Navigating Halloween

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Photo Credit: Pixabay.
It’s here. No, not Christmas; Halloween!

The one time of the year we allow our kids to walk up to a stranger’s house, ask for candy, then actually eat it not knowing where it came from!
Madness, candy from strangers? Yes, and despite what the year 2018 will tell you, Halloween is safe. It’s safe when you do your homework. As parents, we’re always adapting and calling audibles at the line based on what we see in front of us. Sometimes, we have to change the plan to something unexpected and not desirable for someone, but we do it in the best interest of our kids.
That’s enough football analogies, let’s talk navigating the Halloween swamp. I say swamp because it’s not the virgin sea you’re browsing. A balance of allowing your kids the freedom to run door to door for candy, while still hanging on tight so they aren’t out of sight.
I think Halloween is a great holiday to spend some time with the kids in multiple ways. Here are some of the things I love about Halloween.

I love It

1. Decorating

In some neighborhoods, decorating your house on a holiday is a competitive sport. I assume at some point in time; someone will live stream it on Twitch. Decorating the outside of your home is a great way to have quality time with the kids. Not only can us parents let loose and have some fun, but the kids can help different setup ideas. No one has a better imagination than a child; take advantage of it.

2. Fellowship

I don’t recall hearing many people say “I’m looking forward to trick or treating, and not seeing anyone.” Halloween is an awesome time for socializing to kids, as well as parents. Check out friends’ costumes, talk with other parents about how many Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups you’ll “test for freshness.” To take it a step further, church and community Trunk or Treat events make it so easy to get involved. What I like best about Trunk or Treat events is they usually are well organized, have games and even have some food.

3. The CANDY

Who can forget candy? The one word that speaks to every child’s heart, free candy isn’t something to miss out on. The best part about Halloween candy is the post-collecting organization. You know what I’m talking about; dumping your candy on the table and sorting it. Milky Way and Snickers bars always go together. Having four kids, I love watching them go through their candy; it turns into a family marketplace. There ends up being a discard pile, others going through it for something they like that someone else doesn’t, trades and deals. I’m considering getting a log book this year. The economics here are high-level!

Not So Much

Unfortunately, there are aspects about Halloween I don’t like.

1. Evil Classification

I recall my Grandma referring to Halloween as something related to evil. I can get that; ghosts, witches, magic all point to that consistent theme. However, what many who think this fails to see is the child’s view of Halloween. It isn’t about magic, spells and evil actions. It’s about decorating, costumes and candy. That’s it.

2. Inconvenienced Parents

I’ve touched a nerve already, I can tell. It’s disappointing every year when I pass parents who are rushing their kids along. Children no older than seven or eight years old, being told to hurry up. That sticks with a child, and it takes away from the experience, fun and results in fewer memories, let alone positive ones.

Keep It Safe

To wrap things up, it’s our goal as parents to keep our children safe while navigating Halloween. A few things I like to do to ensure my kids are safe include:
  • Make a plan and talk about it – When are we heading out? What is expected as we’re going house to house? How many homes ahead can the kids go before it’s too far?
  • Get glowsticks. String a couple together for your kids to wear as necklaces. If you have more than one child or go with a larger group together, this is priceless.
  • Being warm is more important than the costume. It doesn’t have anything to do with safety, but it’s a big Halloween night tip. Make sure the kids have bundled up accordingly.
Halloween is about having fun with the family, and if we act with purpose, it can be just that. What do you love about Halloween? I’d like to hear.

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