spooky reflections

so we did not celebrate Halloween when I was a kid so maybe I don’t understand how all of this is supposed to work.

As a parent, I enjoy watching my kids dress up and have fun.  I really love eating all the candy they collect.  But over the last few years I have been observing others.

Here are my thoughts…

Scary costumes… I know Halloween is supposed to be scary but really, there are some horrible ones out there.

Teens trick or treating… 5th grade is where the candy train ends.  If you are escorting a younger sibling, maybe. but really once you are middle school you are too old for trick or treating.

No costumes… really?  you want me to give you candy and you have made NO EFFORT?  I don’t thinks so.

Driving from street to street… so not only are you going to consume 8000 calories tonight you aren’t going to walk any of it off?

Old people trick or treating… I am not kidding.  There was senior citizen lady with a walker, in neon wig collecting candy. no children around.  My sister mentioned something similar in her neighborhood.  AND PEOPLE WERE GIVING THEM CANDY!!! Seriously!

People with tiny babies trick or treating… you know that baby isn’t getting the candy.  Just because they look cute in their costume (although some didn’t even dress their baby up) does not entitle a 3 month old to a bucket full of candy.

How about that family that was still knocking on the door at 9:30?  How late is too late?  How much candy do you really need?

We did trunk or treat at church last night and then I took the boys on the square this afternoon.  I made the boys have a joke ready (do people do that anymore) and demanded (sounds harsh but it is expected) that they thank every person for the candy they were given.  As we walked around I was amazed by what I saw.  People were complaining about long lines and the types of candy being passed out.  I wanted to scream at them.  IT IS FREE CANDY PEOPLE!! SAY THANK YOU!  It felt more like an assembly line than a fun event.

I started feeling sorry for myself and my kids.  When we lived in St. Louis we would trick or treat with my parents, my sister and her family.  My brother always made the “cool uncle” appearance. The neighborhood was like one giant block party.  People having fun and visiting in every driveway and in the street. I definitely did not feel that on the square tonight.

Something that our community does every Halloween (for more than 50 yrs) that sort of seems outdated but (after tonight) i do love is Anti-Van (short for anti-vandalism).  It is something the middle school and high school do to keep the 6th-12th graders off the street (thus no over age trick-or-treating).  It starts with talent show and is followed by a dance.  If kids don’t want to dance there are all kinds of other activities within the building.  At the middle school we had guitar hero, Wii racing, karaoke, computer games, board games, and a lot of food.  The middle school was done around 9 but the high school goes until later.  Fun times and the kids are staying out of trouble.

At first I was totally bummed that teacher participation was not optional and that I would miss passing out candy with my kids.  After our time on the square, however, I was cool with not giving away candy to people.  The boys went to a couple of houses with Hubs and were in bed by 8 because the Chiefs are on TV.

Tonight I was in the karaoke room and I had a blast.  My cool points skyrocketed with the kids with my version of  Fergolicious.  Probably not going to hear the end of that for a while.  I had so much fun!!!

To me, Halloween should be fun and silly.  Candy is an awesome perk but I think being creative is the best part.  We made Bubba’s costume this year (a Lego) while Dude’s was recycled from last year (a hot dog).  I love that we spent $3 total this year.  I think I will start a new tradition with home-made costumes.  I will also continue to enforce the joke and thank you expectations.  I don’t care if it slows them down… it teaches respect.  And if you see my kids knocking on your door after they are out of elementary school… yell at them to go home!

What are your thoughts on Halloween?  Are there unwritten rules that need to be enforced?

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One response to “spooky reflections

  1. Caryn

    I am so with you on ALL of this!! Luckily for us, we live in a community where there are mostly young kids, so actual door-to-door trick or treating is at a minimum. Instead, businesses and schools do indoor trick-or-treating with games and all sorts of fun stuff. They do it mostly because it’s too cold and windy here on Halloween to be outside that long, but also to keep the kids busy doing good things rather than the alternatives. I’m cool with bigger kids dressing up for Halloween, but that’s it. No trick or treating for them!

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