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Boo Humbug

By Angela Hallstrom

For many many years, I was ashamed to admit this, ashamed that it would reveal me as a party pooper or (worse) an uptight reactionary or (even worse) a selfish adult who can’t enjoy a holiday that’s mostly geared toward children (except when it’s geared toward grown women wearing “sassy” Minnie Mouse costumes, or, you know, the glorification of chainsaw murderers, no embedded link necessary). But I’ve been in the business of begrudgingly half-smiling through the month of October for a good long time now, and I’m finally comfortable enough with myself to say it:

I do not like Halloween.

Now I know many of you DO like Halloween and Halloween masks Love Halloween! For many of you it might even be your favorite holiday. This post is not meant to convince you of the error of your ways; in fact, I’m glad for you that you love Halloween. Go forth and decorate your front porch with all manner of smiling pumpkins and sparkly witches! I’m just talking about myself here. Venting on the internet. Isn’t that what blogs are for? Anyway: no need to feel defensive, is all I’m saying.

1. Costumes.

1a. To Sew or Not To Sew? I am not a crafty person. I have a sewing machine that I have used, um, three times? And two of those times were aborted attempts at sewing on Scouting patches. (Hooray for Badge Magic!) I almost always end up buying my kids’ costumes, which can be expensive, but what’s a non-crafty Mom to do? I suppose the one upside is I have all manner of flimsy foam Ninja chest armor with which my youngest son can now play dress up.

1b. It never ends. In our old neighborhood, the adults always had a dress-up Halloween party. Oh, the angst! It’s bad enough that I have to come up with appropriate costumes for my kids, but now I have to come up with costumes for myself AND my husband? And a new one every year? And believe me: wearing the matching Hawaiian shirts we obtained back in 1994 and calling ourselves tourists does not really fly in a crowd where couples came as fully tricked out Alice in Wonderland characters. (Mad Hatter, Red Queen, homemade.)

1c. The skankification of little girl costumes. We’ve all seen the catalogs. It’s horrifying. Enough said.

2. Candy.

2a. The assault on my personal willpower. I do enjoy a mini Almond Joy a little too much, and when I find a big bag of them on sale three weeks before Halloween and buy it in order to be prepared for the upcoming holiday, somehow I always wind up buying a new bag two weeks before the 31st. And again a week before the 31st. You get my drift.

2b. Candy Police! It’s bad enough that I can’t seem to get a handle one my own candy eating issues, but I for the entire month of November I have two choices. Choice one: become a candy Nazi, hiding my children’s candy from them and doling it out only when a complicated set of expectations have been met (room clean, vegetables eaten, homework done = a box of Nerds as big as your thumb!) For many years I attempted various versions of choice one, but I’m almost forty now and tired. I have reverted now to choice two: sighing with exasperation while doing the laundry and discovering 12 mini Milky Way wrappers tucked inside all four pockets of my son’s jeans. And wondering why nobody wants to eat dinner.

3. Decorations.

3a. Hay bales and other front porch decorations. One year I decided to get some hay bales and put them on my front porch because everyone else was doing it and it looked cute. But I had stray strands of hay in the back of my car for months, and my hay bales never looked right anyway. Wrong angle? Too far back on the porch? Three bales instead of two? This year I put a little wooden “Happy Halloween” stake in the ground by my front step and wrapped my porch pillars with fall leaves, but the wind keeps blowing leaves down and knocking the stake over.

3b. Pumpkin carving. Messy. Gross. Dangerous knives. The kids can’t do it by themselves. Don’t even get me started on the complicated templates that seem to be de rigueur nowadays. I never feel this resentful over dying eggs at Easter.

3c. Trunk or Treats. So now I have to get my kids dressed up twice, hand out candy twice, and decorate (!!) the trunk of my car (see my issues with front porch decorations)? I like ward parties where all that is required of me is to show up with a spinach salad.

