As we busily prepare for Halloween – one of our favorite celebrations of the year – I wanted to share with you a beloved fall tradition in our home: the Pumpkin Fairy.
We were introduced to the Pumpkin Fairy by one of my most magical friends when our kids were small. And I am so glad we were! The Pumpkin Fairy is wonderful.
You see, I was always a little sketchy on keeping all that sugar from Halloween around the house. It's not what I wanted my kids to eat, yet I didn't want to be the heavy and swoop in and swipe their candy on November 1.
Also, last year Lupine exhibited a very clear/alarming reaction to food coloring that made Halloween that much more scary. Adding food sensitivities to the mix means that most of the candy that our kids bring home on Halloween fall onto our "no" list right out of the gate.
Hello, rock. Hello, hard place.
And then the Pumpkin Fairy swooped in on an autumn wind and saved the day.
The Pumpkin Fairy arrives by invitation to transform your Halloween treats into a wonderful, simple gift. (If she's never come before it's only because you didn't invite her!) What does she do with the candy? It depends on who you ask. Some kids think she makes the gifts she gives out of the candy she gathers; others think she might build her candy house from them. Personally, I suspect she grinds it up to make fairy dust for all the autumn fairy folk.
Here is how it works: Any willing children select the candy for the Pumpkin Fairy. Some make a selection, others dump in the lot of it. The chosen treats are put it out in a basket, covered with a cloth or silk and left on the table for the Pumpkin Fairy to find in the night. By morning the Pumpkin Fairy has come and transformed the candy into something lovely. (Around here she leaves small treasures akin to what we might find in our spring baskets.)
We find that the size of the gift is determined by how much candy they give, which for one of my kids means most of the bag is handed off and the food allergy candy struggles are over. (*wipes brow*)
In years past the Pumpkin Fairy has brought crystals, craft supplies, small handmade toys, and a special fall book. She always gives things that are a perfect match for the family she's sharing with!
We never force it, and if one child wants to keep a bucket of candy, that is their choice. (Around here that often means swapping out for legal treats from the coop.) But if you let the candy go and share the magic with the Pumpkin Fairy, oh the magic that will come!
So there you go. That's how we do it around here. It's not perfect, but for our family any way it's pretty darn close.
And at the end of the day, Halloween is still my children's favorite celebration. And the Pumpkin Fairy is just one more thing to look forward to. Because Halloween, after all, is so much more than candy. It's costumes and magic mischief and adventure!
And it turns out that the candy was just a sweet little extra all along.
P.S. While we talking about Halloween, read this. Read it right now. Bonus points if you can get to the end without your eyes blurring with tears. Actually, I take that back. Let those tears flow…
Originally posted in 2015.