When you flip that calendar from September to October you are undoubtedly inundated with all things pumpkin! Pumpkin spice, pumpkin picking and pumpkin seeds (yum) are all the rage. Along with the pumpkin-craziness comes the dreaded candy bowls at work and my kids’ intense anticipation of trick-or-treating!

Truthfully, I love October. I love Halloween. I love pumpkin! By far my favorite month of the year, I never stress about Halloween or trick-or-treating and do you know why? The Halloween Witch. Yup, the Halloween Witch (or Candy Witch – whichever witch you prefer), entered our lives once my kids were able to go door to door and say those magical words: Trick-or-Treat (and of course, THANK YOU!).

My kids already know my feelings on candy, junk food and sugar. Mom doesn’t like it and mom really doesn’t like it when we eat too much of it. But I am not a monster.  I do not forbid my kids everything and I would never forbid them from the joy and fun of trick-or-treating with their friends.

After a night of filling their pumpkins (or rather pillowcases because apparently that’s WAY cooler to carry now – duh mom!), my kids come home and are allowed to count and sort their goodies. They trade and make piles of what they don’t like and then assess what is left.

They are allowed to choose 10 items each that they absolutely love then they hand over the rest and we leave it out in a bowl for the Halloween Witch. I take the 10 pieces they have chosen and I put them away in the cupboard (out of sight often leads to out of mind).

When their little heads hit the pillow, the Halloween Witch comes and removes the left-over candy and in return leaves a toy, game or a book, depending on what is in favor these days.

Beyond excited to wake up and see what new present was left for them, they quickly lose that memory of all the candy they collected the night before. Often times they will ask me to show them their 10 piece stash just to make sure that the Halloween Witch didn’t mistakenly take that as well. All is good and they are off to school.

If your kids are too old for the Halloween Witch (pretty sure my 10-year-old is on to me now but she still prefers a toy or a book and so humors me and my fun), there ARE other options for you kid’s candy stash.

A lot my coworkers bring in their left-over candy for the office to share but I don’t particularly dig that idea. Instead, I’ve found a few other options for those left-over sugar bombs.

Option 1: My kids’ dentist actually will take the candy and in return give the kids toys. Check with your local dentist office because from what I have learned, many do this and they often take the candy by the pound which is a great incentive for the kids to donate more of their stash.

Option 2: Soldiers’ Angels Treats for Troops! This great organization will ship your donated candy to deployed service members around the world or distribute to veterans in VA Hospitals across the country for a sweet treat! Check out their website for local drop off locations.

Halloween is all about fall, fun and being with friends. Don’t let the candy and sugar part weigh you down especially if you have kids. Compromise with them and start a tradition (like the Halloween Witch) that just redirects their focus a little. It can be a total win-win.

Happy Halloween!