I’ve never really celebrated Halloween. I never did the trick-or-treating thing. I wasn’t one of those weird children that really missed it and my family just never did that kind of thing. We used to carve out pumpkins when I was younger, but even after a few years we stopped doing that. We were a Christian family and I was raised that Christians didn’t celebrate Halloween. Not so much because it wasn’t a faith-based holiday, but because everything it portrayed went against Christian beliefs.
I’m sure there are those who may be young and want to celebrate Halloween and can’t, for whatever reason. So parent what can you do when you don’t want to celebrate but your child does? I believe you need to provide a better alternative. I have some ideas on things you can do to make Halloween a day to remember, and not for what others celebrate it for.
1) Create an in-house candy search. Maybe your children can’t do trick-or-treating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t immerse the house in candy. Although don’t make your house too warm so that candy doesn’t melt in the wrong places. Let them compete for which one can find the most candy. Or better yet, if you have more than one child, have them work in teams!
2) Have a pumpkin-colored theme day. See what all you and your family can do with the color pumpkin. Eat foods with pumpkin in it, dress in the pumpkin color. See how far you can actually go with it! I wouldn’t say paint the house pumpkin (I think that’s taking it a bit too far). What I’m driving at is that you can do something different with pumpkins than just carving them out and throwing away the insides. Be creative with pumpkins on this day. Maybe even see what you can do with the insides that will be beneficial; perhaps you can patent what you innovate.
3) Find some activities in your area that’s offering fall-related activities. Perhaps you can find somewhere near you that’s doing hayrides, apple-bobbing, harvesting pumpkins, shucking corn, or other crafts involving fall items. Take some leaves and create a leaf-bleached t-shirt. Make some baskets and have a picnic before winter sets in.
4) Choose another holiday to celebrate. It can be a holiday you haven’t gotten to yet, or one you previously celebrated but really enjoyed. For married couples that may be Valentine’s Day, for children it may be Independence Day. Everyone loves Christmas; maybe have a Christmas-in-October day… including gifts and everything. If you’re into food, perhaps have Thanksgiving in October and do a potluck (or some call it a pot-blessing). If you’re really at a loss, create your own holiday to celebrate instead of Halloween! Give it a name and make it a family tradition.
5) Take the family on a trip to the amusement park the weekend before or after (depending on when it lands). This may be an option if you live near a major amusement park. I know in Chicago, we have a Great America near us which stays open through Halloween at least. I actually think it’s the first weekend in November. Since children go back to school around mid-August in some places, theme parks will have limited hours while children are in school. I know our amusement park has a Halloween theme during that time, but for some children roller coasters, games, and cotton candy are a great replacement for trick-or-treating.