In our home, we love Halloween. My kids love dressing up, decorating the house, and the trick or treating! I’d go as far as to say it’s their favourite ‘holiday’. Before kids, Halloween was about dressing up and going bar hopping with my friends. After kids, it’s more about them, about managing their expectations and making it as fun (in a safe way) as possible.
However, some would disagree.
There is very little difference between Halloween pre and post-kids – or is there?
There are three common things either way:
1. Dressing up – anything goes. You can be a scary blood-sucking vampire or Elsa. Literally, anything goes!
2. Knocking on doors for free candy. Is it just me or does this go against EVERYTHING we are teaching our children every other day of the year?! Dodgy.
3. Eating the candy. Again – how come they are allowed to gorge themselves into a sugar-induced coma on one day of the year? What happened to ‘everything in moderation’ … blah blah blah?
I kinda feel we’re not exactly sending a great message to our kids here. But anyway, at least we get to dress up … right?
But it did get me thinking, how Halloween as a ‘holiday’ has changed over the years. Christmas is celebrated in a very similar way whether you have kids or not, same for Easter, and St Patrick’s Day, and Valentine’s Day.
Yet when it comes to Halloween, there is a huge difference between pre-kids and post-kids! At least for me anyway …
Picture the scene …
Before kids, I was never that into Halloween. It was just a holiday celebrated by American kids and the whole thing kinda passed me by. And I think there was a movie. Or was that Scream? I’m not sure, but I remember Monica Geller was in it.
The first time I actually remember hating Halloween was about two years before I became a mom.
Let Me Set The Scene
My new husband and I were newlyweds living in our home in York. Broke after spending all our money on the wedding. And like most post-honeymoon newlyweds we were in that phase when we think to ourselves, “What have we done? What’s left in life to look forward to? Where’s the candy?”
We were NOT in the mood to have random kids we didn’t know knocking on our door demanding sweets.
We had a plan!
That evening, we both got home from work early, closed all the blinds to the front of the house, and turned all the inside lights off. We even closed the curtains over the blinds, something we hadn’t done in the two years we’d lived there.
The only light on came from the TV, and we spent the evening binge-watching Prison Break, and eating our own candy! We didn’t even have to share with each other as we had bought exactly what we wanted.
It was perfect!
Not one knock on the door!
We could hear all the little monsters running around on the street outside (pun intended), but not one of them came knocking on the door.
Fast Forward five years.
We were now living in a private gated community in central South Africa. The 70 odd residents were a pretty even split between elderly people and young families.
All the moms got together and organised a trick or treat evening for the kids.
The competition was rife to see who would have the best costume, and who could decorate the front of their house the best.
I clearly remember asking them what was the scariest thing they could think of to be, and they told me that they wanted to be mummies. I shit you not!
Anyway, I spent weeks making my girls costumes from scratch! They were so complicated that I even went out and bought a sewing machine.
What’s it all looking like for this year?
Well, I bought their outfits at Sainsbury’s this past weekend. We have decorated pumpkins, kind of, and my husband has told me in no uncertain terms that he is NOT coming with us to trick or treat. I thought that was a perfect plan as he would be home to hand out sweets to the trick or treaters. However, he has informed me that he will be implementing Halloween 2009 instead. So I will have to take the girls out on my own!
I’m considering buying us four very expensive tickets to a local theme park/attraction instead of staying at home. That way my husband will be forced to come with me. I don’t have to buy extra candy for the door knockers, and the girls get to go out as well. Win-Win!
Yes, I’m the Halloween Grinch. I’m going to need all the wine either way.
Update: How Halloween stole our hearts!
This post is my contribution to the first-ever Write Club Challenge:-
If you like it, please share it. And if you want to check out a few of the other posts from the challenge, look no further:
- Hell On Earth: Halloween Then & Now
- Halloween: The Truth – Before kids vs after
- Sorry Kids, Mummy’s A Halloween Grinch