Friday, October 30, 2009

Quick Takes Friday: The Hallowe'en Edition

Happy All Hallow's Eve Eve, my friends. Or, as it is commonly known around here, The Day That Mommy Loses Her Mind Over Costume Drama.

That's why I am taking refuge here on the internet. And in the chocolaty embrace of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.


The kids have Halloween parties in their classrooms today, and our township also does it's trick-or-treating tonight, so I would like the record to show that I have been gypped out of one full day of costume preparation.

Hence the loss of my usually serene state.



Every year, I let the kids pick how they want to dress for Halloween. Of course, they start talking about it in September, and lulled by the false sense of security I find in having AGES to complete a project, I encourage their creativity (with the Ultimate Parental Veto Policy firmly in place) .

Forget that.

Next year I'm having a Halloween Dictatorship. They can go as homemakers or doctors. I've got plenty of supplies for those costumes.


I don't sew well at all. In fact, most of what I create with a needle is an accident and would never be considered as sewing by those who can actually do it. (Barbara, you would weep, I think.)

Naturally, my children love to pick costumes that involve some degree of construction, e.g.: a battery or a phoenix.

This year, it's been ancient Greek gods, Poseidon and Zeus specifically, and a pumpkin fairy. Of course.

Also? Sewing is a lot harder when you have to keep an ambitious toddler at bay. Bun likes nothing better than to climb on the table and grab anything sharp: scissors, needles, pins.

His modus operandi goes something like this: Skip all fluffy, soft fabric, and go straight for the stuff that is classified under This Will Give My Mother Heart Failure. Then throw a monstrous fit when you are removed from the area and placed in a detention center (high chair). Be sure to try and kick your new brother or sister on the way out. Never let her take you down without a fight, baby.

It's like sewing with a rabid wolverine for company.


Bun has no costume and I find it highly unlikely that he will have one by tonight. It doesn't really matter, since a) he has no idea what's going on today, he only knows his brother and sisters are hopped up on free candy and OUT OF THEIR BLESSED MINDS, and b) he'll be going to bed by the time the kids are ready to go out trick-or-treating.

I swore I would never be one of those parents with a bunch of kids whose youngest child would get lost in the shuffle.

Guess what? I AM that parent this year and I am totally fine with it.

At least I take lots of pictures of him.


Sally threw me the old curve ball this year when she decided to change her mind about her costume.

We were in the craft store getting a few last minute supplies -- oh who am I kidding? Our last minute supplies were ALL the supplies we needed. -- and I was smiling about how easy Sally had made it for me this year.

She proclaimed that she wanted to be a pumpkin, so I thought: Score! Orange shirt, black felt triangles, black leggings, and we're good to go!

Then YESTERDAY, she said, very meekly, "Mama, I don't want to be a pumpkin. I would like to be Tinkerbell."

And I said, not meekly at all, "Nope. Sorry honey, but you are going to be a pumpkin because that is the costume I have for you."

Then she cried. Not a tantrum, just big, fat tears and quiet, shuddery sobs of disappointment.

And just to show you how crazy I've become, and how easy it is for Sally to make me change my mind, I began to think: Well, maybe I could run over to the mall tonight and grab a Tinkerbell costume from the Disney store. If they have any, they are probably on sale, and it is the first year that she has actually picked what she wants to be for Halloween . . ."

Then I slapped myself upside the head and realized that the only thing I was likely to bring home from the mall was a raging case of H1N1.

But just to show her I wasn't completely La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Sally and I compromised. I made her an easy orange tulle skirt to wear over her leggings and she is going as a pumpkin fairy.

Next year, when my draconian Halloween Dictatorship is instituted, none of this will be a problem.


Before I started blogging and reading other blogs, I never realized how big a deal the Halloween/No Halloween Debate was in the Catholic world.

When I was growing up, we always did Halloween -- and so did the gajillion Catholic families I grew up around. Of course, we all knew that Halloween really meant All Hallow's Eve and that our behinds would be in a church pew the next day, chocolate hangovers notwithstanding.

I can see why people would object to Halloween, especially given our culture's penchant for glorifying only the cruelly gory and/or seXy, but I guess I have always seen Halloween in the context of the Catholic calendar. I found this article to be very interesting in terms of the context of Halloween.

Around here we emphasize the silly and not the scary, and I think we'll probably keep trick-or-treating until the kids are too old for it, but it's never a bad thing to remember where the fun begins and ends.


I just got home from the classroom Halloween parties where I pulled a muscle in my leg trying to get everyone and everything up the stairs, and my little ones spent most of the time crying because I wouldn't let them roam from classroom to classroom eating other kids' goodies. (Oh the unmitigated maternal gall!)

Once home, I realized that I am starving because I never had a chance to eat lunch, PLUS I have no candy to hand out to my costumed neighbors. Gah.

Is it All Saints' Day yet?

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen, and, whether you do Halloween or not, have a fun weekend, my friends!


  1. Laughing out loud at number 3!!

  2. I am so glad that I have been too busy to read the anti-Halloween blog posts.
    I might be inclined to go into a tizzy.
    Cute costumes.
    Trust in society.
    Trust in our neighbors.
    Let it go people.
    If you don't let your kid dress up like a DEVIL then I think you are doing just peachy.
    Thank you...good night.
    You've been a great audience.

  3. We always dressed up for Halloween (raised Catholic, Catholic school, still practicing, etc.) and I don't remember it being that big of a deal either. I think my parents always took it as something fun and that's how I think of it too. I think any sense of 'evil' comes from other sources, not from costumes or carving a pumpkin... although eating too much chocolate can bring about some evil in my digestive tract..ugh! As you noted, you can focus on the fun aspect & avoid any of the darker stuff that is associated with Halloween.
    Great post BTW :)

  4. Hope you all had a great time! And as a Catholic girl who went to Catholic school that totally celebrated Halloween, I'd never seen the Catholic/Christian backlash to it either until recently. It kind of threw me. I can understand it. And we keep it all in the spirit of "fun". Only 2 of our butts made to the pew for All Saints day. Illness kept 2 away.

  5. The kids are never too old for Halloween. My high-school senior went out trick-or-treating this year--in a group of about 20 COSTUMED kids his age. They deserve every bit of candy they got, especially the Milky Ways, but only if he is willing to share.


Go ahead and say it. You know you want to.