3 Ways to Repurpose Halloween Candy for the Holidays

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It might be tempting to toss that post-Halloween candy overload, but there are better things to do with it. All images: Lisa Kay Tate.

As much as we try to control our kids’ sugar intake, the post-Halloween candy accumulation is overwhelming. Whether it is from local carnivals, trick-or-treat events, or seasonal parties, we end up with a least one bucket or bag overflowing with goodies.

Instead of just throwing the excess candy out, take advantage of the upcoming fall and winter holiday season to help thin out the candy accumulation in creative ways.

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Candy buyback programs can help kids share the wealth with members of the armed forces.

Giving Back at Thanksgiving

Candy buyback donation opportunities are plentiful, and a good reminder that even while we are free to celebrate various holidays, there are those spending time away from their own families to protect those freedoms.

Halloween Candy Buyback programs are something many businesses, organizations, and dentist offices have adopted as a way to help lessen the load of candy accumulation while letting kids send a message of thanks to those serving in the armed forces.

The idea is simple. Kids can take their excess candy to participating locations, often in exchange for small cash rewards, coupons, dental products, or other rewards. There are some buyback projects that allow participants to ship the candy on their own, if there are no nearby drop-off locations, or if they are unable to attend a buyback event on a specific date.

Some of the places to find area participating locations can be found online through sites like Soldiers’ Angels and Operation Gratitude.

Being able to share something with others, even just a bag of candy, can turn that post-Halloween melancholy into a reason to be proud.

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Keep daily candy intake under control, while counting down to the holidays.

Counting Down to Christmas

This easy advent calendar-style countdown will give kids a fun activity leading up to Christmas, as well as allow them to control the intake of candy.

For Christmas, use three sheets of tissue paper and place one piece of candy for each kid in a row of eight piles on each sheet. Roll each sheet into long a rope, and tie a small piece of ribbon between each candy pile. Tie the three ropes together at the top, and hang this bundle near a door or in a kitchen.

Each day, let them gently tear off one section and enjoy their daily treat, from December 1 to 24.

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A Christmas countdown rope can make use of both leftover candy and recycled wrapping tissue.

For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, these are also fun countdowns for kids anticipating and upcoming birthday, winter family trip, or other special occasion. It’s easy to up the count to ten sections per rope, for a full-month countdown before the event. Hanukkah begins on the evening of December 24 in 2016, so a 24-piece countdown would work well this year.

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Candy filled streamer ball make fun party favors for New Year’s Eve or other fetes.

Having a Ball at on New Year’s Eve

This craft is easy for kids to make and use as gifts or party favors.

Using one roll of streamers, place a special “Happy New Year” message with a silver dollar or other small prize at the end, then begin rolling the streamer into a ball, adding a piece of candy random as the ball gets bigger. Flatter candies work best, and remember streamers rip easily. Don’t pull too hard, although a little piece of tape can repair accidents.

Once the ball gets to the desired size, use a sticker or tape to seal it off. Let kids decorate the ball with glitter, markers, or other festive designs.

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Place a special prize and message at the end of a streamer and begin rolling it in a ball, adding candy along the way. Seal it off with a sticker, tape or small drop of glue.

Ten small candy pieces per ball make a fun “count-down” to midnight and can also be a way for younger kids with earlier bedtimes to enjoy their own version of a New Year orb drop.

With these fall and winter holidays approaching at rapid speed, think of that post-Halloween pile of candy as a way to share the wealth and celebrate the season.