I always remembered the Great Pumpkin as part of the Charlie Brown folklore. Not having seen it in a while, I can't remember what it was about. Not having seen Charlie Brown in a great while, I'd forgotten a lot about all the characters anyway. But I remember something about how the Great Pumpkin was a myth and nobody believed in him except Charlie Brown. What the Great Pumpkin was though, I don't really remember. I think Charlie Brown finally saw him in the end. But it seems that The Great Pumpkin is also some sort of candy fairy, not unlike the tooth fairy.
While I was in Baltimore, we had a conference call with a co-worker who said that the Great Pumpkin came every year to her house. Her children would get a zip lock bag (I assumed a quart sized one as any other size would defeat this particular purpose). Each child could pick the candy they wanted to keep as long as it fit into this bag. The rest would go to the Great Pumpkin who would then leave them a gift.
I thought this was a fantastic idea as it keeps your child from eating too much candy and they also don't feel as though they're being jipped out of all their Halloween loot. Now the parents would, of course, sort through the candy and keep some for themselves then throw the rest away to keep themselves from eating too much candy too.
When I told this to Chris, he didn't think that it was a good idea. He would have much preferred to keep all his loot rather than give it up for a mystery gift. But it's no wonder he'd rather have the candy though, he has a bit of a sweet tooth. But he also thinks that if you let your child eat all the candy they wanted, they'd end up with a stomach ache and so they wouldn't do it the next time. (Assuming your child isn't a glutton for punishment.)
He uses himself as an example. We're both lactose intolerant. And while I don't eat a lot of diary products, Chris enjoys his ice cream. Once, he put too much into his bowl and I told him he was going to have a stomach ache. But he said that he'd be fine, which was totally not true as he got a tummy ache later that evening. So now he doesn't put quite as much into his bowl. It's like the theory that if you let your child stick their finger into a light socket, they're not likely to do it again.
So what do you guys think? Is the Great Pumpkin a good idea? How do you deal with the candy your children bring home? And do you keep the leftover loot yourself?