Thursday, October 27, 2011

Writer's Workshop: It's No Holiday For Me

Halloween is almost here, as evidenced by the plethora of Christmas decorations in the stores.

And let me tell you, this "holiday" is no holiday for parents.

The costumes, decorations, and WAAAY too much sugar are killing me over here, and it's not even Halloween yet!

Let's start with the costumes. When I was a kid we would tie a scarf around our head, add a lot of jewelry and a white shirt and be gypsies. Or dress in shabby clothes and carry a stick with a bandanna tied to the end and be hobos. A cowboy hat and boots, a black cape and witch's hat. You know, easy stuff.

Now those costumes won't pass muster. It's the full Minnie Mouse costume, complete with dress and shoes, not just a tail and a pair of paper ears. Or Rapunzel, complete with the Disney dress and mile-long wig braided just so. Or the superhero of your choice, as long as every last detail is exactly as it appears on TV.

And who has to come up with the money or the creativity to go the distance with a costume? You're looking at her. Last year I made costumes. The fabric was a bargain, but they took a fair amount of time. This year I scored four great costumes at a secondhand sale, so they were cheap, but required some alterations. More time out of an already jam-packed schedule.

Seriously, I could just turn the boys out in the yard for a couple hours on any given day and they'd be in perfect hobo costumes. That would be much easier on me!

Then there are the decorations. I'm not that into Halloween and I don't (again) have tons of time to do decorations, but the kids see them everywhere and want to be part of the fun. We've managed this year by incorporating some decoration-making into our school time. 'G' is for ghost, after all.

In the good old days no one decorated for Halloween, unless you count jack o' lanterns and the people who never took down their Christmas lights from the previous year. So much easier! Now my neighbors have corn stalks and scarecrows, skeletons and Halloween lights. We managed three bats, a jack o' lantern and a handful of ghosts made out of old milk jugs.

I can get on board with the costumes (though ours will always be more creative than costly) and the decorations because I get to exercise my craft skills, but I could really do without the sugar. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love to raid my kids' Halloween bags as much as the next parent. It's just the sugared-up kids I could do without, and it's already started!

Amelia's brought home Halloween goodies from school and we're headed to a Halloween party tomorrow. Then there's the actual trick-or-treating and all the candy eating that follows. Seriously, it's like one big sugar high that lasts about a week.

I'm tempted to tell my kids they can eat all the candy they want the day after Halloween, and then we'll throw all the rest out. It'll be hell, but it will be short-lived. Otherwise I'll have weeks of "Can I have a piece of candy? Can I have another piece of candy? Can I? Can I? Huh, can I?" Multiply by four kids and I will go insane. 

Seems the "trick" in trick-or-treat is on me!

This post inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.
Mama’s Losin’ It

© Trippin' Mama 2011


Patty Ann said...

Oh, I have so been there! Now we eat the candy for a week and I send the rest to Iraq. The American legion always gives me the name of a soldier or two and we do a care box and send it over. The candy is out of my life, but the kids had a ball and they learn to share. Can't ask for more than that! Good luck with your own candy crew. I have also put half away for later in the year. They never notice if you do it after they go to bed.

Lisa Quinones Fontanez said...

I was just thinking the same exact thing. But I guess I shouldn't complain, I just have 1 kid.

It just seems like so much time, energy and expense for one day.

And I am with you - throw away all the candy. They don't need it :)

Now following you from Mama Kat!

Aunt Mary said...

You should have the "great pumpkin" come and take the candy- the kids leave it out for him (maybe keep a few for eating) and then the "great pumpkin" leaves them a present- like a book or toy... if you start it when they are young it may work. I bribe my boys to sell theirs to the local dentist $1/lb and I match it... only worked on one last year but its worth a try.