4. Terror and Violence

4a. Depravity. I’m not really a scaredy-cat. I’ve read my fair share of Stephen King; I can watch Poltergeist and The Others without having nightmares; I was always the girl in the front of the group when my friends and I went to a haunted house. But is it just me, or have things ramped up? There’s spooky, then there’s creepy, then there’s downright scary. But have you walked into a Halloween store lately? We’ve moved from scary to depraved. I ran in with my 4-year-old to look for a pirate costume and he was so freaked out by the “scary babies” (no need to link — they’re too disturbing) that he buried his face in my shoulder and didn’t look up until I left. And it’s not just at the Halloween store. Is it necessary to have a beheaded zombie greet my already-traumatized 4-year-old when we run into the grocery store for milk?

4b. Weaponry. I’m also not super-paranoid about my boys having fake weapons. We have a whole toy box full of light sabers and my 4 year old is the proud owner of a cowboy pistol. But my boys, for the most part, aren’t really interested in the costume part of Halloween anymore; they’re interested in weaponry. Scythes! Machetes! Freddy Kreuger gloves! Nunchucks! So not only do I have to talk them out of such accessories, much to their dismay, even if they do have a mildly appropriate costume-related weapon (like my son’s pirate sword, NOT purchased at the depraved Halloween store) they can’t bring it to the school Halloween party or the trunk or treat anyway. Much to their dismay.

I could go on (e.g., when to tell the older kids they can’t trick or treat anymore, anyone?), but I’ll spare you. I want to hear from the rest of you anyway. Do you love Halloween? Hate it? Like it better than Valentines Day but not nearly as much as the 4th of July? Tell me why.

About Angela Hallstrom

(Advisory Board) grew up in Utah, then moved to Minnesota, then came back to Utah, then packed up her husband and four kids and moved to Minnesota--again!-- in the summer of 2010. Although she loves the Land of 10,000 Lakes, she dearly misses Slurpees, Sunday dinners at her Mom's house, and eating a whole entire Cafe Rio pork salad while lunching with her Utah-based Segullah sisters. And yes, she finds it telling that everything she misses about her hometown is somehow related to food. She has an BA in English from BYU, an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University, and has taught writing to high school and college students.

47 thoughts on “Boo Humbug”

  1. I didn't used to love Halloween, but now I do. I'm seriously disappointed that we're not living in a place that celebrates it this year and I'm thinking of new ways to celebrate.

    Actually, I agree with nearly all the things you don't like about Halloween, except I like carving pumpkins. And I have children who create their own costumes and have for many years.

    So here are the reasons I love Halloween:

    I love the ancient roots of the holiday and how it prepares for the darker part of the year. Even though it's technically in the middle of autumn, Halloween marks the changing of a season for me. And maybe I'm just weird, but I like to connect Halloween with remembering my ancestors.

    I love that there is one night in the year when we can go out after dark and knock on (nearly) any neighbor's door and be welcomed. We've lived in a different neighborhood nearly every Halloween after moving in the summer and it's a great way to meet people.

    I love watching my kids make their costumes. They've come up with some great costumes. We also go out trick-or-treating as a family and those are some of my best memories we've created as a family.

    So for me, Halloween is about family, friends, and neighbors, a bit of good candy, and lots of good memories. It's definitely one of my favorites. I suppose that now that my oldest children are nearly teenagers that a lot of that might change, but I hope we can keep Halloween as a great holiday.

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  2. Three cheers!

    Thank goodness our youngest child (of 7 — we've been at Halloween for a long time) is 11 this year. Maybe there aren't too many more Halloweens in our future except for passing out candy to the dozen or so kids who tromp around our sub (where the houses are too far apart to be very candy-efficient).

    I've been a Halloween hater for years, but I suck it up for the kids.

