People really get into Halloween!
I was scrolling down my Facebook feed and saw Mary Poppins (definitely my favorite), Superman, Batman, Alice in Wonderland, Frida, and even a deer. Those were just the adults. Incredible costumes people! I am amazed at how elaborate and all out many go for Halloween. In some cases it appeared that more time, effort and money went into the grown-ups costumes than the kids'. People were having a lot of fun with their costumes! And I don't have a problem with that. I think it's awesome, if that's what you love to do.
Around here we don't really get into halloween that way. Not doing a holiday seems to require an explanation. And if you don't explain some jump to conclusions about why you don't do a holiday in the same way as everyone else. Mercy had a classmate tell her we were taking all the fun out of Halloween.
The reason we do Halloween differently has nothing to do with "not believing in Halloween." I don't think that most people who celebrate Halloween do so for any spiritual reasons. And I imagine that there are some who don't do it for spiritual reasons, but that isn't the case for us. We don't think that Halloween is evil or that dressing up in costumes somehow goes against our belief in God.
We do Halloween differently for lots of much less "holy" reasons:
- Our family lives in the country and not in a housing development. No one knocks on our door and we would have to make more effort to go to someone else's neighborhood to knock on their doors to ask for candy. It somehow doesn't feel like a fair trade.
- Two out of three of our kids wouldn't actually knock on a strangers' door (and I'm honestly okay with that).
- Eric and I aren't huge fans of crowds or chaos, so "Halloween Parties" and "Events" aren't something we are naturally drawn toward so it's an easy thing for us to say no to.
- When and where I grew up Halloween wasn't such a big deal. So I don't personally have a lot of great warm happy memories surrounding the holiday that I am trying to recreate for my children.
- Most years since children Eric has been gone hunting over Halloween weekend or it was a rare weekend home that I wasn't willing to give up to do something we didn't love.
- We don't really like spending a lot of money on costumes that aren't likely (in our house) to get used again and again. Frankly, the basic costumes have gotten quite elaborate and I struggle too much with being competitive, even with costumes. It would be a pricey endeavor if we decided to really do it.
But we don't completely skip Halloween. The night before our kids' school had a "Harvest Bash". We attended. I spent plenty of time on one kids' costume. One was super easy and the third child wanted to go as herself. She's a little like me, I think. She'd rather not dress up than have a "lame" costume. (This is the same kid who had a friend tell her we were taking all the fun out of it.) We stood in line with our punch cards and the kids literally left with five or six pieces of candy each. But we did it.
Friday night, Halloween night, I wanted more, more FUN! OUR idea of fun.
One of our favorite things to do as a family is a scavenger hunt. I write clues and we drive around town, hitting different places. So I planned a family night for the kids. They earned or won points throughout the evening. At the end of the night they cashed in their points for pieces of candy. They ended up with lots more candy in their "stash" than they'd gotten the night before and there was a lot less waiting in lines or crowds or insecurity about their costume. It works for us, but it probably wouldn't work for everybody.
We had a mini marshmallow dropping competition. I'm not afraid to brag, Eric and I ROCKED that!
We had "wooden sticks" (french fries) at Five Guys. I love this guy and it's not just because he brings me hot french fries.
We even had them practicing their spelling words for points. You are welcome, Mr. C.
We had a scavenger hunt at Target where we had to take pictures of everything on our list.
The girls won. Just saying. Because I know you were wondering!
We had ice cream at Big Scoop. The one with the current high score got to choose the flavor. Gracie choose cotton candy.
We had pizza at our favorite pizza parlor, Round Table.
We even played Name That WOW Hits Song and Artist on our drive to our favorite donut shop, The Donut House where we shared a donut.
We all had fun. It wasn't Halloween like I saw posted on Facebook, but it was our kind of family fun just the same. The kids are talking about doing it again next year.