Thursday, November 1, 2012


I am beginning this post with a warning: If you love Halloween, please do not proceed to read the rest!

To all of you moms out there who love this spooky holiday and are great at making it awesome for your kids, I admire you. I have tried to follow suit, but to no avail. I truly wish I shared the same enthusiasm for Halloween as most of the civilized world, but the truth is. . .

I hate it.

I'm serious. I absolutely hate it.

Why, you might ask? I mean, how can someone hate a holiday, especially one that offers so much fun for most people?

I'm not sure I have a solid answer, but this year as I was sitting miserably at a ward Halloween party, pondering those very questions, feeling grumpy down to my bones, I was reminded of something. When I was little, we simply did not have extra money. Therefore, our Halloween costumes were either homemade or made up by finding things around the house and turning them into a costume. I think both are great, and my mom was an absolute wizard on the sewing machine, so she came up with some fabulous stuff, really. But when we left the house, it was pretty obvious our costumes were not as amazing as everyone else's. And I think that's where it started.

I hate costumes. I hate the idea of trying to have the best costume out there and spending money on something so trivial (I know--I'm winning no friends here--please forgive me for being so straight forward). I also hate the idea of knocking on people's doors and asking them for candy. It just feels wrong. Every year as I watch kids bounce around neighborhoods, grabbing fistfuls of candy at every doorstep, I just cringe inside. Whoever gets the most candy wins! I mean, that seems to go against everything I'm trying to teach my children. And during the weeks following this tradition, my kids beg for and fight over candy every spare minute they have. I absolutely hate it. There just seems to be so much social pressure to conform. And then there's the dark side of Halloween--the ghosts and witches and haunted houses and monsters with chainsaws. No matter how hard I try, I just can't understand what is thrilling about those things.

So now that I've been way more honest and direct than I ever should have been, I must say, that even though I despise this holiday, and I inwardly cheer inside every year on November first when I realize it's a whole 365 days until it comes around again, I do want my children to have a chance to enjoy it. Truthfully, my hope is that they won't grow up with the negative attitude towards Halloween that I have.

A couple of years ago, we loaded up as a family and went to a hotel on Halloween night. We played games, went hot tubbing, made caramel apples and watched a movie (not scary) together. It was truly wonderful! Way better than the traditional celebration in my eyes. Unfortunately, it's hard to do that when the holiday falls in the middle of the week, so most years we end up simply conforming and following the crowd, and it never makes me happy.

Okay, I am done complaining, I promise. And I must say that I do love any time I can watch my kids have a good time. And kids are so good at that, don't you think? They don't stop to analyze all the details; they simply join in and have fun. I love that! It's something I need to learn from them. So, here are a few pictures of their Halloween fun this year (btw, we are so lucky--we borrow all our costumes from Grandma Conger, who happens to have a closets and trunks full of amazing outfits that she's willing to share--such a lifesaver!).

Regyn was a hippie girl--I love it!

Boston was a shaggy dog. Never mind that he was sweating to death, he loved this costume, and I'm telling you, when he got down on all fours, he looked like a real dog.

Berkley was a purple dragon--of course I snapped the picture when she was picking her nose!

Hallee was a volleyball player--not very original (she's way too much like me, I'm afraid). Here are these four altogether. Nate was already with his friends, so he missed the group photo. I love their smiles.

Nate with his two buddies--Luke and Luke. 
One thing I will say is that I do think every kid deserves a chance to love Halloween, even if his/her mother doesn't. And so, my main goal for next year is to pretend harder! And if that doesn't work, well, we may just have to book a hotel!