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  3. Ha ha! This was fun. I endure Halloween too–for most of the reasons you listed. But I also like it for the reasons Amira said. I generally give my kids a choice–either the trunk or treat OR trick or treating. But not both. (Then I let them eat like mad-men until it is all gone–12.2 hours later?) And when they hit middle school they get cut off at the pockets–no more trick or treating. (My middle school daughter came to me recently and asked if I would give her some money to go BUY some candy since I won't let her go beg for it. I laughed and laughed and said, "Sure. If you give me an hour of work." She groaned, rolled her eyes and then gave me an hour of work.) I focus my decorating on fall–lots of fake leaves and pumpkins in my house starting as soon as I can (I even bought a cute bedspread for my room this year) and skip the depraved stuff–but a cute ghost or two is okay. When I was younger and more spry (read, had more spare time) I sewed a bunch of costumes. Now I pick them up at garage sales and we save them in a big box that comes out October 1st. The younger kids have a blast dressing up in different things until we put it back in the attic November 1st. I do love "spookiness" of Halloween–as in Legend of Sleepy Hollow too.

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  4. Thank you for sharing! I feel so validated now that I know that someone else in the world feels the same way I do!

    I don't mind the "lighter" side of Halloween–the cute pumpkins, the Charlie Brown movie (for sure!), even cute ghosts–but I hate the crabby, cranky, selfish kid side and anything gross or scary. My mom never liked Halloween, so I can say I was raised not to either, I guess.

    As a parent now myself, I'm okay having one thing to dress up my kid for, but I don't need more than one. And I don't really want him to eat all that candy. And I hate dressing up in costumes myself.

    I guess all the commercialized holidays (which is pretty much everything these days, right?) I only like if I only have to have a small dose. I like Valentine's Day if it means a cute, simple date with my husband, but I don't like the stress of big gifts, big surprises, or big expectations. I like dressing patriotically for 4th of July, but I don't want more than one parade, and we don't stay up late enough to see fireworks anyway (the noise just keeps us up and makes us cranky!).

    That's my say! 🙂

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  5. I am so with you!! This year we're taking the dentist up on his candy "buy back" offer. $2 a pound, and I told my kids I'd match it and they could buy lego kits. They agreed! Yay!! All that candy sitting around the house is just too tempting for me, and the constant asking for it from them drives me insane. I hate costumes, decorating, pumpkin carving….UUGGHHHH!! Bring on Thanksgiving!!

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  6. I know so many people who love Halloween but my enthusiasm is hit and miss. I love handing out candy to the kids in our neighborhood, but trying to come up with a costume for me and my husband beyond what we have on hand is just not worth the effort. Halloween has become one of the many things (along with water parks and carnivals) that I think will be more fun once we have kids. Though after reading your list, Angela, I'm not so sure anymore. 🙂

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  7. I used to like Halloween, but my loathing is growing stronger every year. The absolute worst part? Fighting with my 9-year-old son about costumes! No, you cannot be anything that has ever appeared in a horrow movie. No, you cannot have fake blood anywhere on you. No, you cannot be anything that will scare your 5-year-old sister. He thinks I'm lame, I think there is no reason for young children to go around glorifying evil. My kids start wanting to talk about costumes 5 weeks before Halloween, and I cannot take 5 weeks of arguing about it. This year I told them that I absolutely would not discuss costumes until 2 weeks prior to the holiday, at which time they would have about 2 days to discuss and decide on a costume, and after that point no one would be allowed to change their mind. It seems to have worked–we still had some arguing, but at least it was confined to two days rather than 40 days.

    I used to not care for trunk-or-treats, but now that I'm the primary president, I'm thrilled we're having one! Because it means no extra work for me! The idea of being right in the middle of Primary Program season and having to add planning some creative carnival or involved party was at the bottom of my list of things I would enjoy. So now that there's no activities committee to take care of this stuff, I say let's trunk-or-treat away!

    I hit on a really good solution for the candy. Last year the Halloween Fairy paid a visit, literally. My son was able to cash in most of his candy for a bit of cash. For a younger child, the fairy could leave a small toy in place of the candy.

