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Halloween has come and gone! It was a whirlwind of a weekend for us. Because Halloween fell on a Sunday this year, the schools all celebrated on Friday. I sent my kids off to elementary school then dressed my preschooler up in her costume for her morning Halloween school celebration. She had a blast searching for candy around the school.

When her school finished I whisked her away quickly and ran up to the elementary school so we could watch the costume parade at her sisters’ school. Then I got to volunteer in one of my daughter’s classrooms for the party.

Once school ended, we came home, emptied the contents of our Halloween goodie bags on the living room carpet and made exchanges with our sisters.

Saturday we had a trunk or treat planned at our church, so we put our costumes on again and headed over. There were more children than cars so the kids went around the parking lot multiple times, which I don’t think they minded. Once we made it home, the girls dumped out their goodies and examined their findings.


And then Sunday was the big day! After a glorious Harry Potter feast, we met up with some neighbor friends and trick or treated around the block. Two miles later, we were home. The candy was out on the floor and we were organizing it into piles and making trades with our sisters.

But now what do we do with all that candy…? Some years, we eat it a little at a time. Over the course of a few months, it’s all taken care of. Most years, I put it aside and save it for gingerbread houses. We also make gingerbread nativities and those tend to call for quite the unusual candies (not the typical gingerbread house candies). Halloween candies are perfect for this activity. I grab a gallon size ziplock bag and save a bunch of candy for this specific purpose.

A few of my friends call upon the services of the candy fairy. After a week of enjoying the Halloween candy, they’ll leave the candy out overnight. The candy fairy will come to take it to kids who need it, and leave a toy in its place.

Did you know you can also donate your candy? I’ve rounded up a few places that collect candy and donate it to kids in hospitals, or men and women who serve in the army around the world.

Halloween Candy Buyback

  • The buyback program is one where businesses (not always dental offices!) will buy candy from families and send them to support our troops. Search by your zip code for businesses who participate in the buyback program.

Treats for Troops

  • Treats for troops is another organization that supports men and women serving in the military. You can mail or drop off your candy at a location and they will get the candy to deployed service members.

Operation gratitude

  • Operation gratitude has a location in New Jersey where volunteers come from around the community and they put together care packages for troops overseas. Once these packages have been assembled, they ship them to the main hanger in Florida. From there, they are sent to where they need to go – to the soldiers on the ground in and out of the country. If you have left over candy, you can mail it to the main hanger in Florida. Here is the address:
    • Operation Shoebox
      8360 East Highway 25
      Belleview, FL 34420


Whatever option you choose for the new pile of halloween candy – eat it yourself, save it for gingerbread houses, donate it or leave it for the candy fairy – I hope you find something that works for your family!

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