A Simple Halloween Tradition: The Sugar Plum Fairy

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! I love costumes and pumpkin carving and decorating everything in orange and black with lots and lots of happy stripes.

At our house the focus is on the silly and not the frightening.  Over the years, my kids have come to really love and look forward to this holiday, too.

While Halloween is one of the few times a year that we do allow candy at our house, we don’t want our kids to go overboard with excessive consumption of it either.  One great solution that limits the amount of candy, but holds the magic of the holiday,  is a visit from the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The Sugar Plum Fairy

When our little trick or treaters come home, we have the kids pick out some of their candy to eat and the rest we leave out for the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The Fairy comes during the night, takes our candy (she brings it back to Sugar Plum Land where they use candy to build their cottages, but some say she takes her share into my husband’s office to share with his co-workers) and leaves something fun, like a small toy, holiday movie dvd, art supplies, or a craft kit, in exchange.

Sometimes she refills their Halloween pails with tattoos, stickers, and play dough or other fun trinkets like that.  Sometimes she also leaves the children those cool toothbrushes that spin, which you can decorate yourself with stickers (but the Sugar Plum Fairy will be the first to admit that not every child will go for that idea).

We leave it up to the kids if they would like to exchange their candy, but so far we haven’t had anyone decline a visit from the Sugar Plum Fairy.

For another take on this idea, visit The Magic Onion’s blog to read about The Legend of the Pumpkin Fairy.

Does your family have any Halloween traditions?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. I love this idea. It’s cute and clever. My little guy is only 15 months, but I will sure remember this for next year!

  2. This is a great Idea. My kids still have candy from valentines day and Easter. They just don’t eat very much candy so it just goes to waist. Thanks for this fun Idea.

    • Yes, it is a good way to keep the treats from going to waste, though I have to admit that in our house neither the kids nor I would be able to have the candy around for months – we’d be tempted (even the sticky stuff my daughter with the spacer is forbidden to have). So this is a good solution for that, without anyone feeling deprived.

      I admire those who don’t have the sweet tooth we do. Candy still from valentines and Easter? I’m impressed :-)
      Kara @SimpleKids´s latest post: A Simple Halloween Tradition: The Sugar Plum Fairy

  3. Wow, this so so fabulous! I have twin 3 1/2 yr olds and I was really wondering how we were going to handle the MASSIVE amounts of candy coming our way. Halloween morning they have a big party at preschool and come home with tons of candy. Then there’s trick or treating and a neighborhood block party that night. Last year I just threw away a bunch of it and they didn’t notice but this year I figure they’re too old for that type of trickery. I’m gonna run to Target and stock up on some non-edible goodies for the Sugar Plum Fairy right now!
    Diane´s latest post: MOVING DAY IS HERE!

  4. Yes, this is such a great idea and one we have put into practice the past two years when my friend suggested it to me. Although we don’t call her “the Sugar Plum Fairy”–I like that name and description of what the candy goes for much better, actually!

    The fairy has brought our kids board games, legos, stickers, and yes–spinny toothbrushes! And the kids have been delighted (mostly).
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s latest post: How Women Are Losing in the Marriage Market

  5. We have a similar tradition – we call our night time visitor the Halloween Witch. We’ve done this since our eldest first started trick-or-treating and this will be our fourth year. We’ve decided to cut back the trick-or-treating and only do a few houses, instead we’re going to a Halloween event…. I’m trying to figure out how the Halloween Witch will make her appearance.

    Can I ask what you do with the candy once you take it away? This is something that I struggled with which is why we’re just cutting back on it coming into the house in the first place.
    Samantha´s latest post: Working as a team

  6. I guess I would rather just tell the kids that we are visiting fewer houses, than to let them do the whole neighborhood for the sake of “getting”, just so I can take the candy away later. I am also not a fan of dentists offering kids $1 per pound to turn it in. These new trends really take the fun out of giving candy to trick or treaters, when you look at the parents and kids and wonder if they are either going to sell it or toss it in the garbage the next day. When our kids’ bags (which are purposely not giant) reach the amount that we are willing to let them eat, we go home.
    Visty´s latest post: 161

    • Visty, you bring up some great points and we do both – my kids have fairly small trick ‘o’ treat containers as well and we also visit a smaller area (we don’t do our whole neighborhood, usually just our block). I certainly don’t want to encourage “getting” just for the sake of “getting” either.

      I’m not sure if you caught this by reading the post or not, but I don’t “take away” the kids candy, they have a choice of whether or not they want to leave some for the Sugar Plum Fairy or not.

      I also don’t sell or throw away the candy. They pick out what they want to keep and then leave the rest, which usually ends up going to my husband’s office where it is enjoyed and appreciated by his coworkers.

      I also love handing out treats, too and enjoying seeing the kids in all of their costumes.

      In our home, the Sugar Plum Fairy just adds another level of the magic and is done in the spirit of fun, that yes, also limits the amount of candy we have in the house which, for us, is a good thing.
      Kara @SimpleKids´s latest post: A Simple Halloween Tradition: The Sugar Plum Fairy

      • I did see that your fairy redistributes the candy to your husband’s office. 😉 I was referring to other comments about the candy going to waste or being thrown away. Something I have been hearing a lot of, either around town or on the internet: parents saying they just let their kids go out for a few hours around the neighborhood to have fun, then they toss most of it because they don’t want it around the house. To me that teaches a lot of wrong ideas that are worse than any damage from a bowl of candy. I know you are not suggesting that.
        Visty´s latest post: 161

  7. a visit from the halloween guy (like the fairy) and a neighborhood spooky walk


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