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  8. Ugh, I have to agree with the depravity. I'm not saying everyone has to limit their decor to smiling ghosts, but I could do without the life-sized digital rendering of a zombie with intestine spilling out of his stomach, holding a bloody knife and severed head that is adorning a house on my street (I told my toddler the zombie was just holding his drawing of a head, and she just nodded and kept walking…).

    There's a lot I don't like about the season, but I have to admit I love the handful of truly creative costumes I see. And pilfering from my toddler's candy stash.

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  9. You and I were separated at birth. I love you.

    Seriously, I could not agree more about the depravity thing. I know some people like being scared and all that, but the opposite of faith is fear, and I just can't believe what a faithless holiday it really is. And disgusting. My youngest is 7 and he is JUST NOW getting to the point where he doesn't bury himself in my leg/shirt/whatever's available when we go into a store in October. It's ridiculous.

    And I get mocked (and called "no fun") for hating it, so thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. Aside from my kids, that is. 😉

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  10. This entire post makes my heart happy. I have felt like the only lame mom on the block for years because I could not "dig" Halloweeen. I LOVE autumn and all things fall… except Halloween. I am so very happy when November 1 arrives, and we can be done with the ghouling and such.

    My fifth child was due October 7, and I kept willing her to be born on September 30 just so she would not have her birthday in the same month as Halloween. (I know–stupid.) She was born October 5, and she isn't a goblin… so all is well.

    Anyway, thanks for the validation.

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  11. I agree with everything you said but I still remember how fun it was for me as a kid, so I try not to let it slip by entirely (my kids are still little- 8 and under). We have a little countdown calendar for the month, a handful of kid-friendly decorations, and we do go trick-or-treating. But this year they opted for a weekend trip to Apple Hill (California spot to pick apples, pumpkins and do all the fun farm-associated activities) in lieu of the ward Halloween party and trunk or treat so I'm breathing a sigh of relief. (Oh, and I just saw those disgusting zombie babies for the first time last week … that ought to be illegal!!)

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  12. Halloween quit being fun for me DECADES ago. That's when it seemed the party was more about "gimme" than about fun, when the costumes changed from "fun" to "frightening" (and I mean to an adult!), and when the parties had gone from church oriented bring Grandma fun to elaborate suppers and a parade of activities that all have to be crammed in before the requisite "building cleaning and get out before 9 p.m." sets in.

    We do not plan to go to the party at church this year because it is meant for children and the annual chili cook-off is a tired tradition that NEEDS to go away. Not everyone likes chili, you know!

    And it doesn't make me a "Halloween scrooge' to say that I don't find it fun to open my door to find a plus sized grown man with a double bass voice holding out his bag "trick or treating' for free candy. That's just plain scary and just plain wrong.

    I'm glad that I'm not alone in my feelings. My kids are all grownups now, so I do not have to pretend for their sake. Instead, I think I'll go to the movies that night and enjoy an evening out with my Hubby!

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  13. I have noticed that most holidays are not as fun as they used to be when I was a kid. It's a lot of work being the adult! I do like halloween. I enjoy putting up a few decorations. I stay away from the gross and scary stuff, stock up on costumes when they're 75% off at Target (and make the kids pick from what we have), and let them have at their candy for the first 24 hours after Halloween then try to get rid of the rest… I am feeling a bit grumpy this year because they scheduled the ward trunk or treat for Halloween night. I think we will skip out on it and do our normal door to door trick or treating, which I think is way more fun (and takes longer than 15 minutes – I like them to work for their candy!)

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  14. I'm glad I'm not alone in not liking Halloween. People look at me like I'm crazy when they find out we don't take our kids trick or treating. We (kids included) much prefer to stay home and have a Halloween party. We make "cute" cupcakes, buy a smallish amount of candy, and watch a scary Scooby-Do movie. The kids enjoy it much more than they ever enjoyed trick or treating. Their favorite is getting to help make some fun goodies for our party.

