It’s official, friends! The spooky Halloween season is finally upon us. I can almost taste the candy corn and smell the crisp fall air haunting our senses. This is my absolute favorite time of the year. We visit pumpkin patches, fall festivals, and of course participate in numerous trick-or-treat events. The entire month of October is normally booked with fun fall activities, but this year is seeming to look a little different.
At first thought of the spooky season, I was right where many of you are.
Angry that we can’t participate in things we normally would. Frustrated that I have to explain to my kids why. Scared that they are missing out on opportunities to make those fun family memories. Yet, each negative thought I had was rebutted with a positive one. Trick or treat is still possible. Fall games are still possible. Family time is still possible. Fall is not canceled, it’s just going to look a bit differently than we are used to.
After becoming mindful of my anxieties about Halloween and adjusting my expectations, I concocted a plan for making this year completely spooktacular! We are going to make an interactive haunted basement for the kids. Setting up three scary sections that they have to walk up and collect treats from. From there, they will go outside. Weather permitting, their grandparents will have stations set up around the house as well as us setting up fall game stations in between each grandparent. Altogether, they will have 13 stations for treats.
Each treat station will vary. Many will have a Halloween-themed bag that goes with their chosen costumes (black cat for our little witch and a spider for our large tarantula). In these bags, there will be a mix of candies that are perfectly portioned out for us to say yes each time they want to indulge after the holiday. In the other stations (i.e. grandparents’ stations or other special stations), there will be non-candy treats, such as Halloween PJ’s, a book for bed time that night, a stuffed animal that goes with their costume, and anything grandma decides to throw into their station. If the weather is poor, all grandparents will be stationed in their cars for a trunk-or-treat. Games would also be moved inside.
I know that it is very different to not be engaging with our community during Halloween.
I know that we all deserve time to immerse ourselves in the celebration of just something in general. We all can agree to this, despite any personal beliefs on the pandemic. Yet, that joy you get seeing your little one magically transform into their favorite character as they run from house to house can be recreated and made more personal. That family time you’re craving can be held spaced out through the yard or in cars. I think the COVID-19 restrictions on this holiday are allowing us to take this year to be more purposeful.
In a normal year, our calendar would be so packed that we couldn’t go to all the grandparents’ homes to trick-or-treat. We would have to say things like “We’re booked this entire month, how’s your November look?” or have the ridiculous 15 pounds of candy per kid sitting around the house until Thanksgiving.
Halloween this year will be the most personable Halloween we’ve ever had. It will be filled with family sharing in our children’s joy. It will be filled with “yes” treats that they enjoy and we don’t have to stress about them eating. It will be filled with what our kids need and want… just to be together and celebrate life. On a holiday that is about the macabre, let’s not let our attitudes be that way.
No matter how you choose to celebrate your Halloween this year, take a moment to breathe. Yes, this is overwhelming to have change a life-long tradition. It’s hard to think about how to make things special sometimes, especially when we are feeling so restricted and down about it. You are not alone in all of your feelings. Take a deep breath and start thinking about who you want to take part in this day, what makes this holiday so special to you, and how you can bring it to your own home. Anything you invest in this year will help for Halloweens to come, including that time and mindset.
We will all make it through this year, but I can guarantee you, if you take a moment to make this holiday more personalized around your child, it will be their favorite Halloween of their life. Memories made are most vivid when they are with those who care for you and put you first. You know your child best, you know your family best, and you can provide a Halloween for them that is the best, even in a time that is so unsure. That connection is the secret to taking the fright out of this holiday and those to come in the following months.
Here’s to hoping your Halloween is scary in all of the right ways this year. Happy Halloween, Momma!