Why Celebrate Halloween with Toddlers

Realizing Some People Do Not Celebrate

This Halloween season I’ve been seeing some back and forth as to why people do or do not celebrate the holiday. In the past, I’ve always thought that not celebrating was because of cultural differences and for not condoning such a marketed holiday.

Because I do not follow any religious affiliation, I wasn’t fully attentive to those who do not celebrate or may even be outraged by the holiday due to religious reasons and “celebrating life and death” or “the devil.”

Having it Both Ways

While I respect all points of view, please respect mine as well. I do not have these religious views, though I can see the opposite point of view, I choose to celebrate it my own way. 

Why? Well, its fun and its something different! 

I’m not at all condoning stuffing your face with candy, or playing ding dong ditch (I’m surprised by how many people don’t know this game/trick), or scaring children. I also do not condone the massive marketing of holidays within our American culture. But who doesn’t like to dress up and enjoy some fun activities?

Yes, American culture, as well as others, twisted the original meaning of holidays. But the same can be said about the criticism. I choose to look outside the debate.

For holidays like Halloween and Christmas, why not take advantage of the fun stuff? Why not check out local events and have some fun? I’m not condoning anything except for the fact that its not every day we have these awesome events. 

Having Kids Made it So Much More Exciting

Since having kids, its so much more fun to celebrate Halloween, because I’m more into the cute stuff rather than the scary or disgusting. I love seeing my kids in costume. I love seeing them learn to say “trick or treat” “happy halloween” and “thank you” to total strangers that they’d normally be terrified to talk to. 

I feel like Halloween is more for the kids, but there’s a lot of cool adult stuff too. As a child you believe in magic and fairy tales, everything is exciting. That’s a huge part of childhood!

I want my kids to enjoy that fun and creative part of childhood and let them one day realize on their own to question the reality of these things rather than tell them from the start that nothing is real.

Maybe I’m going off on a rant here but I loved believing in these things, and sure I wasn’t too happy when I realized the truth but I wasn’t heartbroken and I didn’t have regrets. I just hoped for a day where I could help create that magic for someone else.

Dressing Up

Costumes and decorations can cost a lot of money, but a little fun doesn’t hurt anyone. You can make your own costumes out of clothes you already own or putting pieces together from thrift shops. 

You can even get some cool accessories and decorations at the Dollar Store and the Cartwheel section of Target. Makeup and face-paint are great additions or substitutes for costumes. 

A lot of people want to have the best costume out there but that can become very costly. Some people barely have enough money to get by but that doesn’t and shouldn’t stop them from having a little fun for cheap. 

My tip, use what you already have at home or borrow something from a friend. Your kids will be happy and proud with what creativity you can put together for them to feel special.

Activities

Holidays like Halloween are surrounded by activities, particularly for children. 

I’ve seen so many Facebook Events this month for Fall Festivals, Harvest Festivals, Costume Parties, Character Meet and Greets, Free giveaways, Costume Contests, Pumpkin Patch hours and locations, Pumpkin Decorating, Halloween Parties, Trunk or Treats, Trick or Treats, Animal Encounters, Hay Rides, etc. 

There’s so much that we get overwhelmed!

This year I made it my mission to go through all the information on these events to pick a few that we would make it to, free or paid, that our kids could actually enjoy and would work with our schedule. The kids got to dress up, we took pictures in little pumpkin patch sceneries, we met some Characters, they made some cute crafts, and they got a little candy. And its not even Halloween yet!

If you’re looking to trick or treat, you can check out your own neighborhood or drive up to a safer area. You can check out a local shopping mall or plaza that is hosting a trick or treat or trunk or treat event before or after Halloween as well. It’s all pretty fun.

My kids are still young and haven’t found much interest in carving pumpkins so we continued our old methods of decorating with stickers. I even found some pre-made sticker kits for $1 at Target and the Dollar Store. Using stickers and markers for decorating pumpkins is perfect for younger kids and lazy parents.

Swipe through the pictures to see all we’ve done so far.

Tricks, Scares and Treats

I’m not too fond of “tricks” or scares but that’s mostly my anxiety talking. I love rollercoasters so I can understand why some people love haunted houses, its just not for me- I’ll probably piss my pants!

When it comes to treats, I’ll be honest, I know how much kids look forward to Halloween and trick or treating just for the loads of candy. It was never my thing, I’m not a candy person, but I do love milk chocolate and caramel so I’d pick out what I like and eat a few a day and give away the rest.

As a grown up, I do the same. I buy candy for fellow trick or treaters and I don’t let my kids eat all their candy. When we get home we might let them enjoy one and before bed and I store the rest away as rewards or dessert. 

Since becoming a parent of young children who could not eat candy and being considerate to those with allergies, I’ve looked into providing alternatives for babies, toddlers, and those with allergies. I separate a few options like raisins, fruit snacks, pretzels or cookies, and small toys like glow sticks (which you can get in bunches for $1). Its not easy because it can get a little more expensive and sometimes those items are still packed with sugar, but the parents are grateful!

We have to be considerate of those who are coming to trick or treat. A lot of parents bring their children just for the experience. You might have babies, toddlers, kids with disabilities, and even teenagers or young adults doing trick or treating. 

There’s been a stigma against teenagers trick or treating. I remember being at that age and everyone questioning whether we were too old. Teenagers have a lot of pressure in their lives, they’re growing out of doing fun “childish” things and trying to become adults into a world that has both good and very bad things. If a teenager is out trick or treating, please be nice, they could be out getting drunk underage and possibly driving under the influence too. 

So let’s be considerate of everyone!

Happy Halloween!

Be safe everyone! 

Readers:

Why do you/don't you celebrate?

What do you love/hate about Halloween?

how Has becoming a parent changed the holiday for you?

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