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  15. Amen and Amen!!

    I LOVE to sew, and yet I HATE to sew Halloween costumes! But I hate to pay for them too. Last year I hit upon the brilliant idea of shopping at Goodwill for things that could be made into costume pieces. This year I have 2 girls who want to be vampires and I did the same thing; black skirt (to be cut in half to serve both) $3.39. Old red formal to be lining (lining in the roughest sense of the word) $4.59. I can live with that cost and that amount of work…

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  16. I used to LOOOVE Halloween. A lot of the fun has died for me for many of the reasons you said. I guess my idyllic version of Halloween was more like Comic-Con – people getting dressed up as their favorite fictional characters and acting the part for a day, and free treats. The gore, skankiness, and outrageous price of good chocolate has kind of killed it for me.

    As for costumes, my mother in law made quite a few cute ones and we've kept most of it so that now I just tell the kids to come up with their own combinations out of the costume box.

    I prefer trunk or treats – less hiking around a neighborhood that doesn't have half of the houses participating. But we haven't been to one of those in a few years.

    I actually like Jack-o-lanterns. I did one year of paper templates that took hours to do. No more. Basic shapes are good enough.

    And I told my 13 year old last year that that was her last trick or treat. I'll let her be the one that stays at home to hand out candy.

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  17. My only child is only two this year, so this is our first real foray into Halloween. I mean, she wanted to be a butterfly, so we got wings, leotard, tights…easy. I'm getting ideas from y'all on how to avoid costume arguments later on.

    I haven't always been a huge halloween fan, but I did put up some black posterboard bats and some orange and black streamers to decorate and I have talked to my daughter about it. We went to a pumpkin patch and we'll carve some of the pumpkins we got. We'll go to our ward trunk or treat, but I seriously doubt we'll go trick or treating.

    I also agree about depravity. There is no need for that. It's gross and drives away the Spirit and gives me nightmares.

    I really love what was said earlier about halloween marking a new season and connecting us to the land and to our ancestors. I'll be googling "ancient halloween"…

    And GREAT idea about the halloween fairy giving cash for un-needed candy!

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  18. Thanks for all the great comments — those that empathize with me as well as those of you who've shared what you love about the holiday. I will say this: it's fun to see my kids get excited about Halloween, which is my one big payoff. And I like handing out candy at the door and oohing and ahhing over little kids' costumes, so I'm not a complete Halloween Grinch. And Cindy, you're right about Goodwill. I went there this year and got a great prison jumpsuit for my daughter (13, she wants to dress up like a character from the video game Portal) and it was only $1.99. Score!

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  19. Ditto on 3c. Last year my daughter's pre-k did trunk-or-treat (candy/decorated trunk), our ward had a trunk-or-treat (even more candy/decorated trunk + jack-o-lantern + food item–and then there's the kids that keep running around expecting you to give them more candy. Just once guys!), and then FINALLY my kids went trick-or-treating. It gets to be a bit much. Halloween should be on one day only. And is it just me or has the cost of candy gone way up?

    I also agree with 4c. Our local party store was terrifying!! They should send out warnings for kids and the faint-of-heart…

    However, I still love Halloween! Probably because it brings back so many fun memories from when I was younger.

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  20. From a Child Development perspective – Halloween is a big deal for children. Ask most children what they got for Christmas last year and many can't remember…but ask them what they were for Halloween and because their imagination was engaged they can tell you!!!

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  21. I don't love Halloween anymore for all the reasons you listed. Now I like to share candy for the little neighbor kids for an hour or two until dark, and then turn out the porch light and watch a family-friendly movie, drink hot wassel, or hot chocolate, eat popcorn and relax. Horror from all sources and in all forms is overrated and unwanted.

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  22. I have a lot of friends who dislike Halloween, but I love it! I love the dressing up to be someone else for a few hours really does it for me. My boys spend the year planning and changing their minds up until the day.

