My boys love gems- which they call angel tears at school- as a left behind surprise that only magical beings could ever gift.

  8. There is always someone in the community collecting candy to send to soldiers overseas, there is a good place for the candy instead of the trashcan

    1. Yes, Marilyn, thanks… great idea. I don’t like the idea of candy going to other kids but I bet our soldiers would love a treat.
      xo Donni

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