The Halloween Fairy

What to do with all that candy
by Lynn Siprelle

Like any good mama, you're probably worried about the candy avalanche that's going to hit your house on Halloween. How on earth are you going to keep the kids from eating themselves sick? More importantly, how are you going to snag that Hershey's Special Dark bite-size bar without the kids seeing you?

Have I got a scam--uh, I mean great idea--for you.

Meet the Halloween Fairy
When Josie was little, I read about a family where the Halloween Fairy visited. The kids would pick ten pieces of candy from their haul, and the rest would be placed on a table for the Halloween Fairy. When the children wake up, they find the Fairy has left a little giftie and the candy is gone! We adopted that idea for Josie's first trick or treat and have done it every year since.

Here is the story I tell my girls: The Halloween Fairy is a Banshee with a sweet tooth. You may think it's the wind you're hearing tonight, but it's really her, calling for you to share your candy, wailing and tapping at the windows! She doesn't mean any harm, she's just so hungry! Won't you please leave her a treat? She'll leave you a present in return.

I Get It--What Does the Fairy Leave?
Nothing big. We've left inexpensive Barbie clothes (hint: Thrift stores are OVERFLOWING with Barbie clothes in perfectly good shape), decks of cards, little games like a set of jacks, things like that. Dollar stores are good places to find things. We're not talking about elaborate stuff here, folks, just one little giftie per kid.

And What Exactly Do You Do with the Candy, Eh?
At our house, Mama is pre-diabetic, so she takes one or two pieces and reluctantly hands over the rest to Daddy. He takes it to work before the girls wake up and makes his office mates happy. The girls wake up and spend the rest of the day playing with the Halloween Fairy's gifts. A win-win-win situation.

© 2006 Lynn Siprelle


knittingwoman's picture

Unfortunately in my house, only my daughter is under the age of 10 so a story like that won't fly with a household of teenagers:(
Fortunately, she can't eat much dairy so the candy she does like and can eat is usually gone within a few days.

B's picture

Why would you do this? Your children spent all night running around for the candy and then you take it from them and give them a cheap prize.... unless you buy your children candy often which many people don't.

Shaun's picture

I've got DD7 totally fired up about this -- so I'm fired up too! She is all about the Halloween Fairy. Love this idea.


Andrea's picture

I've done this with my kiddos a few years. They did like it, but now that they are older, the prizes have to be bigger! We called it the Great Pumpkin. oo

We do another tradition, called "Booing", where you drop off a poem and a treat bag at 2 friends' houses and then they pass it on to 2 friends, etc. You drop it, ring the bell, and run. I have the poem if anyone wants it. Halloween is big around here and this is part of it.

Lynn's picture

Dressing up and seeing the decorations is more fun for them than the candy. For one thing, we're gluten intolerant, so some of the candy we can't even eat. For seconds, my oldest doesn't even care for sweets that much, so this is by far the better deal. The oldest is getting a nice (but not too nice) pen and pencil set, and the youngest is getting a set of colored pencils she's been coveting, so these are things they want versus candy they might not be able to eat and might not like anyway. :)

Lynn Siprelle, Editor

MissyLu's picture

I heard of this idea a few years ago, and now my girls always look forward to the "Halloween Witch". I don't bother giving the candy away--I just dump it in the trash after they go to sleep. I used to feel bad about that, but not anymore. We only go to a block or two anyway since the girls are so little. I haven't thought about what to do when they get older, but while I have control of what comes into my house, I will use it! :)

By the way, any good ideas for what to give out other than candy (my husband is an orthodontist, but refuses to be known as "the house that gives out toothbrushes").

Melody's picture

Wendy liked this idea and Sam did too, but as with everything he adds his own twist. He has decided that Santa and the Easter Bunny live together at the N. Pole and help each other out. Now the Candy Fairy has joined them. They remake the candy into different kinds and redeliver for Christmas!

Anhata's picture

We are a sugar free home, so my DD8 cannot eat anything she brings home, anyway. So she gets to trick or treat and trade the candy for a cool set of toys.

The storybook is really sweet, she LOVES this tradition.


Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.

-- Albert Schweitzer

Linda J's picture

What an absolutely brilliant idea! I wish I had thought of something like this when my kids were little but I shall definitely pass this idea on to my son and his wife so that they can use it with the boys.

Lynn's picture

You have to get 'em when they're small. :)

Lynn Siprelle, Editor

Nancy Zelenak's picture

Last night my daughter got a dollar bill wrapped in a spider ring, a bag of still wrapped microwave popcorn, a juice box and a glow stick! 4 very creative non-candy surprises!

Shanna's picture

Is there a book that goes along with this tradition?

Scott's picture

Just found this article and wanted to mention a couple of things. We do this with our daughter. She's 3 years old and allergic to anything with dairy, eggs or peanuts. So that rules out most Halloween candy (other than some things like suckers). She's just now old enough to start understanding it, but it's worked out really well for us.

Someone asked about a book for the tradition, we have this one:
It's about a Halloween fairy who loves candy but can't use her magic to make it, but she can make toys for her friends, so her friends give her candy in exchange for presents.

My one worry about it is that once she's old enough to be in school with other kids, the topic might come up, and a lot of the other kids probably won't have any idea what she's talking about.

Kilty 's picture

I can't wait to figure out how to disappear the candy after she comes with a gift.
mom of 2

Lynn's picture

It magically ends up in John's bike panniers to make his workplace happy. :)

Sunny's picture

We started the Halloween Fairy when our oldest was 2. I have no idea where I got the idea from, but I did have a few Waldorf friends, so it may have been one of them. It has been a really big hit. We said the Halloween Fairy gave the treats to people who were too big to trick or treat (like teenagers/office workers, etc...). The MORE candy/treats you gave to the Fairy, the bigger the present. We pre-bought a few things small, medium and large that would be presents from Santa, and picked one of those depending on how generous the child was with the Fairy. Sometimes the gift was Playmobile, which was a big hit in our house.
For the person who said 'why would you take away their treats after all their hard work?' or some variation of that, they didn't work hard. They walked up to people's houses and got free candy for saying trick or treat. Yes, it's a great deal, but nobody needs all that candy! This way they got the excitement of wearing a costume, being out and meeting all the neighbours and kids without cavities and obesity. They loved it!
If you like this idea and have older children who don't trick or treat, they could be very keen to support the idea if they are the 'older people the treats go to' (secretly of course). If they can keep Santa real for a younger sibling they're even more likely to do this because they gain from it! I've had friends start this with older children just by saying they just found out and they're so excited, and they never knew to leave the candy in a basket in front of the fireplace, etc... so they didn't even know it was possible! Even a skeptical child might be willing to give it a try one year to see if they get a gift.
I also hosted a Hallloween party every year(near Halloween but not on the 31st) so that the focus was on friends, costumes and creativity, not getting the most loot. I would serve juice boxes and order pizza, and ask each parent to bring Halloween treats for the number of children invited. Then I would have one adult friend stay and help divy the treats into Loot Bags that the children took home. The kids were always proud of what they brought for the loot bags, some chocolate and candy, but also Halloween pencils, stickers, rings, etc... I always vouched ahead of time (in the invite) for the homemade treats because I knew everyone invited. The biggest hit one year were oranges with Jack O Lantern faces drawn on with a black marker. The kids could have a Halloween treat for breakfast!
For anyone worried about scarring their chidlren by ruining Halloween, my "kids" are now healthy, happy, successful young adults who loved the Halloween Fairy and plan to use it with their own chidlren.

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