Zombies, vampires, monsters, fake blood, ghosts… hmmm… maybe no to Halloween?
Princesses, unicorns, superheroes, candy, neighbors… hmmm… maybe yes to Halloween?
The decision on whether or not to participate in Halloween can be a decision a lot of parents have to work through. It’s definitely one my husband and I had multiple discussions around.
Spoiler alert – we decided in favor of Halloween. But the decision wasn’t made lightly.
Growing up, my family did not observe Halloween. This was due to religious beliefs. I can’t deny that the origins and back story to Halloween doesn’t have the most positive of influences. A quick google search confirms that to be the case. And I know many people, religious or otherwise, choose not to observe due to the background of the holiday. My husband grew up participating in trick or treat and other seasonal activities. But due to the background of Halloween, the two of us decided before we had kids we would not be observing Halloween.
Fast forward to October 31st of 2011, our first child was 6 months old. For the first time in my life, I looked at Halloween a bit differently. The fun of dressing up, picking out a costume, going trick or treating and spending time with friends and family, all had a new and different meaning. I also remembered all the years growing up not observing it. Spending the night in the basement with all the lights in the house off, being quiet so no one would think we were home. I didn’t want that for our family. I also saw my sister and her kids having fun. So my husband and I decided we would try it and see how it went. We threw together a costume (a hand me down Buckeyes cheerleader dress and a bow!), drove to my sister’s house and went trick or treating with our family. Our oldest got her first sucker and we had so much fun!
When we moved into our new neighborhood last year, we quickly learned that the families around here take Halloween very seriously. I was a little nervous. Even though I’ve embraced costumes and candy, I’m still not crazy over all the fake blood and spooky monsters. Halloween 2017, however, was so much fun. The neighbors were all out full force. Everyone was chatting and enjoying the evening. A small community center passes out hot dogs and other fun items. I met so many new neighbors while passing out candy. Our girls walked the neighborhood with my husband and they came back so excited to have seen so many friends from school!
Ultimately, each family has to make a decision on what is best for them. I’ve tried to find a way to have fun and engage with the neighborhood without going full force into haunted houses and scary movies. Personally, I feel like there is already enough scary stuff in the world – it’s not fun to pretend there are more monsters out there, real or otherwise. However, I like the balance we’ve created and I know this will always be an ongoing and open conversation our family will have as our kids grow older.
What does your family do on October 31st? For those that dress up – what are some of your kid’s favorite costumes? This year I will have a unicorn, a unicorn princess, and a Sky dancer!