As I reflect back on the Halloween season, I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you all some things we learned along the way. These things will (hopefully) make us better off in years to come and continue to make Emma’s Halloween more enjoyable in years to come. Oh, and ours too!
For Halloween this year, we were so excited to dress Emma up. Last year we dressed Emma up as a ladybug, which was cute as a button, but she didn’t really know what was going on. She was barely 2 months old then and could have cared less. Give me food and let me sleep. That was the policy. This year was going to be FUN. Emma would know something was going on and be able to take part in it. We didn’t know what she would be because we had, as usual, waited until the last minute to decide. I was preparing to be in France for 10 days and was worn out and not ready to make any kind of decision on costumes. It didn’t make the priority list to say the least. JR and I finally agreed on a costume for Emma…three days before Halloween. In our minds, we had PLENTY of time. Emma was going to be the baby, female version of Abe Lincoln, a.k.a. Babe Lincoln. It was too cute to even say without busting into the biggest grin ever. JR would be able to dress up as a vampire and would call her Babe Lincoln, vampire hunter. I decided to leave that last part off the description. I’m not a big fan of it.
I made a quick facebook announcement looking for a suit for Emma’s dress costume. I found one and prepared to pick it up the morning of Halloween. You can imagine my surprise when I got the suit. I was not very specific on my description and received a snow suit when I needed a dress suit. Oops. We had two options here. Opt for a costume we already had (we had 4 back up costumes as dress up items) or run all over town trying to find a suit. I went with the first option but JR went with the second. As JR headed home to be with Emma, I made trips to 5 different stores and NONE, I repeat NONE, had a suit that looked anything like what we needed. I made the call to JR who reluctantly agreed on one of the back up costumes. I’m still not really sure what the big to do was over the back up costumes because I LOVED them. I guess it’s just a JR thing. At the end of the day it didn’t matter too much once we dressed her up as that cute little lion. Oh. my. gosh. Too cute!
Lesson #1- prepare your Halloween costume BEFORE Halloween. By BEFORE, I mean more than 3 days in advance. Probably a few weeks or months in advice.
Lesson #2- always have a back up plan. Planning without a back up plan is surely a disaster waiting to happen. I’m so grateful that we had FOUR back up plans waiting on us in Emma’s closet when we got home. For your enjoyment, I put the other options below:
Depending on where you lived, you may have experienced something different, but if you lived anywhere on the east coast of the US your Halloween was at least one of several things: rainy, cold, or snowy. We had all three. For this Halloween, we decided NOT to do the trick or treating that we had done the year before. We froze then and it wasn’t even close to as cold as it was this year. After sitting out some candy for the neighborhood kids (of which only 7 kids showed up in that weather- or 1 person took 7), we made a visit to my parent’s house to for them to see Emma and then headed off to a friend’s annual Halloween party/Fall Festival. I’m so glad we made the call this year to stay inside. I’m not sure what I think of anyone who went out in that weather. Words like “crazy” and “insane” come to mind. For me, it just wasn’t worth my sanity or my daughter’s health to brave the outdoors. Inside was cozy and warm and Emma still got some snacks. I think overall she was more enamored with the bags of popcorn than anything else. Eating them not so much, rather, stacking them up and pulling them down. I’m pretty sure she carried on with this tradition for a good 20 minutes. We were able to relax and have fun. We weren’t rushed to get anywhere else since we only had two destinations. It was the best way to spend our Halloween, that’s for sure!
Lesson #3- Relax. Don’t rush through Halloween so much that you are ready for it to be over. Have fun! It’s an opportunity to hang out with your friends and your kid’s friends, too.
Lesson #4- Don’t forget to give out candy. I’m not going to lie, we had pretzels. Call me crazy but I’m just not nuts about giving out loads of sugar to kids and not being sure if there parents will ration it properly. So I guess we can change this lesson to don’t forget to give out FOOD. Even if you don’t practice Halloween, some kids do and those kids don’t understand why you don’t. Try explaining it to a 4 year old when they show up at your door in their Dora costume just wanting a small bag of skittles.
Lesson #5- Ration your child’s intake. This lesson mainly came as I was writing #4. We were glad to NOT trick or treat this year since Emma doesn’t understand it and also it didn’t leave us with tempting junk food at the house to try and not eat. When we were little, mom and dad kept the candy for us that way we would only eat a small amount at a time. I don’t plan on being the evil mom who won’t let their child trick or treat but I also won’t be the evil mom who allows my child to eat so much that they get sick or don’t understand that no one needs that much candy. Seriously. My thoughts are about portion control not removing it all together.
So there are some lessons from the Linkous house on Halloween. We enjoy it and celebrate it. I know it’s a hot topic amongst people. To do it or not to do it. For us, we felt no conviction to NOT do it so there you go. I personally believe you have to follow your own convictions and this is where we stand. If you don’t practice it, I’m completely supportive of your own convictions, however, if Emma comes by, please have a bag of skittles. That’s all I ask 🙂