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  • Writer's pictureElm Hill Academy

The Great Halloween Pumpkin Candy Giveaway

As Halloween quickly approaches, we wanted to share our thoughts on an interesting twist to what can otherwise be a sugar-filled few days after your child goes trick-or-treating. Last year alone, Americans spent $9.0 billion total on Halloween and roughly $2.6 billion on Halloween candy!

Every year it seems like children end up with way more candy than they can or should eat. Fortunately, there is an alternative - The Great Pumpkin Candy Giveaway.

The origins of The Great Pumpkin Candy Giveaway trace back to Charlie Brown's 1966 television special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” In the show, Linus explains the legend of the Great Pumpkin: “On Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch and flies fly through the air to bring toys to all the good little children everywhere.” Over time, a few enterprising parents tweaked the legend that was introduced by Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin Candy Giveaway was born!

If your family participates in Halloween and trick-or-treating, it is definitely worth a try. The concept behind the giveaway is very similar to the Tooth Fairy:

Children in Halloween Costumes With Candy
Children in Halloween Costumes With Candy

How does it work?

  1. Candy acquisition – send your kids out to trick-or-treat

  2. When the kids return, sort through their haul and set aside an amount for the Great Pumpkin- challenge them to give up half, or some of their favorites, or to lessen the blow, have them give away their least favorites.

  3. Explain that the Great Pumpkin will be sharing the candy with other children and families who weren't able to gather as much

  4. While asleep, the Great Pumpkin visits your home to collect its candy

  5. In the morning, your children wake up to find a small gift and note of thanks from the Great Pumpkin

As an Otter Learning school, we like the concept of the Great Pumpkin Giveaway because it provides our children an opportunity to make key decisions and give back in a small way to other local families. It’s a great lesson in generosity, empathy and kindness for your children. Plus, it keeps all that extra sugar out of their (and your...) mouths.

Candy Donation Poster
Candy Donation Poster

Where does the extra candy go?

Give it away (hence the word “Giveaway” in the title). Below are some suggestions to consider (besides bringing it to work to leave in the breakroom):

  • Ronald McDonald House – if your community has a Ronald McDonald House, they often accept Halloween candy for the children and families using their services.

  • Soldiers’ Angels – This military support organization has an initiative called “Treats for Troops,” a Halloween candy collection program to provide candy to service members, wounded warriors and veterans.

  • Operation Gratitude - Another military support organization that sends 300,000+ individually addressed packages to service members and their families.

  • Halloween Candy Buyback – local businesses – often dentists – frequently accept candy which they then will donate to other organizations.

There are many other organizations that will accept your candy. A simple internet search can lead you to options in your community.

What does the Great Pumpkin leave in return for all that candy?

It’s really up to you to create the tradition in your household. Some suggestions are:

  • A small toy, book or game your child has been wishing for

  • A simple note from the Great Pumpkin saying thank you

  • An experience for you and your child – like a trip to the zoo, a museum, etc.

Additional Reading:


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