Halloween Curmudgeon

Image result for grumpy pumpkin image

I just heard a sobering statistic:  Americans will be spending $9.1 BILLION dollars this year on Halloween!  Up from $8 BILLION just last year.  Holy Milk Duds.  But no, seriously, we’re all living paycheck to paycheck…

I know I am going to blow everyone’s minds with this proclamation and it’s super counter-cultural, and no offense to all you crazy fall-lovers out there, but I HATE Halloween.  I hate everything about it and it’s time I came out about this.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  PART.  Except the 10% Mom Candy-Tax.  That I don’t mind.  Tell me I’m not alone here!

My high horse complaint is that it’s technically an evil holiday.  Hey kids, in general we don’t get into evil spirits but October it’s totally fine. I get that it’s over being that…kind of…But hey, when in Rome!

Weather:  It’s always cold!  Halloween is like Easter Sunday.  Every year you envision getting a sundress on and hunting for eggs outside on a beautiful spring day, until you realize that it’s still snowing.  Halloween is just the fall version of AlwaysWinter.  I remember as a child the misery of every year having a great costume only to be made to put on a heavy winter coat over it…And as a parent, following your kid door to door, freezing your butt off, hoping you can snag a mini-twix out of the kid’s bag before they see you or are old enough to know which ones are good.  Even the 3 year old knows enough to try to generously give me all the Tootsie Rolls.

Costumes:  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I can barely keep track that all 5 kids have a pair of jeans that are presentable for public but now need to go out and find, make, or buy each of them a costume.  Do you take the easy yet expensive route of letting them be a Power Ranger and buying a $40 cheaply made costume, because let’s face it, you figured you’d pick up something at a yard sale this summer but totally forgot about it.  Or you realize that even if you did have that type of super organized power, your kid wouldn’t wear it in October or you stored it somewhere and have no idea where and it’s going to be easier to go out and buy something than try to find it.  This year I even had a notion that I might have time to MAKE a few of the costumes…BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Not to mention “helping” the kids think of a costume idea.  You have the preschoolers who are dead set on being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and it’d better look just like they saw at Walmart.  You have the creative teenager who finally is old enough to think of something super creative but will require you to sew and stay up late nights helping in the design.  Then there’s the middle schoolers who “really want to dress up” but can’t think of anything that’s not babyish but are not quite into ironic costume.  “I don’t know what to dress up as!  Help me!”  You start tossing out all kinds of fantastic ideas…”No.  No.  No.”  Until it’s Halloween Eve and they still haven’t decided and suddenly it’s a crisis.  The worst part is when you think of something brilliant and they don’t want to do it.  You’re so set on them going to school dressed as their brother you can’t accept any other costume choice.

Candy:  You have 2 choices here:  Spend the next entire month monitoring candy intake, doing pocket searches, examining teeth for suspected candy theft, and putting up with daily, if not hourly, “NOW can I have some candy???”  OR, “Hey kids!  Eat all you want!  Even if it’s all gone by morning!”  And it will be.  The idea here is to simplify your life and teach a valuable love and logic lesson in the meantime.  But, strangely, it never works.  Sure, they do get sicker than a dog, but by the time Easter rolls around the lesson has been forgotten.

Then we have loads of candy just laying around the house.  Now there are 2 types of willpower out there:  One is being able to sit in front of a 5 lb jar of Jelly Bellys for a year and eat one per day.  (My wife)  The other type is realizing you have a problem and just not buying it in the first place.  (Me)  You kind of “have to” buy candy.  So do you buy the kind you like or the kind you hate?  Either way, I have the same problem as my kids (Why did I eat so much!!!  WHY????  I’ll never eat candy again!!!  Oh look a Snickers!).

It just seems that we Americans can’t understand why our kids are unhealthy and addicted to sugar but then provide overwhelming amounts of sugar one holiday after the next.  And it just keeps getting bigger and bigger!

Do you try to get your kids to sell their candy once it’s in the house?  We have a few kids who would.  We have a few kids who would eat theirs all in one night.  We have a couple kids who would savor theirs until July 4.  Unless the aforementioned kids find their stash.

I remember when #4 was 18 months.  Nothing impure or non-paleo had ever touched his little baby lips.  Until older siblings went trick-or-treating and he got ahold of a piece of candy.  You can’t undo candy exposure.  It’s all over after that.

The alternative is tiny, cheap, plastic trinkets that all parents either constantly nag their kids to pick up and take care of, or throw away.  At least it’s not candy but I’m not sure which one turns my stomach more.

Have I mentioned the next month’s dryer contents?  How many wrappers can there possibly be in the 14 year olds pockets????

Commitment:  Halloween used to be one night.  Or one afternoon.  Now it’s a week long, if not a month long party.  There’s the city event.  The “every church in town” events.  The “bring your kids by the office” event.  The school party.  The “bring your kids to their doctor’s office” event.  And since these were all created because neighborhoods weren’t really doing door to door anymore, they’re now in ADDITION to door to door because that’s cool now!

Pumpkin Carving:  I was quite proud of myself that I actually bought pumpkins and thought about them BEFORE Halloween this year.  Granted, I cheated and bought them from Walmart but anything times 5 = a lot of money.  I’ve carved 3 pumpkins so far, only 2 to go before midnight… Of course I’m doing the carving.  Because handing a serrated knife to the 3 year old seems sketch.  Sure the cool patterns look awesome but what happened to your 5 year old drawing some random face and carving it out???  And when the pumpkins are rotten and squirrels have eaten their faces off you still need to convince the 5 year old it’s time to throw them away.

And there are 2 types of pumpkin seed camps:  You either bake the pumpkin seeds and everyone refuses to eat them or you don’t want to cook pumpkin seeds but someone’s friend in class told them that moms always cook them and therefore you should too.  So you do and no one eats them.

Have you considered not participating?  Sure.  My kids probably won’t even notice.

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