So I thought I might as well get on Blogger and tell you about our Halloween this year.
We sure have fluctuated as to how we have observed Halloween over the years. You all know it isn't my favorite holiday, but maybe you've also noticed that I've warmed up to appreciating certain things about it. This year we actually took the kids Trick-or-Treating. Shocking, I know!
We had so much fun!
When we were first married and deciding what holiday traditions we were going to establish, we decided we weren't going to do trick-or-treating. Even though we both had great childhood memories of going, we were concerned about the world getting more and more unsafe, especially depending on where we were living. We decided it would be wise to have our kids associate Halloween with other fun things: costumes and church trunk-or-treats and whatnot. We figured that if Halloween was all about trick-or-treating to them and then we ever got into a time and place where it just wasn't a good idea, then they would be totally crushed. We could avoid that by just avoiding trick-or-treating.
That seems kind of strange when I write it out now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Especially since the entire original idea behind a church trunk-or-treat was to provide a safe alternative to trick-or-treating. Remember that? That's why we had them on Halloween night. Now they are on a different night so that families can do both. What's up with that?
Anyway, we went to our ward chili supper and trunk-or-treat on a day prior to Halloween. The kids had a great time and got a ton of candy, and it was really all the Halloween fun we needed. But, what to do on Halloween night? What we had decided to do was attend a party we had heard about from one of Bean's football teammates: the First Baptist Church in a nearby town puts on a huge and very wholesome deal that everyone in town comes to. We have gone to these fall festivals at various churches in the past and had a really awesome time. So we were happy with our plan.
Except on Halloween morning the Badger and I were both tired. It had been a really long week for both of us. We didn't feel like loading up the whole family into two cars and driving even the 20 or 30 minutes it would take to get to this thing. The twins' noses were gooey. And the social output required to be in a big crowd of people we didn't know was too much for two introverts who were already exhausted.
So yesterday morning I said to the Badger... "what if we just stayed home and had pizza and took the kids trick-or-treating around our neighborhood?" We live in a beautiful little neighborhood with nice homes and nice people, and we haven't had much of a chance to get to know many of our neighbors. Trick-or-treating is a unique opportunity to build neighborhood camaraderie.
The Badger accepted my radical idea. He even determined that he would make homemade pizza.
Conditions were ideal, with calm winds and mild temperatures. (I even mowed the lawn in the late afternoon... still getting used to being back in a climate where you have to do that at the end of October!) As it was getting dark I helped the little kids get dressed. The Rabbit wore the dragon costume I made for Bean almost a decade ago. Peanut wore the Austrian dirndl, and Frog was a..... frog!
Roo and Fish and Bean had all been over at a neighbor's house for the afternoon, as is typical on Saturdays. Bean came home about dusk and I assigned him to hand out candy. He put on the medieval woodsman outfit. Fish and Roo left with the neighbors to go trick-or-treating with them. Roo borrowed an outfit from the neighbor girl to wear, but Fish just went mostly costume-less, which kind of annoyed me. I say mostly, because he was wearing a hat. We had worked up a Tintin costume for him for the ward party: I had spent the most time and money on that costume this year (which isn't saying much because I have very little time or money and I told all the other kids they had to wear costumes we already had. So I didn't spend any time or money on anyone but Fish, and I only spent maybe an hour and a half and $25 on his costume because we didn't have anything in the costume bucket that fit him. But anyway.) I thought he looked really awesome in brown knickers, a blue sweater with a white collared shirt underneath, and a flat cap. Most people don't know who Tintin is though, and some thought Fish was a newsie. Fish likes newsies too, but it bothered him that his costume didn't get the reaction he had hoped for... so maybe that's why he took off on Halloween night wearing just the flat cap. People gave him candy anyway, but, really, Fish!
Anyway, I started off down the street with my three little creatures. It was cute how quick Frog picked up on the concept of trick-or-treating. After about three houses, he had it down: find a house with the porch light on (I'd say maybe only half of the houses were accepting trick-or-treaters), run up to the front door, ring the bell, and say "trick or treat!" He was pretty cute.
Down at the end of our street we met up with some neighborhood friends and decided to go with them for awhile. They were heading the opposite direction, so we went back up our street, hitting the other side as we went. When we got to our house, Frog ran inside, and I figured he had done enough for a two-year-old so I told Bean to keep him there.
The rest of us continued on around the block. Our friends left when they got to their house, and we picked up Roo at some point, so for the last bit it was me and my three little girls and it was so fun to be with them walking around our pretty neighborhood on such a beautiful autumn night, crunching leaves underfoot. It was nice to be doing something fun with my kids for once, not rushed, not overloaded. I feel like lately I am mostly Mom the Taskmaster, so I think it was good for all of us for me to be Mom the Jolly Trick or Treating Companion.
Toward the end, Peanut got tired. Sometimes I had to carry her. When we were almost home, she needed to go potty. There was one more house to hit. Roo and Rabbit went running up to it and I asked Peanut if she wanted to go too. She said, "okay, but I will say 'trick or potty.'" She didn't actually say that, and she managed to hold it until we got home, but I thought that was pretty funny.
Home we came and there was yummy homemade pizza waiting for us. The kids got a lot of candy, and the interesting thing was that it was nearly all chocolate. There were even two full-sized candy bars in each bag. I told you I love my neighborhood! I must confess I enjoyed collecting my "mom tax" and then snacking while we watched "Night at the Museum 2."
The Badger and I were reminiscing, and we think it's interesting how candy hasn't changed very much since we were kids. There are very few new kinds of candy since the 1980's. Snickers, Kit Kat, Twix, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, Butterfinger, etc. and that's just the chocolate. It's kind of fun to see that my kids' candy bags look so similar to how mine used to.
Here is the only picture I got: