September 30, 2010

I cancelled Halloween

Remember how I took away Neflix and various other movies?  Well, I also put the TV in the closet so it's been unavailable for use during the month of September.  (More on that later)  Needless to say, my popularity plummeted even further.  Since I was already in negative poll numbers my husband and I decided to take it one step further.  Halloween is officially cancelled.

To be honest, I've never really liked Halloween.  There are a number of reasons for this.

1.  I've never liked the scary, gross, bloody costumes.

2.  I DO like the candy, but in a non-healthy way.  As in a "I eat too much of it and it's really bad for me" way.

3.  I also get seriously annoyed with the greedy, "give me" attitudes of trick-or-treaters.  Typically we do a Trunk-or-Treat in our church parking lot, but that means that each kid comes around 3 or 4 times, never once saying thank you or acknowledging me in any way, shape or form (okay, there are a FEW who do, but they are the exception).  I should probably be a grown-up in this situation and understand they are kids all crazy and under the influence of sugar and artificial coloring....but it still bothers me.

4.  We buy the GOOD candy, the delicious candy, the kind you'd buy for yourself to eat at home.  And my kids bring home GARBAGE.  (I was going to say another word....I didn't)  They seriously come home with the cheapest, grossest, most  yucky tasting and looking candy ever.  I grieve for the loss of my luscious Twix bars and gooey Milky Ways.  I also buy A LOT of candy because I feel personally responsible to make sure there is enough candy.  How's that for twisted?

5.  I'm trying to reduce the amount of sugar and artificial coloring my kids (and myself) eat.  Halloween does not help this.  It provides either several days of gorging or several month's worth of "one piece a day".  We don't need it.  My kids get all whacked and some of them even steal/lie about it.  It changes their behavior and attitudes.  Is candy SERIOUSLY worth crying about?  Or screaming, thrashing around and spitting on me about?  And I'm not just talking the 4-year-old.

6.  It's expensive.  I've kept track over the last few years and Halloween costs between $100 and $150.  FOR ONE NIGHT.  That is beyond ridiculous.  Aside from buying the "good" candy, we have costumes to pay for.  I make most of them, but material costs money.  And time.  Even getting costumes at thrift shops costs money.  Multiply that by 4 boys and it adds up.  I try to use clothes from their dress-up bucket, but most of the time they want something completely different than they've ever had.

7.  I don't even want to talk about the time I spend making costumes only to be told it's ugly, they don't like it, they changed their mind, etc.  It's not easy making four costumes (many late nights and pricked fingers)......

8.  This year I have 2 kids in braces.  Most of the stuff they'll get they won't be able to eat.

So, we're not going to the Trunk-or-Treat.  We're not going trick-or-treating.  We're not getting costumes.  I DID make a compromise though, since I've had some feedback from my husband that I'm being "too weird".  We are going to have a family party.  Each kid will get to choose what they want for dinner - so it will be a buffet of random favorites (right now we have pizza, chips & salsa and orange chicken on the menu).  They will get a small amount of candy, to be eaten at the Party.  And we're having a Family Wii Tournament.  It will be the first time they've seen the Wii in 2 months.

I expected all sorts of push-back, but they're actually quite excited about it.  Maybe it will become a family tradition.  Maybe being weird is okay....


  1. My parents were very anti-Halloween when I was growing up, and we never went trick-or-treating. (They referred to it as, "Disuising your kids and sending them out to extort candy from the neighbors.") Some years we went out to eat as a family on Halloween so that we wouldn't be home when the trick-or-treaters came around. We would see our friends in school the next day with their candy and feel a little jealous, but it really wasn't all that bad. Going out to eat was something we didn't do very often, and what's candy compared to that?

    When I was older and handed out candy to trick-or-treaters that came to our door, I saw the "gimmee" attitude in so many of them, the way they obviously thought they deserved that candy, and it made me glad we had never gone.

    So, personally, I think you are doing your kids a favor by turning it into a family night instead. They might not think so right now, but it certainly won't kill them.

  2. oooo, I a going to have to show this post to my husband, we have been talking about doing this too.

