The Great Pumpkin Took Our Candy…

…and left toys!  Sugar is a major disruptive force for one of my children, making the week after Halloween miserable for everyone, and this post is about the year we tried out a new tradition to get rid of that candy.  This was the year, for the first time, The Great Pumpkin came to our house.

We have good friends who have life threatening food allergies, so eating Halloween candy is a no-go in their household. Those kids told my kids that in their house The Great Pumpkin takes the candy and leaves a gift instead. My kids were enamored with this idea.

At first I was hesitant to add yet another present giving occasion to our year. I am always on a quest to have less STUFF, but thoughts of last year's sugar insanity swayed me. After some pondering toys were acquired and we were ready.

How We Did The Great Pumpkin Candy Swap:

We went trick or treating like normal.

The kids came home and each chose two pieces of candy to keep, the rest went back in their Halloween goody bags.

Each kid wanted to write notes to the great Pumpkin, so they decorated the front and dictated a message to me to write to the pumpkin.  You can tell the kids dictated to me and that Lee wants to sound like his big brother, hee hee.

Notes to the Great Pumpkin

We left the candy and the notes on the wood stove (obviously it was a warm Halloween this year, since we didn't need to have a fire.)

In the morning the kids checked out what the Great Pumpkin had left….

All the candy was gone. In its place was a Make-your-own Bubble Machine kit for J and a Hexbug and an Uno Game for Lee.
Seems like a fair trade to me.

Happily, this prompted a round of Uno with coffee and then a morning filled with bubble machine building.

Playing the Uno game that the Great Pumpkin left

I think I prefer this to the sugar-screaming-Halloween-tantrum-terror that occurred last year.  I think the Great Pumpkin Tradition is here to stay.

In a conversation with a couple other parents one mom shared how her kids understand the Great Pumpkin tradition:

“I have been doing the great pumpkin for years…..this is the first time I have seen a posting anywhere about him/her. When it comes to who the Great Pumpkin is I am very elusive about much knowledge regarding specifics. Basically, “I am not sure, what do you think?”

What information that has come out is that this is a real person who gives themselves the name of “The Great Pumpkin” for awhile. This person comes through different neighborhoods at different times whether it be Halloween night or two weeks later. Hence, why not everyone gets a visit from the Great Pumpkin. I hear if he/she is in our neighborhood and place the candy outside the door with the light on. The Great Pumkin leaves a more needed item in the candy’s place.

Our hope is that he finds our home and then delivers the candy to someone who may appreciate it, like the children's hospital or the homeless food pantry. One of my children hopes to be a Great Pumpkin one day and he will collect more candy than anyone else in the world! Happy Halloween!” -Christie

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