Candy and Pumpkins

candy corn and ceramic pumpkin on wooden table

Get ideas for approaching October's harvest season with mindfulness, while still keeping true to your family's standards.

Candy Rations

Whenever my children receive a lot of candy — at a fall harvest party, for example — I label seven baggies for each child and write the days of the week on them. Then they pick six pieces of candy for each baggie. When that day arrives during the following week, they get to eat them. The leftover candy goes into my rewards bag for when my kids do a chore beyond their normal assignments.

—Jessica Tyson

Harvest Party Pumpkins

In the fall, my family and I host a pumpkin party. We purchase several pumpkins and turn our backyard into a little pumpkin patch. Each family who attends chooses a pumpkin to carve.

Over the years, the creations have become more elaborate, with families bringing pumpkin plans and decorations, such as stickers, paints and more. Once these wholesome carvings are complete, we vote on which pumpkin wins the coveted "Best in Show." Every pumpkin wins some award, from funniest to most creative.

Once it's dark, we line up the pumpkins and light the candles placed inside. I take a picture and then send it to everyone with a thank-you note.

—Heather Goyette

What to Do With Too Much Candy

How am I going to keep 5 pounds of Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy and other assorted candy from boring holes into my children’s teeth? To prevent sugar overload, I’ve found a few creative uses for all that candy that makes its way into our home during this season of harvest parties:

Count down with it. Let your kids pick out 24 small pieces of candy and one bigger piece. Build an Advent chain with 25 strips of red and green construction paper. Tape one piece of candy to each link, saving the biggest piece for last. Let your kids take turns ripping off one piece each day from Dec. 1 until Christmas.

Freeze it. Chocolate stays fresh in your freezer for up to one year. Just put it in an airtight freezer bag. Pull it out throughout the year as a small treat for your kids or to use in dessert recipes.

Re-gift it. Use hot glue to attach individual pieces of candy to wooden dowels. Put floral foam into a festive mug or vase. Poke the sticks into the foam. Embellish with a little ribbon. Now you have a candy bouquet perfect for appreciated teachers, coaches, and so on.

Decorate with it. During the holidays, build a gingerbread house and use the candy for embellishment. (No one eats those anyway.) This festive decoration is a fun way for your child to be creative.

Donate it. Start a post-holiday candy drive in your neighborhood or school. Operation Gratitude sends candy to American troops serving overseas. Check out for more information.

—Carey Halvala

"Candy Rations" and "Harvest Party Pumpkins" first appeared in the October/November 2018 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. "What to Do With Too Much Candy" first appeared in the October/November 2011 issue of Thriving Family magazine. The compiled article "Candy and Pumpkins" first appeared on (2018). If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family's marriage and parenting magazine. Get this publication delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount. 

"Candy Rations" © 2018 by Jessica Tyson. "Harvest Party Pumpkins" © 2018 by Heather Goyette. "What to Do With Too Much Candy" © 2011 by Carey Halvala. Used by permission.

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