Our Tradition: The Great Pumpkin


The beginning of October means three things to me:

  1. I can’t believe I made it this far into the season without a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
  2. I’m going to spend this entire upcoming weekend bent over the sewing machine swearing at myself for not finishing the kids’ costumes weeks ago.
  3. I need to prepare for the Great Pumpkin!

And no, I’m not talking about the Charlie Brown special. Every year, my kids dress up in their costumes and go trick-or-treating for TONS and TONS of sugary unhealthy candy. It’s actually a competition to see who can collect the most. But for our kids it’s for a good reason, not just a sugar rush.


This is not the face of a sugar addict.

Before we go to bed on Halloween night, we bring our best Jack-o-lanterns inside and fill them with our candy (we usually line them with a plastic bag first).

In the middle of the night, while everyone is sound asleep, “The Great Pumpkin” comes to retrieve our best jack-o-lanterns for his collection. If he finds them filled with candy, he’s SO appreciative of the gift that he thanks each child with a present.

Those owl eyes will be bulging with candy tonight.

The children are NEVER obligated to participate. They can keep ALL of their candy if they want. Or even keep some and give some to The Great Pumpkin… but they never do. That’s because the more candy that’s left in the Jack-o-lantern, the more grateful The Great Pumpkin is and the bigger and/or BETTER the gift will be that he leaves for that child.

The Great Pumpkin knows how much work it takes to collect all that candy.

He gifts accordingly.

So the morning after Halloween, the kids wake up to find their Jack-o-lanterns (and candy) gone and a present left for each of them, wrapped in Halloween-colored paper, from “The Great Pumpkin”.

The wrapping paper from which looks suspiciously like a dollar store disposable tablecloth.

…and somewhere far far away, The Great Pumpkin donates all that candy to be sent away to the troops! ๐Ÿ™‚


2 thoughts on “Our Tradition: The Great Pumpkin

    1. I’m glad you like it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m asked about our “Great Pumpkin” tradition all the time and enjoy sharing it. It’s especially helpful for my friends whose children have food allergies and special dietary needs where the candy isn’t just unhealthy but can actually be fatal to their children. The kiddos don’t feel left out of trick-or-treating BUT the candy isn’t a risk factor… and the children are actually EXCITED to give it up. Win-win!

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