Can someone tell me when Halloween turned into a downright holiday season? Growing up, I remember the angst of figuring out my costume – Target and Party City weren’t around with costumes galore to buy and I had zero creativity. It was a day — get up, bring your costume to school, have a party, go home, trick-or-treat in the evening — Halloween over.
Well, that was my experience. When my husband Tim and I got married, we jumped full swing into the “Halloween Season” without much thought. We had our own pumpkin carving contest, decorated the outside of our house with orange lights, hung paper ghosts from our trees, filled pumpkin-faced garbage bags with leaves to put on our grass. What fun!
Today, we still celebrate Halloween in much the same way with our three children. The “season” isn’t the same without a trip to the apple orchard. We love to pick our favorite apples, get lost in the corn maze and go on a hay ride! The pumpkin carving contest is still a yearly favorite – it’s always fun to watch the younger kids fearful to dig out the guts of the pumpkin. It’s amazing how much better they actually look at night with the candle in them! (tip: We usually don’t buy our pumpkins at these orchards; I’ve found they’re much cheaper at the grocery store or local farm stand.) We try to get five pumpkins of varying shapes for added interest. My husband soaks and cooks the seeds each year – kind of like other holiday foods we don’t eat, but still make because it’s “tradition.”
Like other seasons, my kids thrive on the same rituals each year: the candy bowl with the hand that moves, the talking skeleton at the door, the Halloween cut-outs I press on my windows. As I’m writing this, it all sounds “cheesy,” but my family loves it. Different crafts, snacks and fun drinks come and go each year. As with any other ritual, I try to stick to a few basics that gives my kids that feeling – ‘This is what my family does’ – the cheesier the better!