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Too much candy? The Halloween Fairy wants it.

Every October 31, the Halloween Fairy, sometimes called the Candy Fairy, comes to collect most of the sugary treats my daughter gathered during her trick-or-treat travels in the earlier evening. In return, the Halloween Fairy leaves a present. This tradition started with my daughter’s preschool and carried on through the years. My daughter is a “magic keeper,” in that she knows her parents act as the Halloween Fairy (as well as the Tooth Fairy, St. Nicholas/Father Christmas/Santa Claus, and now, at her insistence, the Easter Bunny), but she won’t ruin other people’s fun in the process.

My daughter at age 3

When I tell other parents about the Halloween Fairy, some of them say, “Hey, that’s a great idea!” while others look at me in bemusement and murmur, “That would never work with my child.”  That’s fine. Every family is going to have different outlooks and needs, and it’s good to have options.

As much as my daughter enjoys a sweet treat, the focus of Halloween has always been about costumes and pageantry for her. Most of the time, she prefers home baked goods to slabs of commercially produced candy. She’s not immune to the allure of the “fun-size” chocolate bars, which is why she keeps a few pieces of candy for herself and puts the rest in a basket so that the Halloween Fairy may build castles of boiled sweets, licorice sticks, chocolate wafers, and chewing gum.

Fellow NaturalKids Team artisan Birchleaf Designs welcomes the arrival of “The Great Pumpkin Fairy” and writes, “Most times, I will do a quick co-op shop of more natural treats that my children will “trade” for the nasty candy. That way, they get a little something sweet to eat on Halloween. Then, they each pick out their favorite color playsilk, wrap up their giveaway candy and leave it out on the porch before bed. In the morning they race to the porch to see what the Great Pumpkin Fairy has left in place of their candy.”

The present the Halloween Fairy leaves is far more wonderful than a basket of candy will ever be. The first year of the Halloween fairy, my daughter received a much-wished-for rhinestone tiara. In subsequent years, I looked for hand crafted items.  I enjoy browsing through my fellow NaturalKids Team members’ for presents. Here are some examples of gifts for inspiration:

Leather Sheath with Strap by Birchleaf Designs

Felt Autumn Fairy Wand by Aux Demilunes

Traveling roll-up rainbow gnomes  by FéeVertelaine

What are your Halloween traditions? Please share in the comments section.

Doll by Alkelda, trees by The Enchanted Cupboard

Farida Dowler is a Seattle storyteller who embroiders wool felt dolls for the Etsy shop Alkelda. She is determined not to filch candy from the Halloween Fairy’s basket, even if peanut-butter cups are involved. Okay, maybe one peanut-butter cup for fortification….


9 thoughts on “Too much candy? The Halloween Fairy wants it.

  1. Farida, this is wonderful! we have always gone the ‘traditional’ route with my girls… too late trick-or-treating, sugar crash, blah! Not any more, I am sick of all of that. And I think many mindful parents are steering away from that, as well. What a wonderful alternative, thank you for sharing this!

  2. Fantastic tradition. We are not celebrating Halloween here, but I love the idea.

  3. Thanks for showing my wand 🙂
    This year my daughter is 3 and it will be our first visit. She will leave a little fairy with some tiny furniture (I still have to make it…!)

  4. I think school would be less hellish if more people did this…I feel sorry for the teacher who have to go in the next day and teach the kids who have consumed way too much candy.

  5. We have a sugar plum fairy that comes to our house and exchanges wonderful handmade toys for Candy. I can’t remember where I heard this idea for the first time, but I am very grateful to whoever it was that shared this wonderful gift with me.
    I love the leather sheath! Barefoot Mama

  6. What a great idea!
    Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

  7. Thanks everyone, for sharing your thoughts and commenting. I just sent my daughter off to school in her costume. Her class will have a party the last hour of the school day. We talked about what would be served there, and whether or not she should bring an alternative snack. The plan is for her to eat the food served at the party, forgo the juice pouches, and refrain from sweets afterward. She said that she was going to give all of her candy to the Halloween fairy because she wanted a Really Good present. I think that’s a fair expectation.

  8. Wonderful Ideas! My boys have always enjoyed the excitement of Halloween – the scary costumes, pumpkin carving, and going out after dark to “pillage and plunder” with all the other children. Rather than letting the kids eat all the candy in a few nights, we taught them to make it last. A single piece after dinner, or on a special occasion maybe a couple pieces, and their loot lasts a very long time. Now that they are older, they have more control over how much of it they eat at once, but they still do a great job of stretching it out because they know that when it is gone, it’s gone! If they were still little, I would definitely try out the exchange!

  9. Ahem, one question remains: What does the fairy do with the candy? Do the parents get to eat it? Did you see that video where the parents told the kids they had eaten all their candy that night?

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