Halloween Traditions and the Battle of the Candy

One of the best things about buying this house almost nine years ago (and moving from an apartment) was really getting to enjoy Halloween. That first year we started several traditions we’ve stuck with ever since, one of which is the totally awesome pumpkins my husband carves every year. Last year he did this guy:

Tigger jack o' lantern

The wonderful thing about Tiggers is they make good carvings.

Some past masterpieces (he has a thing for comic strip characters):

Hobbes jack o' lantern

Help! I'm stuck in a pumpkin!

Opus jack o'lantern

A cherished neighbor undeserving of such a fate.

He also likes ogres, like this one:

ogre jack-o-lantern

I'm grumpy.

And this one (oh wait, that’s not an ogre, that’s my husband):

punk Halloween costume

I'm grumpy too.

I’m typically more of a two-triangles-and-a-mouth sort of pumpkin carver, though I did a pretty fancy haunted house last year. It got the Pumpkin Master Seal of Approval, so I consider it a success. I’m going to continue that particular tradition this year and do another inverse design – a simple but classic glowing black bat.

Connor is now getting in on this tradition as well. His very first jack-o’-lantern:

toddler's first jack o' lantern

Apparently his style of art is more abstract.

He drew the features and dad did the carving, and thus the artistic tradition continues.

In addition to doing several pumpkins each year, we hang bats from the porch and bring out the glowing ghosts. Some of our neighbours do great decorations (sound effects included) so we always have a great time walking up and down the street looking at them.

But the best part of Halloween for us is handing out candy.

Friends of ours do fireworks and hot dogs on Halloween and we always really want to go. It would be fun but we never want to miss the trick-or-treaters, so we stay home, order Chinese food, and take turns calming down our dog when the doorbell rings.

Every year, in preparation for the big night, my husband and I engage in the Battle of the Halloween Candy. It goes like this:

He wants to be “that guy” on our street so he likes to go to Costco and buy full-sized chocolate bars.

I think that’s a bit much, especially because we get the same teenage kids coming back over and over because we’re “that house.” But I know he’s going to buy them anyway so I at least try to convince him to wait until close to Halloween so we don’t eat them all ourselves.

He buys them early.

We eat them all ourselves.

Okay, not all of them. But in the past we have been known to be a little light on candy by the time the 31st rolls around. But not this year!

Handing out big bars of chocolate certainly makes you look cool, but to me Halloween is about a big bowl of individually-wrapped candies. It’s about choices and options and different-coloured gummy things, and this year I’ve got a whole stash.

I’ve got Sour Watermelon Slices, Peach Slices, Sour Cherry Slices, Tangy Wild Strawberries and Sour Grape Slices. I have Big Foot (Big Feet?) and Green Thumbs and Hot Lips. I’ve got gummies and sours and jubes and jellies.

I’m going to pit my BIG bowl of candy against my husband’s chocolate bars. I’m going to dive wrist-deep into the bowl and grab a whole handful of different kinds of candies and listen to the satisfying shush-and-rustle as they drop into treat-laden bags and pillowcases. And then I shall compare the lasting looks of delight on those children’s faces to the fleeting awe of those who get a whole candy bar.

Okay, so there’s no guarantee I’m going to win the award for the Best Treat Giver-Outer. But I’m totally going to have fun trying.



Disclosure – I am participating in the Allan Candy Company program by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation (and candy! glorious candy!) for my participation in this campaign. The opinions in this post are my own.

My husband and I had fun reminiscing about Allan Candy’s rabbit-ears logo and corner store candy trips as kids. Here’s some info about their candy:

Allan Candy is a Canadian company and all of their halloween candy is peanut-free and proudly made in Canada. Their line-up includes Allan Intense Jubes & Jellies, Allan Chewy Rascalz and Allan Fruit Buddies, which can be found at stores like Wal-Mart and Loblaws. 

Allan Candy logo



  1. Wow your husband has great talent with the carving!

    I like your candy bowl much better than big chocolate bars, just sayin’.

  2. Those are some pretty awesome pumpkins but I think I like Connor’s the best.

  3. How fun!!!
    We don’t give out candy because Mr. Chunky “I’m so popular and people need to see me in my costume” we are on the road the entire night. It is so exhausting.
    Kind of like Christmas.
    Those pumpkins kick ass if I do say so myself. I’m like you…triangles. Easy peasy.

    • Ha! I can totally see Mr. Chunky being like that. He is way popular. I’m always glad when Connor is done by the time we get to the end of our street. Though this year may be different…

  4. Love it, Robin! Those pumpkins really are masterpieces and (Do I dare say?) we so want to be “that guy” with the full size candy bars, too!

    (Ducking for cover now. :))

  5. Those pumpkins are awesome! I can barely do the triangle and mouth look on mine!

  6. Very impressive! We are excited for Halloween this year, too, because we actually live on a steet with actual families and actual kids who will be trick or treating. Hayden is PUMPED about being Darth Vader for the day :)

  7. Wow, your husband is quite the talented jack o lantern artist. I carved a simple one of Jack Skellington’s face one year – it felt like it took me forever!!

  8. first off, those are some masterful pumpkins. Secondly, giggle on eating the chocolate early. That sounds like my type of tradition :)

  9. The pumpkins are AMAZING!!!

  10. Your husband is so talented! It’s hard carving pumpkins. And C looks so cute with his little creation!

  11. Wow your husband is a PRO! And I think I would rather have a whole chocolate bar than a bunch of candies. (as a kid, of course – as a kid). :-)

  12. Your husband is a master pumpkin carver!

    Letting Lucas try scares the crap out of me, but after visiting two pumpkin patches, I fear I’m going to have to.

    P.S. Payment in candy is AWESOME!!

  13. These are some of the best pumpkins I have ever seen in my life, I never thought to make cartoon characters into pumpkins

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