Family life

Do you get into the spirit of Halloween as much as your kids?

Tracy wonders if other parents buy into the Halloween hoopla — or just say "booooo."

By Tracy Chappell
Do you get into the spirit of Halloween as much as your kids?

I’m not really a Halloween person. I like it, but don’t go to great creative lengths to make it the pinnacle of my children’s autumn. In fact, my kids wanted to wear the same costumes the last two years in a row and that filled me with tremendous joy. They were about to go into our basement to dig through our dress-up clothes to find their costumes for this year, when I felt bad and reminded them (or enlightened them for the first time ever) that they could be anything they wanted for Halloween. They should let their imaginations run wild. Isn’t that what Halloween is for?
I held my breath because I can’t sew (though I do own fabric glue). What if they wanted to be something complicated like a pumpkin or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or My Little Pony? Then — bless her — Avery declared that she wanted to wear Anna’s sparkly witch costume from last year. And — bless her — Anna declared that she wanted to be a cat. A cat! I can do that. I think I fist-bumped myself.
I do love to decorate with the kids and paint and carve pumpkins and go trick-or-treating. And we like to whip up spook-tacular treats (any excuse for treats!). This year, we were inspired by the October Today’s Parent cover and made these Oreo bats. (Be gentle as you make them; we broke many as we went along and were forced to eat them.)
Then, I found this adorable recipe for meringue ghosts and wondered if I could pull it off for Anna’s Sparks Halloween party this week. It seemed so fancy, but they were actually incredibly easy to make and looked very impressive, according to Anna. (If you make them, make them small; they’re quite fragile and the larger ones I made started to crack after sitting for a couple of hours. The smaller ones held up much better.) The Sparks party also gave us a chance to do a test-run of Anna's kitty costume, including face paint. We determined that less was more. Good to know.
In the end, my girls love Halloween. What else matters? And I don’t have to have the scariest house on the block or host a spooky costume party to foster that. However, next year I hope to start a little earlier and put a bug in their ear (ha!) to let their imaginations run wild in the costume department. After all, Halloween is for make-believe, which ends all too soon.They’ll probably come up with their own amazing ideas to pull off their visions if I give them the chance. 
What are your kids going to be for Halloween? Do you make their costumes and go all out?

This article was originally published on Oct 26, 2012

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