Robbing my kids of joy…one holiday at a time.

This isn’t really what I pictured when I mentioned that I may start doing some “hot topic” posts. But apparently Halloween is a bit of an issue for me.  I have written past posts about why my family doesn’t celebrate Halloween, but if you don’t want to click through to those links, I’ll summarize briefly for you:

1) Aaron (my husband) grew up with essentially NO holidays.  Since our little family DOES celebrate most holidays in some way, this one (which I’ve never been too excited about) seems like a small compromise.

2)  Halloween makes me think of creepy stuff and people acting naughty.  What about that is something we should celebrate?

3)  People have told me, “It’s just for fun, don’t worry about it!” but I really think our society could use MORE thinking, and LESS fun.  Not that I’m anti-fun.  Just a fan of thinking about it first!

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In past years, I have let the kids dress up to hand out candy.  This has always bugged Aaron, since it seems too close to celebrating, and too picky about the “rules”.  This year, I’m contemplating just avoiding it all together – let’s leave the house, and just go do something else, maybe?

If there was a good harvest/fall party, I would let the kids pick out costumes and go.  In fact, I’m getting dangerously close to hosting one myself.  I think I would shoot for sometime closer to Thanksgiving.  And even if other kids dressed up for Halloween, they could get some extra use out of the costume…hmmm…I’m thinking of ideas already.  I’m such a dork.

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Just to be clear, we are not banning fun in general.  My kids can have candy generally whenever they ask for it. (Still enjoying candy from a parade this summer!) And I’ll let them each pick a bag of “the good stuff” to choose from for the fall.  Also, I give the kids a few Thanksgiving presents.  This is what I remind them of when they are whining about not getting to go trick or treating.  Who ELSE gets Thanksgiving presents?!

To be consistent (and also because I don’t see the point of them), we also don’t tell our kids about the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.  No, they will NOT be ruining your kids’ fun, at least not on purpose.  They’ve been told that some kids believe in them, and they are NOT to go blurting out that they are a fairy tale. (Easter is usually on or close to Ben’s birthday and only a month before Leah’s, so the extra gifts/candy aren’t really necessary.)

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Speaking of fairies.  Leah has a minor obsession with the pixies, and has for awhile, even though I’ve been clear with her from the beginning that they aren’t real.  So when the Tooth Fairy was due to make an appearance….she was rather crestfallen.  We had a sweet little conversation about it, though, and decided to play the game anyway.  I didn’t set out to ruin THAT fun, but Ben was kinda freaking out at the thought of something creeping into his room in the middle of the night.  I HAVE A KID LIKE THAT, folks.  Maybe it’s a good thing we don’t have a guy sliding down our chimney or a rabbit hiding stuff in our house.  At least the leprechauns leave chocolate coins when they make a mess.  WHAT?  I have some friends who do Valentines Day in a big way…I lean towards mischief.  It’s a good way to make it through the winter.

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You think I’m a freak?  Ok. You are probably correct.
You think I’m a joy kill?  You are entitled to think that way, although my kids joyful personalities beg to differ.
Maybe you think I’m reading too much into a simple holiday? I’m really okay with my kids seeing me make thoughtful decisions, and not just go along with the status quo. (Although don’t get me wrong – I don’t think poorly of those who choose to dress up and beg for candy.:)
Or perhaps you are thinking more along the lines of religious extremists or zealots? I can only hope so, but not in the scary violent way the terms are used these days.

What I would love is some non-Halloween activities to do with the kids, or ways to avoid looking like the Grinch dressed in orange & black.    Any thoughts on that?