  3. I looooove Halloween and would never want to cancel it, but I get a lot of what you're saying.

    As a family we've cut back on sugar big time. I haven't had it in 2 1/2 years and Averi only gets one treat on birthdays and holidays. So this is how we've dealt with trick or treating: Averi gets to go because she loves it, then we let her pick three candies to eat, then we pay her $5 for the rest, Jeff takes a few and we toss the rest. I don't usually like to waste anything, but candy is just so bad for you.

    We buy costumes at Savers, which saves a lot, but then again, we only have one kid for the time being.

    Let us know how the party turns out!

  4. In my family, growing up, we didn't do Trick-or-Treating, and the trunk-or-treat wasn't really in fashion yet where we lived. We would dress up (but NO evil/gory/scary costumes or even masks of any kind, and we had to use stuff already around the house) and then take treats to some of our friends. If they happened to give us candy in return, that was all well and good, but we were NOT to expect it of them. We also didn't hand out candy to the kids coming around the neighborhood. When we took our goodies out to our friends, we called it "halloween treating" and we'd usually take something like popcorn balls, rice crispy treats, or cookies. Then we'd come home, turn out most of the lights, and curl up with a family movie of some kind.

  5. Oh we don't do halloween either, thankfully it isn't that huge in OZ, yet!

    I am that 'oh so not fun' neighbour that turns off our outside lights on Halloween. Hopefully this year they will know to just not bother knocking on our door!!!

    However going out is a great idea.

    Good on you. :-)

  6. We hold a "Pumpkin Party" to celebrate fall. The concept of Halloween is lost on me, so we've decided to brainwash early on that it's way better to stay at home with the family. My personal attack on corn syrup and processed food started the craziness, then my dislike of the scary/gross aspect of things kept the ball rolling. We didn't get to do it last year, but I've wanted to make a really fun party I.e good food to include dinner in a pumpkin, yummy treats we make together, games, etc. I feel like holiday's should unite families and while I know of some people that accomplish that even with such a creepy premise, I just don't find dressing up and getting food from strangers qualifying for any effort on my part.

    Speaking of holiday's needing to mean something..... I'm also not a fan of the big man in a red suit coming down the chimney, talk about some greedy kids! I hate watching kids spell out a gigantic list of things they're asking Santa for, nor is it okay to perpetuate a lie for children. Laugh if you will, but if you're lying about Santa who your kids can't see then what are they supposed to think of Christ? Does there come a time when your parents decide you're too old to believe in such things and you should know he doesn't really exist? Sorry, for the rant, but holiday's stir up all kinds of funny emotions for me :-). Enjoy your party! Or come to White Sands and join us!!

  7. I hate Halloween! We've had a Reformation Day celebration a few years (celebrating various "reformers" in Christian history like William Tyndale and John Bunyan) where people came dressed in Renaissance-era garb. Those were super fun!

    This year we're actually celebrating Halloween for the first time in a few years, mostly because we are in the middle of adopting a 7 year old boy. He comes from a terribly neglectful past but has fond memories of Halloween (go figure). He's had to change so much of his attitude, eating habits, etc. that we want to make life a little easier by not being "weird" about Halloween this year :) Next year, tho - I'm hoping for another Reformation Party!

    I love Jessica's idea of paying for the candy. I have told my kids this year they can eat all the candy they want on Halloween night and the rest goes in the trash. I hope I can stick to that!!

  8. We canceled Halloween this year as well. In addition to those things you listed I think the history of Halloween and Trick or Treating is disturbing to say the least. It's also a high holiday for those who follow witchcraft and the wicken religion. A girlfriend in highschool was wicken and thought the Christian folk who thought it was all innocence and fun were incredibly naive. After learning more I tend to agree.

    I also think it's a night prime to experimentation with occult, hallucinogenics and horror movies. It's also becoming increasingly pornographic as far as what costumes are available. Even if you dress your child appropriately chances are that they will be exposed to others who are not. Simply not worth it in my book.

  9. Amy - those are excellent points! I haven't studied what Halloween truly means, but I feel like I don't need to because "by their fruits ye shall know them".

    Stayathomemyheart - best of luck with the adoption! What a challenging yet rewarding road you walk.

    Thanks so much to ALL of you for your support and comments.