I don’t hate Halloween, but to be honest, I feel like it is a lot of pressure.
The holiday was much simpler when we were kids. We put together costumes, which to a large extent consisted of whatever old clothes, scarves, hats and necklaces we could scrounge up. Once our outfits were ready, our gang started out in our quest to ring as many doorbells in the neighborhood as we could before carting our goodies home. That night, the neighborhood kids would sit around in a circle on the floor sorting full-size candy bars into piles and making trades. Most of us went to bed with tummy aches. I have so many great memories of those Halloween nights!
Halloween now is not a day – it’s a season.
We often receive our first invitation in September for some type of ghostly get together in early October. About that time, Halloween candy and decorations appear in stores and neighbors put up spooky displays in their front yards. The stress seems to start earlier every year.
With so much to do before Halloween, who has time to think of costumes for their kids?
Well, apparently a lot of moms do have time. Their children proudly wear elaborate, and often costly, costumes to the school parade, Trunk or Treat events and Spooktacular events that take place throughout October.
I refuse to let my Halloween related anxiety take away from my children’s joy. This year, because I still love this holiday for the kids, I’ve decided to make Halloween about plain old fun and not a competition between the parents.
Below are 3 recommendations to decrease Halloween stress this year:
1. Take the pressure off of costumes.
This year I will dress my kids in inexpensive store-bought costumes and not feel guilty. Usually my children want to be their favorite popular TV character of the moment anyway and those outfits are easy to find at lower end stores. Perhaps we will accessorize a bit to make their costume unique, but it will be done with items from around the house. I will keep reminding myself that Halloween is about fun and not about winning a costume contest. I admire the creative moms who put lots of time into their kids’ outfits on Halloween – it just doesn’t work for me and that’s ok. The kids don’t mind so why should I?
2. Let the parents who love this stuff organize the class party.
I plan to find an easy Halloween themed recipe to contribute, or to bring purchased snacks. Plenty of moms will go all out to make the class party fun, but I am giving myself permission that I don’t always need to be that mom. I participate plenty in other school activities.
3. Just say yes (within reason)
Loosen up on Halloween. Allow your kids to stay out a little later. Let them eat a little more candy that day than usually allowed. Say yes to inviting their friends back to the house to enjoy Halloween cupcakes after trick or treating so they can sit on the floor and swap candy bars with each other. Treat Halloween night as a special event. You can get back on your schedule tomorrow.
Keep things simple to decrease Halloween season stress. Let’s all make an effort to keep the holiday about costumes, community and candy. You will be a better parent without all the craziness and your kids will enjoy Halloween just as much.