Our Halloween was fun. The kids had a blast. But that's not what this blog is about. Next year we are having some new rules which will hopefully make Halloween less stressful and more enjoyable for me-which means everyone.
1. No more character costumes. Last year Anne wanted to be Ariel. I spent about $30 on a mermaid costume. I found a red wig for $10. She didn't wear the wig for more than 2 minutes. I would have had more entertainment out of flushing that $10 down the toilet. Not to mention I remember buying it a few days before Halloween with 3 children and waited about an hour in line to pay. She has only worn the mermaid costume maybe 2x since then to dress up in. This year she wanted to be Merida. We spent $20 on the costume. After Halloween it was on sale for 5 bucks. We bought her the wig. She wore it for 10 minutes this year. Now imagine we have 3 kids and they all want to be characters and I spend $35 on each of them. They never wear their costume again and I have just spent $100 for 2 hours of fun. I'd rather take them to a carnival in the summer or dinner and a movie. So no more character costumes! If she wants to be Ariel, she can be a princess. If he wants to be Spiderman, he can be a generic superhero. Obviously if we already own the costume it's fair game. But from now on costumes will be made with thoughtfulness and then put together with creativity! Truly I think forcing them to think outside the box will make this an even more fun holiday.
2. No more elaborate pumpkins! We have carved pumpkins 6 years in a row now. I hate it. Here's how it goes. Kid picks out elaborate pumpkin stencil. Kid watches us cut open pumpkin. Kid sticks hand in and pulls out exactly 3 strands of guts and 5 seeds. Kid goes off to play. Adults carve elaborate pumpkin for the next 30 minutes getting more frustrated because, dammit, where the F is the rest of this line?? Pumpkin is finished. Parent is covered in guts. Table is covered in guts. And kid had managed to smear guts on floor and chairs despite not helping. Parents excitedly announce pumpkin is done. Kid runs over, says "cool" and watches TV. Pumpkin is not noticed again for the rest of the season. That's it. I'm so over carving pumpkins! We'll still carve them for sure. But from now on they get to pick eyes, a nose, and a mouth. That's it. Simple, traditional Jack-o-lantern. The bonus of this is that sooner, rather than later, the kids can carve these simple pumpkins themselves!
So there's our Halloween 2.0. More simplicity, less money, less stress and still just as much fun. Win-win for everyone.