    We stopped going to our Trunk or Treat ward activity. It is geared to the very little kids and my boys are adults, teens and tweeners. We go to our Boy Scout Council Halloween activity instead, which is trick or treating tent to tent…not while dark. Then we have a big campfire program and enjoy the stars.

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  23. Amen! Seems like we celebrate death for a week, and we're lucky if the costume survives til the actual night. I was conducting RS on Sunday and thanked the teacher for presenting such a positive view of death (lesson on post-mortal spirit world) this month as we're surrounded by skeletons and headstones, and someone in the back said, "I never thought about Halloween like that before!" Really? What did you think we were celebrating?

    My biggest gripe is Halloween parties in the church, which I feel are totally inappropriate. We will boycott that this year.

    And how many trunk or treats and H parties do the kids need? If it were just one day, like when we were kids, I supposed I wouldn't be as frustrated–instead there's the ward party, my husband's office party, the karate trunk or treat, the school parade, the Halloween piano recital, the costume dance recital…

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  24. I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!
    Sorry to go against most of you, but I do! I love it! I LOVE making costumes for my kids (Last year I bought one for my two year old and I had to keep convincing myself that it was okay. I was pregnant and busy and it just wasn't going to happen any other way, not to mention it was a super cute costume!) But I do, I love the excitement around picking the costume – but I am firm that once you decide that's it.
    My system for picking costumes is a little different too. I have my kids dress in coordinating costumes. So they take turns from year to year picking the costumes. We've done tinkerbell and Peter pan, Mike and Sulley from monsters Inc. A Princess and a prince (Clearly my daughters choice, but my son was cooperative!), we did wizard of Oz a couple of years ago and had Dorothy, the tin man and toto. It's been great. My kids also love to have the costumes for playing dress up and they use them quite a bit. That's the other reason I like to make them, the quality is so much better.
    And I love that they get to dress up a couple times in the season. I'm kinda sad this year 'cause our town seems to be going anti costumes. No costumes for the ward party, or school dances. Luckily, I still have my halloween party that we do each year (generally the adults don't dress up and if they do, it's lame costumes, so it works out good!).
    I also love to do halloween shirts and hair ribbons, etc. I do have a problem with all the gorey stuff, but I just choose to ignore it and so far that's what my kids do as well.
    We cut off trick or treating at middle school, and get some pouts, but we still let the kids dress up and hand out candy or go to parties or whatever, and they seem to like that.
    So, although I agree with some of your dislikes, all in all, I think it's a super fun holiday and I choose to focus on the positive and not invite the negative into our home.

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  25. We keep it low key around here. I'm not a huge Halloween person, but I do love how excited my kids get about it. I'm not crafty or able to sew, so we buy costumes (as cheaply as we can) from Amazon usually. I don't mind monster costumes as long as they aren't disgusting. I think it's pretty normal for little kids to want to dress up as something scary, and I don't see anything wrong with that. But there's a line, definitely.

    We usually have a few pumpkins and cutesy decorations and a Halloween tablecloth. We go trick or treating, and if the ward has a Halloween party, we go to that. We let them do the costume parade at school. It's a fun time for them and I enjoy that aspect of it, but – I will NOT dress up (not because I'm a scrooge but because I'm not creative and don't want to spend the money on a costume for myself) and I'm not making my house into a haunted house or anything like that. And I'm not making elaborate porch displays with hay bales and dried corn and scarecrows. Maybe if I was rich – but I'm not.

    I will say that in our old neighborhood people really went all out for Halloween in terms of decorating and making their houses fun for trick or treaters and that was a lot of fun. I love it when OTHER people put in the effort to make Halloween fun for my kids ;> There were always millions of kids out running around the neighborhood and it was just a fun time. I'm not sure what to expect this year in our more sedate neighborhood. I guess we will find out!

