The anticipation of Halloween starts building around September when my kids start to notice the costumes hanging in the stores. They begin to contemplate the characters that they want to be for the big day. Harlo, who is four this year, always wants to be a princess. Last year she was the Candy Princess, whatever that is. The year before she was a fairy princess, this year she was a blue something-or-other princess. You get the picture.
The boys go back and forth trying to decide on spiderman, the crypt master, zombie, vampire etc. We have so many costumes from years past that I try to piece together outfits, makeup and wigs without breaking the bank on new creepy ensembles every year. This year was no different, except that they were not content with what we had in the closet. As usual, I waited until the day before to go shopping for all of the extras, including candy. It is dangerous to have that much chocolate within reach. I used to tell my husband (and myself) that I bought candy early so that it was on hand and I was prepared. I ended this tradition when, after several years of having to buy candy twice, I decided to stop lying to myself.
On the day before Halloween, the PTA scheduled a carnival (fundraiser) that we just HAD to go to. So the fun began… putting on the costumes and makeup and showing off the boys’ creepy, truly creepy outfits.
The planning that goes into the actual Trick-or-Treating day becomes a chore, including coordinating with my parents, my aunt and this year, the nanny. We got ready by noon. Noon! This allowed us to start by heading to my aunt’s for lunch, which usually consists of troll fingers (bbq sausages), witch’s eyeballs (meatballs) and the like. She also has a stash of candy that goes almost completely to my kids. My aunt lives out of town and doesn’t get many, if any trick-or-treaters. The kids know this and love it. Starting at my aunt’s house has been a tradition for about 12 years.
Next, we stopped at Grandma and Grandpa’s where my sister and grandmother were also waiting to see this year’s monsters and princess. This has also become a tradition. No big deal, right? Right. It’s fun. We started getting ready at 11 am and by now it is 4pm and everyone is already exhausted and we haven’t knocked on a door yet. Home bound? Nope.
Next we head to the babysitter’s apartment. She invited us over to trick or treat so she could see the kids dressed up. Sweet. Just another hour out of the day to knock on one door for a 5- minute interlude. Now it is 5 pm. The kids ate lunch 4 ½ hours ago and are completely jacked up on sugar, since they have been sneaking candy every time I am not looking.
After 5 hours of Halloweening, we are finally ready to get home and hit the neighborhood. For dinner? I made sure they got some protein by offering Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers instead of just Starbursts. And off we go.
We live in the Upper Midwest where we are very lucky to have no snow on the ground for Halloween. This year, we were incredibly fortunate that the high temperature for the day was about 60! By the time we went out to knock on doors, the wind picked up and everyone was very tired. We went about 4 blocks before the kids wanted to go back. The most anticipated part of the evening and it was over in less than an hour! I tried to carry little Harlo between houses to keep the momentum going, but it was no use. It was over. Weeks of anticipation, planning, excitement, shopping, pre-Halloween parties, and this was it. We went back to the house where the kids fought over who was going to get to answer the door when someone rang the bell.
I have come to the conclusion that my kids love Halloween, up until it is time to do the work of knocking on doors. That was my favorite part as a kid! Lucas, my eight-year-old, would rather hand out candy than anything else. I love this about him. It tells me he is a generous kid. We run out of candy every year because, as he confessed this year, he gives 4-5 pieces of candy to each person who comes to the door. For the last two years, he dug into his own reserves at the end of the night. So sweet! I will look forward to Halloween next year, just as I did this year. And then I will be glad it is over. I love the pictures and the memories, and yes, I do love the candy! Goodbye Halloween. Hello Thanksgiving. See you soon, Christmas!