Helpful Halloween Hints

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays!  What's not to love--dressing up in fun costumes, spooky decorations, and lots of candy!  I think I love it almost as much as my kids, and that's saying a lot.

Halloween can also be really crazy though--all that excitement and sugar can definitely send my kids over the edge.  I've learned a few Halloween tricks over the years that help keep us sane on this fun-but-crazy day.

First, we decide on costumes by the beginning of October--there is nothing more stressful on Halloween than last minute costume problems!  My kids are old enough that I don't really get to pick their costumes anymore, but I definitely have veto power, since I am the one who makes/buys them.  Once they pick something (and I start asking almost every day once the calendar page flips to October), we spend a day getting all the costumes together and trying everything on, and then that's it--no costume changes after that!

I've also learned to warn my kids that on Halloween we may need to layer their costume over warm clothes (for those of us in cool climates!).  When my daughter was little, she was devastated on Halloween to learn that she would have to wear a sweatshirt and warm pants UNDER her princess dress, and it almost ruined the night--she was so upset she couldn't stop crying.  I learned the hard way that a little advance warning goes a long way!

On Halloween I always make a healthy and filling dinner that I can prepare early in the day and just have warm and ready to eat at dinner time.  Once they get home from school, my kids can't think of anything but getting dressed up--and since I usually need to help all 4 of them get dressed and ready, I can't be busy trying to make dinner too.  Plus, having a warm and filling meal in their tummies makes trick-or-treating a little more pleasant--no one is cranky because they're hungry (instead they're cranky because they've eaten 12 candy bars and can't handle the insane sugar intake).

While we are trick-or-treating, I give each of my kids a few glow-in-the-dark bracelets to wear.  You can buy packs of them at just about any grocery store for just a few dollars, and the kids think it's a real treat to wear them on their ankles and wrists.  But the benefit is that I can see them even when they're half a block ahead of me and running to the next house!  It's a safety measure they're all happy to cooperate with, which works out great for everyone.

And finally--the candy.  What to do with ALL that candy?  If I let my kids eat it all, they would make themselves sick, and I definitely would rather not have it sitting around the house tempting me either!  Last year, we came up with a great new solution that I'm hoping will continue to make everyone happy for a long time: I let my kids trade in their candy for cash!  They each pick out a few pieces of their favorites, then we weigh the candy bag and I give them $1 per pound of candy.  Then I send the candy in to work with my husband, and his office mates take care of it!  I'd much rather my kids fill their piggy banks with cash than fill their bellies with candy, so we're all happy in the end.  There are even some dentist offices in our area that offer the same thing to their patients!  Definitely worth looking in to!

Have a Happy Halloween!


Jessica blogs daily about the layers of motherhood at her site, Little Nesting Doll.  She and Bundle owner Allison have been friends ever since their college days, and Jessica's daughter was one of Allison's inspirations for starting Bundle!