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  26. I wouldn't bother telling the older kids when they can't trick or treat. My parents just made me the one to shepherd my younger siblings, and that cured me of trick or treating for good.

    And if there are no younger siblings, they'll still get tired of it on their own when all they get is the nasty candy because they're too old, and there are far more interesting parties for their age group.

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  27. I don't like Halloween simply because my birthday is the 30th and I've attended one too many ward Halloween parties on my birthday. This year, I'm trying to keep the trunk or treat on the down low so perhaps we can skip out on it without my kids knowing that it was going to happen. I want to do something fun the night before my birthday (since it falls on a Sunday this year) and the ward trunk or treat/chili cook-off isn't the thing.

    Some years I make costumes and other years I buy. In all honesty, it's not always really cheaper to make them, though they tend to look better and are sturdier, so that's a definite plus.

    So yeah, if it weren't for church parties that take away from my birthday celebrations, I'd probably have nothing against Halloween.
    My boys do love it though (my husband too), so that makes it fun. They think monsters and ghosts are super cool.

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  28. I too dislike Halloween. I do have the seasonal pumpkin earrings or bat tablecloth, but that's the extent of my decorating. Pumpkins are for pumpkin pie…that's it. I can't stand all the blood and gore that seems to be popular–if I want to see a guy with a knife in his head and blood dripping from his mouth, I'll watch the 10 pm news. Trick or treaters should not be taller than me or have a voice like Barry White. But one good thing about Halloween is the candy is marked down on November 1st. We buy it up and stash it for Christmas. Spider gummies in the Christmas stocking, now THAT is where it's at!

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  29. Ha, ha, ha! That was really fun to read. It was so entertaining! I don't know when you're old enough to stop trick or treating…..If I was thin like I used to be, I still would. (maybe I trick-or-treated my figure away?)

    I love seeing what people do at Halloween. One year while trick-or-treating, we happened upon a street show where there was a fire juggler. It was a blast. The air is nippy, it smells like chocolate and burning pumpkin, and the kids are all so cute–and sometimes funny! My kids always liked to make their own costumes. This year my daughter made her own pirate costume(awesome) out of items purchased at a thrift store, paint and duct tape!

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  30. I also am not a fan of Halloween, for all the reasons you mentioned. I hate coming up with costumes now that I'm grown up… but thanks to Harry Potter If I must dress up, I can just wear normal clothes and a sign proclaiming me a "Muggle" 🙂 When my husband and I were in college, we would boycott Halloween activities and instead participate in a canned food drive that the local university sponsored on Halloween night (good time to catch a lot of people at home), but alas we've moved and that's not an option anymore.

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  31. I love Halloween the walking around greeting neighbors. Knocking in doors and being welcomed by everyone the smell if the jack o lanterns. The excitement of the kids as they go from house to house. I don't have any kind if resentment towards tricker or treaters of any age. If they go to the trouble to dress up and come and knock on my door I'll reward that with a treat. I've always wanted to do my front yard all spooky like a cemetery but it always seems like there is always too much going on in the weeks leading up to the day. I do have some fab spiders and bats and webs that I need to put up. Sadly I don't know if I will get that far this year because summer and fall has been a bit extra complicated for a zillion reasons.

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  32. I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately we live in the one part of our city where everyone else comes to trick or treat. Having no children we go out to dinner and then to the home improvement store. This is the only night you can go to a store, even late at night, and not find tired and cranky children!

    Still, we have to worry that our home will be vandalized and trick or treating goes on almost to 10 p.m.

    I may sound like a Halloween Scrooge, but I just disagree with the entire holiday. Thank you for helping me to understand why!

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  33. I love Halloween-it gives me a chance to wear my Princess Leia costume. And my husband likes to decorate our yard like a cemetary. The crazy part is our daughter likes to trick or treat but doesn't like candy, so we usually hand out everything she gets. And we have the house with the fancy jack o lanterns-I plan them out all year long.

