The Sweet Tradition of Small Things: A Tale of Halloween Candy Pails

October 26, 2016

I have very visceral memories of running around on Halloween in my cookie-cutter, suburban neighborhood of New Jersey with my sister like 2 mad escapees. For a long time, we had matching costumes and for probably even longer we had matching Halloween candy pails. Thanks to our parents who usually – and with no intention – went bigger than any parent I knew, while everyone else was collecting candy in a normal bucket or pillow case, sis and I were sporting around the Cadillac of Halloween Candy Pails. The extra large plastic pumpkin pail was the length of our torso and could carry our weight in candy and when they came down from the attic every year, it was the a signal, the opening bell of Halloween.

Knowing this might help you understand the sadness that followed the theft of our first family tradition with my own family, the Halloween candy tin bucket. To many, it would seem like a silly accessory but that’s what is funny about tradition, right? The smallest of things to some people can be the biggest of traditions to others.


That tin bucket wasn’t a planned tradition; it was a fundraiser at CMS our first year. Our daughter was weeks old and we knew we wouldn’t actually use it to trick or treat with but we brought it with us to school one weekend and photographed her in it… and the rest is history.


Somewhere within the first 3 years of living abroad, that tradition was born into our family. It became a marker of time, a way to remind us how quickly time is passing.

A tradition is really just another word for “the way things have always been done” which if you think about it, doesn’t make it too different from a routine but it’s the memories and sentiment we attach to it that make them irreplaceable. For those of you that live abroad or who have ever moved away from family, you’ll know that of all the challenges of moving, maybe the greatest, is replacing a family tradition.  They are a double edged sword; the first thing to slice you open, exposing how much you actually miss home, but they can also be the first thing that will make you feel like you found a new one.

In honor of the Great Halloween Candy Pails, here are a few cute ideas:







1. Olivia’s Sweet Lullaby 2. Razzel and Dazzel 3. Mud Pie Trick or Treat Buckets  4. Sentimental Favorites 5. Sammie’s Lettering 6. The Velvet Buttercup 7. Looking Glass Designs 8. Pretty and Lucky 9. DeLa Design


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