Saturday, November 10, 2012

Not so Scary Halloween 2012

 It's November 10th and my kids have yet to ask about their Halloween candy.

It's a good thing too because I've already eaten all but a handful of their loot. 100 Grands are first to go. Thankfully there's none of that cheap, nasty nougat stuff wrapped in orange or black wax paper. Who actually likes that?

My kids have never eaten their Halloween candy, nor asked about it. Clearly they can live without it. I could too. We never buy candy so I rarely eat it, but it's here, so I eat it. I have stellar self-control for not buying stuff, but not for not eating it once it's in my house. Everyone has their weaknesses.

I hate to sound like the scrooge of Halloween, but I was actually a little relieved to learn from the previous owners of house that no one trick-or-treats in our neighborhood. I'd rather kick it old school where you trick-or-treat at a few neighbors' or close friends' houses and have a homemade treat or cider or something and then spend a little time visiting.

We have a second best thing going to Bo's work. We already know everyone there. The treats aren't homemade, but at least it's decent candy. The kids had a blast going from cube to cube and it was indoors (no braving Illinois fall evening weather). They also provided pizza and other food, so it was a fun party.

This being our first year no in preschool/daycare, I was solely responsible for my kids' costumes. I wasn't thrilled with the prospect. Tey wanted to be a skeleton and Bean initially wanted to be a lion, but then changed his mind to a raccoon because he wanted to be something nocturnal. He also said that instead of taking candy, he was going to tell people facts about raccoons. That idea fell through as soon as he spotted the colorful candy wrappers.

Anyway, Good Will proved to be a lifesaver for Tey's costume. I really didn't want to buy a new costume and the kids' consignment stores didn't have skeletons. While we were there, we spotted the most adorable tiger costume for Mei. It fit her perfectly and she even wore it around the store spreading Halloween cheer to everyone who laid eyes on her. I figured that it would come in handy when she played animal games with her brothers. Everyone once in a while I can get her to growl, "I ma-mo" (I'm an animal).

Bean's costume was a little more challenging, not even because he changed it at last minute (I hadn't even thought about it or planned it until a day or two before anyway). The greater challenge is that I'm cheap, didn't want to buy it new, and probably couldn't find it used, which leaves making a homemade costume.  Great...I am totally not creative in the craftiness sort of way.

On the day of Halloween, between an eye doctor appointment, Tae Kwon Do, and picking up the younger two kids from my in-laws, Bean and I pulled this awesome raccoon costume together. Go team work and focusing on a task (we're really working on honing those two skills)! We got the eye mask (I cut it to shape), nose, and ears at Dallas & Co. and the long gloves are mine. The clothes and raccoon slippers are his, with a pair of long underwear stuffed with plastic shopping bags and tucked in his pants for a tail. He has Ringo, his raccoon baby, pinned to his back so it can ride on him when he's on all fours....or should I say, "ride on her"?

Yes, my son went as a female, mother raccoon and I couldn't be prouder. He knows that only females can have babies and its the momma who takes care of the little ones. I'm so glad he sees such a value in that (and to the extent which most kids his age admire the strength of a super hero, or the beauty of a princess), that he wants to embody it for Halloween.

I don't know what I was so afraid of for Halloween. I guess I imagined that we'd feel the pressure to spend a lot of money on candy or costumes or whatever, my kids' costume demands being over the top and them not being satisfied with what we could pull off, them getting wound up on sugar, and
hyper, thankless kids grabbing candy from my candy bowl when they trick-or-treated at my house. Next year, I know that Halloween doesn't have to be that scary. We can keep it simple and not rob it of all it's fun getting bogged down with details and spending a lot of money...but isn't that the way it is for every holiday?

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