Some of you are probably thinking right about now: “Oh, she’s one of THOSE moms who doesn’t let her kids celebrate Halloween… Her poor kids are missing out on all the fun!”
But before you pass judgement, please read this post and then decide for yourself – I think you’d be surprised at how many of you would really enjoy this as an alternative to the typical Halloween traditions.
Each year, our Halloween Alternative goes something like this:
- We make a huge pot of spaghetti sauce and lots of long noodles (gluten free of course!).
- We make a giant bowl of salad.
- We make a selection of our favorite special treats.
- We set the picnic table outside by first wrapping it in several layers of Plastic Wrap (or a disposable table cloth)…. NO plates, forks or napkins allowed!
- We get dressed in our grubbiest clothes.
- Add a wig and some crazy accessories.
- We have the kids sit down and serve the food right in the middle of the table!
- We eat with our hands and make a mess on purpose! Food fights are encouraged, but not mandatory – and since we’re outside, no worries about the mess!
- Clean each other off with Hoses & Water Balloons… although I’d probably prefer to do this in a warm shower if I lived in the cold!
- Clean-up the table – Which pretty much means we cut the table wrap off and throw it away.
- Get our PJ’s on.
- Get our sleeping bags set-up in the living room.
- Pick out a family friendly movie or Radio Drama.
- Turn off all the lights and watch our movie while eating our special food treats.
- Camp-Out in the living room as a family… which means the kids are up way past their bed time!
- Wake-up the next morning still giggling about the night before… but without the tummy aches, cavities or candy hangover! =)
‘What the heck is going on here? I already eat everything with my hands!’
Reason #1: My kids are afraid of Halloween… and to be quite honest, I don’t like it either. I’m not talking about the getting dressed up in fun costumes part (which my kids & I already do on a regular basis), but it’s the entire evil spirit behind the holiday. Have you seen the Halloween isle at your local superstore? It’s definitely not filled with family friendly looking costumes – Instead, it’s dominated by evil characters and ghoulish accessories we try to avoid in real life! Not to mention the scary decorations everywhere (spiders, webs, monsters, witches, bloody knives, eyeballs & more creepy stuff)!
I walked into Kmart the other day and a life sized, animatronic Freddy Krueger greeted me at the door with his bloody knife hand, creepy eyes, and a mouth that moved when he said “Why are you screaming, I haven’t even cut you yet?” My 7 year old son was petrified, and we promptly walked right out of the store. I don’t need any more scary things to keep my kids awake at night… I can barely handle all the requests for water and trips to the bathroom!
There are REAL people and REAL children who face horrors like this everyday – but somehow it’s ok to glorify these unspeakable horrors at Halloween? No thanks!
Reason #2: My kids can’t eat any of the rubbish that’s handed out… nor would I want them to! No, I’m not afraid my child is going to find a razor in an apple or eat candy laced with poison – although technically, the candy is already filled with toxic chemicals and dangerous ingredients! But for goodness sake, how did we digress as a society where acquiring mass amounts of candy is equal to having a fun time? Kids are thrilled when you spend time with them, and their special memories are much more likely to be linked to the special event, then the candy.
We want our special events to have a healthy balance of fun & special food treats that won’t make them sick. I’m so grateful that my kids are easily amused, and that it doesn’t take much for them to think they’ve hit the jackpot… one slice of Real Watermelon Cake and my 7 Year old exclaims “This is the best dessert EVER Mommy!”
Reason #3: Halloween has become an increasingly ‘Adult’ holiday. I live in Hawaii and every year on Halloween they close down the famous ‘Front Street’ on the island of Maui, just to accomodate the tens of thousands of adults who fly in especially to participate in what’s now known as the ‘Mardi Gras of the Pacific.’ The out-of-control mayhem from just this one night has resulted in all the shops (except for a few bars) to shut down early in order to protect their property.
The street is turned into a virtual pornographic display of inappropriate costumes (if they wear any at all); with public displays of sexual acts, drunkenness, drugs, violence, abuse, profanity, property damage, littering, and other lewd behavior. The police are equipped like SWAT teams that line the street just to protect the people from their own foolishness! And this is just on a little island in the middle of nowhere – imagine the rest of the nation!
My beliefs encourage me to separate myself from such foolishness and live a life that is pleasing to God. And contrary to what others would say, my beliefs don’t restrict me from having fun! Call me crazy, but my definition of having fun is waking up and remembering everything in the morning… and to know that my kids will share those memories with me for a lifetime!
I know most of you would say, “I never would participate or take my kids to something like that!” I know… and I’m not anti-Halloween all-together or interested in judging your choices – I’m just sharing our family’s alternative and to give you another option if you need one. =)
Whatever you decide to do this Halloween, have fun, be safe & try not to scare the kids – you may lose sleep over it! =)