The great candy kick-off to the holidays is just about here. The kids are bustling with anticipation. They know soon their treat bags will be filled and it’s almost party time!
Newsflash: This mom is over it!!
You know how people say to moms all the time, “oh, enjoy it while it lasts!” Or, “one day you’ll miss this!” Umm, nope. I don’t think I will. I’m here to say Halloween could disappear from my calendar and I’d be just fine. Call me the Halloween Scrooge. I’m OK with that.
Hear me out . . .
As Target dismantles the remains of the back-to-school section, one-by-one the skeletons, plastic pumpkins, and assorted candy bags appear. In record time the back corner becomes Halloween-Palooza. Unfortunately, it’s only September 10th, which means there is so much time reminding us . . . haunting if you will . . . that the chaos Halloween ensues will soon overtake the lives of every mom with littles and school-aged children.
It’s not the actual night of Halloween that gets to me. Our families have traditions I will remember and cherish forever. I love watching my boys laugh, make memories, and just be kids. What mom doesn’t?
It’s literally everything else!!
Let’s start with the costumes. I’m not creative. I never really have been and let’s face it, I probably never will be. So, when my boys were little, it was off to the costume department we went. We bought the overpriced superhero they wore a handful of times during and after the beloved trick-or-treat. It has since become more challenging. In their minds, Halloween now exists for the sole purpose of adding another weapon to their overflowing arsenal in the garage. Awesome, another sword!
My husband generally is no help. For weeks it becomes me repeatedly asking the boys, “So, what do you want to be for Halloween?” The answer is typically a very distracted, “I don’t know.” This conversation carries over to their friends, and their moms give me a sympathetic look like I’m the idiot! I promise you in this scenario, I am not the idiot. We always figure it out, but it’s frequently the scraps of the older brother’s recycled costume or Amazon to the rescue!
Then, the elephant in the room: the candy . . . all the junk! I have so many thoughts. One of the biggest offenders is the one you would least expect: school. Bring on the Sign-Up Genius, because during the classroom party our kids need their make-your-own-sundae bar complete with gummy bears, sprinkles, and M&M’s! This is brilliant knowing in a few short hours they’ll be storming neighborhoods with pillowcases to acquire a wonderfully absurd amount of candy. What a great appetizer! What’s that?? Popcorn hands complete with candy corn nails . . . and donuts, too?? If you’re wondering why Emma and Bobby won’t eat their dinner, it’s because that no-treat policy goes OUT THE WINDOW on October 31st! Suddenly, no one cares what the kids are eating. Argue if you want my dear teacher friends, but it’s true!
What about that evening party at the school leading up to Halloween? At some point someone came up with this excellent idea that the kids LOVE called, “Trunk-or-Treat.” It sounds so fun, right?! Let’s take everyone to the parking lot during said event and allow them to trick-or-treat from the parent’s cars. Wait, that means there are parents willing to decorate their trunks just to give out more candy? OMG! NO! Have you seen my trunk?! It really is something out of a horror movie. Not happening, and this clearly has Pinterest written all over it! It’s not enough to take our kids to the Fall Festival anymore to play a few games, listen to music, and see their friends. We must fill the downtime with food and MORE CANDY! Because hey, why not?!
Now we have all this candy in the house and it’s not even Halloween. The more kids you have the more you feel like you’ve landed a role on a themed episode of, “HOARDERS.” It’s slightly ridiculous and embarrassing. Hmm, it seemed like a good idea at the time. How do we stop the madness? One of my closest friends had a thought. She’s going to take all that candy her kids have collected so far, and pass it out on Halloween. Wait, what?! That doesn’t seem fair. I know her kids, this is not going to go over well. Bless her heart. Just one more way mom becomes the bad guy.
Let’s say you keep it and the pile keeps growing. By the end of Halloween night, when the donut powder settles and the big trade is complete; what you are left with is a Costco size cart full of candy and a kiddo (or four) strung out on sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. It’s ugly. There’s no going back. We have reached the point of Halloween no-return.
But, chin up mama! Thankfully, it’s over! You’ve fulfilled your obligations and the money is spent. Guess what! I’ve heard you can pack up those fun-size Snickers bars and hand them to the dentist. She’ll send it all to the troops for you. Your kids won’t mind one bit! No worries though. Before your decorations are back in the basement tote, Target will have Christmas trees lit up along the back wall. I can’t wait to plan the holiday party!