I grew up in a family that didn't do halloween and then did. Confusing? The short version is this: my brother (who is 12 years older than me) was allowed to do nothing for halloween. It wasn't celebrate at all. There was no dressing up, no candy, etc. My mom even took him out for his halloween parties at school and took him to a movie or to get ice cream. Then, when I came around we 'did' Halloween, but it consisted in cute (not scary) costumes (normally homemade, can't tell you how many times I was a hobo ;), and my trick or treating consisted of getting in the car and driving to one grandma's house and one aunt's house... basically so they could take pictures. Mom left me in for school parties, but she was always the room mother to help 'maintain' things. I didn't know any different until I got older and was allowed, one year, to go trick or treating with a friend and her mom... wow, was that different.
Okay, fast forward to us. Our idea is that Halloween is a lot of what you make of it. I'm not celebrating anything negative, in fact, I don't even know if the word celebrating would be the word I would use at all. There is nothing in particular to 'celebrate', but it's a day Aaron and I feel we can have fun, enjoy, and serve together as a family. So here is 'our policy' (if you can so call it that):
- Our kids (and us adults) are free to dress up for Halloween in costumes that are not scary, vulgar, gross or *ahem* seductive. (Halloween costumes for women now may as well be classified as lingerie, seriously.) If Bryton wants to dress up as a football player for Halloween one year, so be it. Last year he was a cuddly lion ;) Seems like a great time to dress up and be goofy (not mischievous).
- We're lucky to have offered at our church an annual Trunk or Treat, where church families decorate and fill the trunks of their cars with candy. It's a great ministry for kids to be able to trick or treat and parents to feel safe about what their kids are getting and where their kids are walking. For them it is a fast way to get all of the 'trick or treating' done in one spot. When our kids are old enough to 'trick or treat', we'll be trick or treating at church, and our kids will be asked to help serve during the trunk or treat as well, when they are old enough of course :)
- As far as school parties. I'm not anti-them just yet. Sadly, one of the reasons I've become anti school parties has nothing to do with the theme of the party, but mostly because of the junk in the party. Back in the day when I was growing up we got a small treat bag (that had to be taken home) and one treat (cupcake, cookie, etc) and a glass of juice. The time was taken up with a game or a craft.. not eating. Subbing and working during a lot of parties last year, I see kids getting fed huge cupcakes and a couple of cookies and a rice krispy treat and as much juice as they want. THEN, all of the candy on top of all of that. No wonder our kids are obese nowadays... I'm not a huge stickler on Bryton having treats and stuff throughout the day, but seriously, one sweet treat a day, or every other day (small) is PLENTY. I'm going to be that parent that brings a bag of apples to the 'halloween' party. Not like any of the kids would eat them. Anyway, we'll try the halloween party thing, as soon as it gets too questionable, I might be that parent. I think our school district does a fairly good job at enforcing guidelines for the halloween party.
Anyway - that's us on halloween ;)