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October 24, 2011 - Stacey Sacco
I have to admit- Halloween is probably my least favorite holiday of all. I enjoy the fall activities with the kids- pumpkin carving, hay rides, corn mazes. But the actual dressing-up, Halloween parties, and trick-or-treating I find just about as fun as a visit to the dentist.
If it was kept at the little kid level of cute costumes and short parties to show them off, I think I wouldn’t mind so much. It’s fun to take them to storytime all dressed up when they’re toddlers. The jungle animals, mini superheroes, and pretty princesses are as adorable in costume as they are any other day.
The worst part of the holiday is that at some point, both of my kids have been scared of masks and costumes. They both think it’s fun to see their friends as monkeys and black-and-white cows, but when we’ve gone to Boo at the Zoo and stood in line behind a boy in a blood soaked mask for two hours, my child cries every time he turned around. And really, in my opinion, if a kid can explain that his mask is from the movie “Scream” and actually know what he’s talking about, he’s too old to be dressing up for Halloween. The open coffins, characters with so much gory make-up on they no long resemble humans, and scary creatures that come hurtling out of the darkness screaming aren’t fun for a toddler or preschooler. They’re just plain scary.
The endless candy is an issue in our house too. Of course, they want to eat it all immediately (and bounce off the walls for the next week). I don’t have a problem with an occasional treat. There are cupcakes cooling on my counter as I type this! But this bag of goodies sits around my house for months, before all the suckers get gooey and leak all over everything else and I throw it all out.
I love the idea of harvest parties where kids would get to show off their Halloween cutest and get a small bag of treats, but so few communities do this. As far as I know, it’s not an option where I live. And it’s also not an option to keep kids locked in the house while the entire neighborhood knocks at the door.
So, I take them to the parties and around the block for trick-or-treat. While Matthias gets to choose his costume, a zombie or other member of the undead will never get the green light in our house. (This year he wanted to be Batman and his younger brother to be Robin. Approved!) We don’t decorate the house with cobwebs or play scaring soundtracks. Minimalism is my motto when it comes to Halloween. Besides the Superman costume from last year was much more fun to wear while hanging from the swingset in June!
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