Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Halloween Question

I'm a lover, not a hater, so I hesitate to bring this up...

...but, I'm pretty hard-core about treating people like the miracle they are, not wacking their fingers off. I'm just sayin' I think we should discuss with kids (if we have some) the gory parts of Halloween. 

How did those eyeballs get in the punch and how did that arm get detached from its person? The answer's an act of violence and if my child's as smart as I think she is, it won't take her long to figure out the connection.  Real violence - like school shootings is SO not popular in today's culture, but pretend violence gets overlooked in a holiday or, ahem movies. 

Maybe I'm just sensitive because I'm prone to the heebie-geebies, easily spooked and vividly tormented long after scary encounters. When I was little, I begged my parents to let me watch the part of The Christmas Carole where Marley's ghost appears to Scrooge. And then I was terrified every time I used the bathroom (the only time I was expected to be alone) that he'd appear to me, chains a-rattling. 

I'd like to keep my kids' nightmare material to a minimum, but I'm not about to boycott the holiday altogether. I believe in finding the good in everything I can, so here's how I've handled the Halloween question. I'm all about the fun parts - sweets and dress-up, but from the time my kids were aware of Halloween, I've hosted a not-scary party with a friend so my kids could see an example of choosing thoughtfully what you participate in and support. 

If you're wondering how that breaks down, I made a couple lists of my approved verses disapproved Halloween features. 

You'll also notice I exclude afterlife stuff. That's because Halloween tends to wrap it up in scaryness and I don't want my kids to be afraid of death. It would be fine if it wasn't real and they'd never have to encounter it - like say, dragons or whatever. But unfortunately, it will be part of their reality. I want to be trustworthy for my kids, telling them the truth about stuff. Who else can they turn to for this kind of information? If we think it's more fun to spook them than teach them, we run the risk of passing down confusion, which leads to real fear. 

That seems like a real cautionary downer, so here are some pics to lighten the mood. We've taken these at our Not-Scary Halloween parties through the years:

2012 was super fun because we added the element where the grown-ups were supposed to dress up as well. Brian and I were both angry birds (I made as close to a perfect costume as I could and then made his pretty sloppy) and put the Nailed It sign on his. A spoof on the Pinterest things I find so amusing...go here to see my favorites

And here's one from the year before our parties, but they were so cute and chubby, I had to show you...

Oh, the cuteness...hope you have some cute little goobers headed to your door and love the fact that the poisoned candy rumor was just that - a rumor. There are no documented cases of this occurring. So happy Halloweening and take in all the good you can find. 

How do you feel about the Halloween? How do you choose to celebrate it/discuss it with your kiddos?

Also!! Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway and share it for an extra chance to win! Seriously, share it. It's no fun to draw from two names...


  1. I love the idea of a not-scary Halloween party! And also that you used a "nailed it" sign on your husband's costume. That's hilarious!

    My 2.5 year old daughter told me a few weeks ago she wanted to be a purple monster for Halloween this year and I had mixed feelings about it. But then she went on to say she wanted to be a baby monster and I should be the mama monster, so I just went about making her the cutest baby monster costume I could. Before this costume project she was starting to talk about scary monsters under the bed, which has totally dissipated. All this to say there is something powerful about dressing up as an embodying a character, so best to do it consciously!

    1. Oh - good point. I know everyone's lines will be a little different (which I failed to mention) but thoughtful is the key. Wish I could see your sweet little monster!

    2. Here she is!

    3. She's so BEAUTiful! Love the costume too - good work :)

  2. I'm glad to know parents are recognizing holidays, but celebrating them differently. It's a personal choice, for sure. Every family's different. But here's my short thoughts on the subject from my blog a couple of years ago. Very similar to yours.

  3. Totally agree! Halloween at my house also includes nothing on your "no thanks" list! You are not alone! :)

    1. That's awesome. You're like my twin-raising bosom friend - Anne of Green Gables style ;)