No Cheap Candy Here!
And, yes, it IS for the reason you assume, but there are others. Here goes:
1) I am NOT one of those mothers who makes costumes. I have bought them in the past. . .and that's a total ripoff. But, for what it's worth, I do NOT typically make Halloween costumes. And when you take your child, no matter HOW CUTE THEY ARE, people compare your costume-making abilities with those of everyone around them. And, I don't measure up -- and don't really care if I do or not.
2) I am NOT a fan of the macabre . . .in any form. I don't like horror movies (except for the old, campy ones) I don't like little kids dressed in adult costumes. . . and by adult I mean costumes that should be reserved for adults. They actually sell "pimp" and "ho" costumes for kids. My friends, this cannot be. And yet, it is.
3) I grew up in Chicago. So for us, trick or treating meant wearing the straight-from-Kmart-Halloween-costume (complete with the elastic-banded mask that smelled like some toxic form of plastic and developed condensation from your breathing) AND your winter coat. Trust me when I say that Cinderella does NOT look the same with a gray parka. Kinda soured me on the whole day.
4) For some reason, it really bothers me when people say that Halloween is their favorite holiday. Martha Stewart, especially. Maybe it's just that I don't like her -- and this is the manifestation of that. Actually, the year I was expecting Caroline was the year that she was in jail. I went to our Halloween Alternative as her -- blue oxford (maternity) shirt and khaki pants. I put prison numbers on my lapel, and wore handcuffs. Truly, I'm a minimalist.
5) At its very inception, Halloween is a celebration of all things evil (I know, this is going back to #2 -- but it's a biggie for me). I just can't get that excited about celebrating something that has serious roots in the occult. I know it's safe, for the most part -- but still. . . .
And yes, as a kid, we went to Haunted Houses, and friends' houses for Halloween parties. The Grubermann's always hosted a party at their house -- she made really good sloppy joes, and made the evening fun for everyone.
We went trick or treating, too. By ourselves, if memory serves. We walked blocks and blocks in search of good candy. My buddy Lois (right sidebar) has some thoughts about "good" versus "bad" candy on her blog. (Chocolate = good; Tootsie Pops = bad) Mini Snickers and Mini Milky Way bars are good. Mary Janes and those gosh-awful peanut butter kisses (wrapped in orange & black waxed paper) are BAD.
And then there's that ever-present fear of people tainting Halloween candy. I remember hearing that you could take your kids' candy to the ER and they'd X-ray it for you, to make sure there were no needles, razor blades, and the like.
So, for all those things and more, I don't want my kids taking part in haunted houses or trick or treating. We have been known to take Edison to the doors of people we knew. . .but those were rare occasions. There is a very real evil inherent in the origins of Halloween, and I'm much more comfortable distancing both of my kids from that aspect of this "holiday." And I'm really blown away at the number of homes in our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods that host a haunted house for you to bring your kids to.
"Uh. . .if I don't know you, I can assure you that my kids are NOT going in your house."
I know. I'm strange. Sue me.
Our church, and many others have started holding "alternatives" to Halloween. We've called ours everything from a "Halloween Alternative" to a "Fall Festival" to a "Trunk or Treat" or even a "Neewollah" (Halloween spelled backwards).
Tonight, we're hosting "Door 2 Door" where kids can trick or treat at the various classroom doors in our church building. Sunday School classes, other groups, and different ministries of the church are sponsoring rooms. I've heard there's a "Chronicles of Narnia" room. Should be interesting.
And yes, we'll go.
Caroline is going to wear a UT cheerleader costume that came to us through a "hand-me-down" bag. We'll make an appearnce, briefly, and then we'll come back home. I want to be supportive. I want to see the other kids. I want people to see Caroline. Mostly, I want cotton candy.
They're renting a cotton candy machine. I love cotton candy.
What about us? Well, our house is ready for Trick-or-Treaters. . . although we've had very few in recent years. I bought candy last week -- Baby Ruth, Nestle Crunch Bars, Butterfingers, and Green Apple/Caramel Lollipops. Yeah, we've got good candy. . .the kind we can "live with" if we don't end up giving it all away.
So, if this is your favorite night of the year. . . congratulations. You've made it to your favorite day. You don't have to worry about me "stealing it" from you. I will do my best to enjoy it for your benefit. . .at a safe distance. . .with a bowl of (hopefully) leftover Baby Ruth bars when it's all over with.