A Rainy, Lovely Holiday

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved Halloween. The turning of the seasons during the first couple weeks of October, even in California, are some of the most lovely of the year. I think of family, warm delicious meals and cozy evenings bundled up by the fireplace. I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite.

Even though our summers have extended quite late in the year, the rituals that come with the end of October are just so much fun. We visited three different pumpkin patches and I’ve roasted (and burnt) two batches of pumpkin seeds, but we finally got to carve our pumpkins and wear our costumes.


The rain decided to grace our poor, drought ridden state right smack on the one day that we actually have to be outside, on the one day that my kids actually care about what they are wearing. It was fun for them despite the cold and wet, though. They were excited to greet the people at their doors probably more than getting the actual candy. Each and every time, Beau would chime “Thank you! Happy Halloween!” several times while walking away with his loot.

Seeing all of the children gleeful in costume is the most delightful thing.


Gone are the days of cuddly, sweet costumes for Jack.


Evvie went as Bambi, and Theo was too freaked out by the costumes to join in the fun.


Now we’re faced with the task of candy disposal, which either means it’s tucked into a secret stash for me, or it gets donated, or I just throw it away after they’ve had a few pieces. I’m still at a loss for how to handle that appropriately, especially now that Jack is getting old enough to know, but I’m learning.

It’s nice to just sit back and really enjoy them in the prime of childhood for a single solid day. (Especially on a FRIDAY!)

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  • We dispose of excess candy with a visit from the “Switch Witch”. The switch witch lives on candy and will trade a small toy or other fun thing for their candy. The more candy traded, the bigger the toy. The kids go through their haul, pick out a few choice pieces and the rest get switched (donated or brought into work). It’s a win-win.

  • I was just going to suggest the same thing! I normally let my kids pick out about 10 or so candies to keep and then I give them $10-15. Since neither of them like anything with peanut butter or nuts and one doesn’t like chocolate (weird, I know!!) they don’t really care too much about giving away the stuff they wouldn’t touch anyway.

    And that Bambi costume was AWESOME!

  • The Switch Witch was written by a local woman in our small city. We love it! If you haven’t decided what to do with the candy, may I suggest you reach out to a local Blue Star Moms group or a service academy parents group. They will gladly take the candy and send it to active duty service members away from home. Those men and women love receiving the treats!

  • Our dentist’s office collects candy in the weeks after Halloween, packages it up and sends it to soldiers serving overseas. Maybe a cool idea for your husband’s practice and a great way to get the unwanted sweets out of your house!

  • I think my kids are too small to notice, but one day, it just disappears. I let my 4 year-old have her first real lollipop and that was about it! My co-workers love that they benefit from my mean mommy ways πŸ™‚

  • Given that I spend both time and money, I figure at least 60 cents per child, and many do this, carefully choosing candy I think they will like, please consider donoting the candy to shelters or servicemen serving abroad, versus pitching. Throwing away feels disrespectful towards the goodwill efforts of many.

  • For an idea on where to donate the excess candy check out the story on NPR about Operation Halloween Buyback, a program started by a dentist. They buy back candy and donate it to troops serving overseas.

  • LOVING these suggestions! Will suggest to Dr. Shyba. Thank you!

  • Donate it to an organization that sends packages to the troops. They will love getting a special treat!

  • I think someone probably suggested it, but a local dentist pays $1/lb for candy and he sends it to the troops. Here is an article from our local news station πŸ™‚ http://whnt.com/2014/10/30/local-dentists-office-set-to-begin-candy-buy-back-to-benefit-overseas-troops/

  • Send it to operation gratitude! As a military spouse, I know our troops are so grateful for this type of program!


  • We also donated ours to a soldier serving overseas. My almost 3 yr old picked out 10 pieces of candy to keep and then donated the rest.

  • My kiddos are permitted 10 pieces of Halloween loot each and then the rest is donated to the soldiers, so we gave away 10 lbs (!!) this afternoon…happily!

  • One of my fondest memories growing up…. This one year mom and dad had us choose a few of our favorite pieces and took the rest and hid it. There were 5 of us. That was alot of candy. As we got closer to Christmas, they brought out all of our candy and had us help them fill 100 little paper bags with candy, nuts, an orange and an apple. Christmas Day we drove across the border into Juarez, Mexico, to one of the poorest colonias and held a fiesta for all of the little kids that lived there. Mom handmade the pinatas, and we gave out a bag of goodies to each child. We had so much fun. It was our goal as siblings thereafter, to collect as much candy as we could year after year for those children from that colonia. What a blessing my parents were.

  • My mother use to store our candy in a safe place and use some of it to put into our stockings for Christmas.

  • I usually keep a pile of candy for the candy jar, put some away for Christmas stockings, then use the rest for Easter eggs and baskets. If we get too much, I give it to co-workers.

  • When we were young, we used to give our candy to “the great pumpkin.” He’s a fictional character like Santa clause or the tooth fairy. When we returned home from trick-or-treating, we would pick out a few pieces of candy to keep and leave the rest out so the great pumpkin would visit. In the morning we would wake up and the candy would be replaced with a small toy and a book, but never anything expensive. My mom would then donate the candy or make my dad bring it to work. I loved it as a child. It was a nice warm up for Christmas and definitely plan on using it with my kids.

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