1 Nov
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Counting Down to Thanksgiving with Halloween Candy

Halloween bag full of candy

My kids brought 13 ½ pounds of candy into the house last night, and only three of the four kids went trick-of-treating. We didn’t even walk to that many houses, or for very long. I swear every year the candy in their bags increases exponentially.

Boy sorting Halloween candy

As much as the kids beg to, I don’t let them eat whatever they want on Halloween. A couple of pieces is good. The next morning we sort through what they have. The living room becomes piles of candy sorted by type. A few years ago, we implemented Thanksgiving countdown bags. The kids get to pick one piece of candy for each day leading up to Thanksgiving starting with Nov. 1. This year the kids got to pick 27 pieces of candy.

Pile of Halloween trick or treating goodies

Each child gets a brown paper bag to hold their countdown candy. Some years they go all-out and decorate their bags. This year they chose just to write their name on their bag. They take their choices seriously. We don’t eat candy regularly. They know the month of November is special. Each night after dinner in November they enjoy one piece of candy. Honestly, by the third week in November the kids have forgotten about the countdown bags. I end up reminding them after dinner.

We’re left with a whole lot of candy even with pieces taken for Thanksgiving countdown bags. I sort through the remaining candy and keep some for gingerbread decorating houses in December. Small candy like Smarties, Bottle Caps, Skittles, etc. work well for gingerbread houses. Our kids really enjoy the decorating of gingerbread houses, but don’t really eat the houses or candy. Saving Halloween candy means I don’t have to spend money on candy the kids only want for creative purposes.

Cork board decorated with photos of kids in Halloween costumes

I spent this morning taking down our Halloween decorations, dismantling costumes and putting Thanksgiving decorations out. My favorite Halloween decoration is a cork board I hang photos of past Halloween costumes each October. We enjoy the reminder of past creative efforts. I become nostalgic as I pull off each photo with a reminder to print a photo from this year to add to the pile.


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