Nov. 1 is a magical, mystical night in our household. It's the night when the little-known Candy Fairy pays a visit to our home and replaces large bags of Halloween candy with toys.
Never heard of the Candy Fairy? Well, she's the best if you don't want your kids overindulging in sweets after Halloween. Now, don't get me wrong—we are not cruel parents. We allow them to eat some candy on Halloween, and we let them save their favorites, but all the rest goes in a bag for the Candy Fairy.
My boys, ages five and three-and-a-half, are fine with this concept. They aren't allowed many sweets as a rule, and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives almost never darken our cabinets, so it's not so difficult for them to let these things go.
Yes, we are lying to our children, but that's something we do in our family. We believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, so the Candy Fairy was really not much of a stretch.
And, sure, I'm basically bribing them to give up the candy but as far as I'm concerned if it gets the candy out of the house, it's worth it. As any parent can attest, if you keep that candy in the house, you have to listen to your kids bargain and barter and beg and plead for candy for days (weeks?) after America's spookiest holiday.
So, last night, the Candy Fairy swooped in and scooped up a large bag of treats and replaced them with a modest set of Legos. Sometime in the next few days, I'll donate the candy, probably at one of these locations, and I think at the end of the day, we all win. In a few years, when my kids have outgrown the Candy Fairy, the can make the donation themselves and learn lessons about gratitude and giving.
Until then, long live the Candy Fairy.