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  34. This was so delightful to read, Angela. I was smiling and chuckling all the way through.

    I must confess, I'm a fan of Halloween—not the darker, creepy side of it (I've never seen those zombie babies but they sound very disturbing), but I do love the excitement of kids donning costumes and going trick-or-treating (though I never dress up myself), carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds, trips to the pumpkin patch, and watching mildly scary movies (our annual favorite is Arsenic and Old Lace). I think more than anything I just love fall and all its attendant rituals.

    But I've never had to go trunk or treating, since I live in Provo, so maybe I'd feel differently if I lived somewhere else. =)

    Thanks again for a very enjoyable post—your posts always make me smile.

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  35. I agree with all your reasons not to like Halloween.
    I like to think I am crafty and then I just get really mad when things don't turn out so when my son really wanted to be Ironman this Halloween I was sad for about 1 minute that I wouldn't have to work on a costume that in the end wouldn't look how I wanted it to.

    When his costume came in the mail and I found my daughters at a thrift store I all of a sudden started likeing Halloween this year.

    I really like Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead) It almost has a romantic feel to death so when I went to Mexico last week I made sure I pick up some decor. Their skeletons are so cute, think Jake from Nightmare Before Christmas.

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  36. Yay! I agree wholeheartedly! I'd never been crazy about it, but 4 years ago this Halloween my baby boy died inside me the week before his scheduled C-section. Needless to say, it is now a most painful day. We have had to create a whole new atmosphere for our family around this time, and have some really great new traditions that make it bearable.
    A neat thing that some of the more conservative churches do around here (in Arkansas) is celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation. I think that is way cool. I would love to see that angle in our ward parties, rather than another skipped trunk-or-treat for us. . . .

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  37. If you're keeping track, this comment is one point in favor of Halloween. My Russian neighbors think it is of the devil. So do my Jehovah;s Witness neighbors. My dad was a boo humbug as well, but I choose to think Halloween is about kids dressing up (creativity!) and free candy (free!) I am a respectful neighbor and do not decorate, but I do encourage my kids' creativity. Why you gotta be hatin' on my kids' creativity?!? My 7 y/o last year was looking around the house for inspiration and settled on a clock. She had the numbers painted around her face and a game piece pointer for the clock hands. She hung the pendulum from our wooden clock on her brown dress. So creative. This year, since she and her brother are collecting erasers, and with a budget of $3-$5 each at the dollar store for costumes, she bought erasers and a craft crown kit and will be "The Eraser Queen" this year. Too fun. After an exhaustive google search for "halloween costume puns," my 10 y/o is making an "iPod" costume–he'll dress up as a giant pea pod and glue googly eyes on the peas (which are small green playground balls $1 each).

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  38. I love Halloween. I think I enjoy it so much because I associate it with such fun childhood memories, like trick-or-treating with my sister. I don't like the gory stuff–blech! But I love the cute decorations, pumpkins, cute ghosts, etc. I love going around the neighborhood with my kids, seeing all the glowing jack-o-lanterns, the crisp fall air, the leaves underfoot–just the whole experience! But I can see why some people don't like it–granted, it is kind of a weird holiday!

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  39. I love Halloween. It is my favorite. As a grown adult I still dress up and I started going to the church's trunk or treat two years ago. I live far enough out that we don't get trick or treaters and this gives me an opportunity to look at the creativity of the costumes and just to enjoy the light hearted activity of it. I know many parents who keep the candy for a while and then trash it shortly after. No need for that much. I agree that many take the Holiday to a dark place, but I don't. I enjoy this season and to me it's a great day to dress up as someone else and be young again.

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  40. Hilarious! Love your post. I don't hate Halloween, but I don't love it either. I like the costumes, I love the candy, I very much dislike the gore — especially when my little girl stands up in the middle of her drama class Halloween party crying because someone scared her in their costume. Lovely.

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