Boo-Hoo: When Halloween Is Over


We’re gearing up for Halloween around here. The costumes, pumpkin patches, creative carving, and buying of candy… followed by buying more candy, because a nameless adult has poor self-control. (Me, I’m the nameless adult).

Winking pumpkin
Photo by Lucia Foster

But what about when it’s all over? Do we really want to be eating massive bags of candy for weeks? (In my case, even more weeks). Do we want to send our pumpkins to the landfill? And what to do about those spiffy costumes? If these all important questions keep you up at night, hold onto your trick-or-treat bucket because I’m about to share some options to ease your worried mind!

Trading Sugar For Something Sweeter

In our family, we love giving our kids the freedom to choose some favorite candies to keep. The rest we “buy back” for $0.10 a piece. At the end of the night our kiddos are happily munching on their goodies, playing a download they just purchased or surfing Amazon for a fun toy.

Less sugar crashes, cavities, and poor health choices. More enjoyment in moderation, with an exercise in budgeting while we’re at it! (Whoa, did you just see us  sneak math into Halloween?) From here you can either freeze the bought back candy for later use, share it with others, or look up a local donation site.

Supper For Swine

Now onto our beloved pumpkins. They graced our entrances during September, were carved into lanterns for October, and now they risk molding your doormat or ending up in the landfill. No thanks!

Those gorgeous gourds are not only a great addition to your personal compost bin, but they might be a sumptuous snack for your local farm life. Pumpkins For Pigs is a great site for finding farms and sanctuaries accepting your carved pumpkins and other garden goodies. 

Halloween Costumes

80's CostumesSince we’re past the era of printing super heroes on plastic tablecloths and wearing them (thank you, 80’s memories) we are often left with costumes that can be used again and again! My kids were Spidey and Ghost Spider last year. And they played Spiderman in those outfits for as long as they could squeeze into them.

Robin Hood, a fireman, a princess, and more have gone from one night uses to a year’s worth of pretend play inside couch forts and table tents. And for those that are too bulky for repeat play or were too quickly outgrown? Pass them on for future use to your local Buy Nothing group or favorite consignment shop.

No matter what you do to wrap up your October festivities, I hope your homes are full of joyful memories… and a little bit of left over chocolate. 

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Cheryl Quimba
Cheryl is a nearly 20 year Oregonian who grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia. She learned to turn down the sarcasm dial, hike in the rain, and keep an IV drip of coffee at all times, making the PNW deeply home. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Pastoral Counseling and, in her pre-kid years, worked in substance abuse prevention, special needs tutoring, and as administrative support for the psychiatric care of at risk children. She and her husband, BJ, are two-time adoptive parents to Nora (8) and Evan (5). Together, they love discovering nature, mountains of library books, and endless hours of legos, art, and YouTube. A potent cocktail of pandemic school closure and a growing understanding of neurodivergent needs led Cheryl to educate their kids at home. She spends much of her time geeking out over resources for Child-Led Learning (Unschool, Self-Directed, Natural Learning -whatever your flavor!). Through NEST she has obtained certification in supporting individuals with the Pathological Demand Avoidance profile of the Autism Spectrum. She enjoys encouraging families in their journey as they seek to understand and love their children well. You can find her at, where she educates and supports in areas of OCD, PDA, Unschooling, and Open Adoption.