Maybe it’s that it’s been so long since a “proper” holiday, the kind that people decorate for. Can’t recall putting up decorations for Labor Day or Columbus Day. So the second the calendar turns to October, the boxes come out.
We have nearly as many boxes of Halloween decorations as we do Christmas decorations. And despite our recent effort to stay far, far away from the producers of “Hoarders,” we have enough to make our house look like the set for The Haunted Mansion.
We have some pretty set traditions around Halloween, that make it something that ties us all together as a family—so it’s always really pleasant and exciting for the kids.
So for your reading pleasure, I present (in no particular order),
The Top Ten Reasons to Gear Up for Halloween
1. Visiting the Pumpkin Patch. We haven’t gone this year yet, but we will soon. We love picking out a few pumpkins, wandering around in the hay mazes, getting all muddy and cold and having hot apple cider before we leave.
2. Picking apples. We’ve only been a couple of times, but it’s something the kids enjoy. And we eat a LOT of apples around our place. It seems to be everyone’s favorite late night snack. Especially Dad’s.
3. Decorating the House. Dragging the boxes from the attic and remembering all the funky stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. The door knocker with the creepy music. The hand that walks by itself. The cat whose head spins around and around. And the “Halloween Tree” that holds the Jack Skellington ornaments. Strange how spider webs and creepy music seem to be acceptable one month of the year…
4. Picking out a costume. We always plan on using our “costume box,” but usually end up buying costumes at Target or the overpriced Party store. But the joy it brings when your child get just the right costume—it’s (almost) worth the $40 for the cheap cloth and plastic that (hopefully) lasts one night.
6. The “Microsoft Halloween Party.” This year will be the first year my kids haven’t gone to the Microsoft Halloween Party. Every building decorates, most people put candy outside their office doors, and my kids (usually accompanied by a friend) make out like bandits, filling a bag with candy. With small offices or cubicles all offering candy, and none of the “trick-or-treat” begging, they can get 200 small candy bars in an hour or two. Despite that, they always want to go out to the parties that happen later, and then Trick or Treating.
7. Planning or attending a party with friends. I’m not sure if it’s because trick or treating is becoming out of fashion, or that Halloween is becoming more and more social—whatever the reason, there always seems to be one or two friends who really go all out to decorate, and act as a home base for trick or treating. We’ve been the host family, and we’ve been guests. Either way, having a place to meet, before or after going out with the kids is a fun thing to do on Halloween night.
8. Visiting Haunted Houses. They get less and less scary every year, at least that's what my kids tell me. What is it that makes us want to be scared, puposefully? I never really did like haunted houses, so the ones we've been to have been pretty tame.
9. Trick or Treating. Even though this may be one of the last years for the older kids, being “pre-teens” hasn’t slowed them down in their desire to traipse around in the dark, visiting one of the popular neighborhoods with lots of houses.
SIDEBAR: Why is is that on one night of the year, we encourage our kids to do most of the things we spend the rest of the year telling them to avoid?
A) Going out in the night and wandering up and down the street.
B) Going to strangers houses and demanding candy (actually threatening a trick without a treat!)
C) Taking candy from strangers
D) Eating their body weight in fat and carbs
Disclosure: I wrote this post while participating in a blog campaign by Dad Central Consulting and they sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.