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This is all so helpful. The number one thing I do to make Halloween easier is embrace/plan for the fact it will derail a work day — either day of, with poorly timed school parades, or day after, when I’m just tired from being out late/off routine. Obviously it’s a huge privilege to have that kind of control over my schedule. I think the biggest stress for a lot of us is that this holiday matters so much to our kids and yet workplaces have zero understanding or allowance for it — so you’re trying to do too many things at once (like even more than we usually are). Such a joy thief!

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Melinda Wenner Moyer

What we have struggled with over the years is how independent we allow our kids to be on Halloween, especially because this changes every year when they’re a little older than the previous year. Now that my 12yo has a phone, I feel OK about letting him run off with friends while I run around with the 8yo, with whom I had a whole argument yesterday about whether he is allowed to run off (he’s not). But last year my older kid had a smart watch that I reminded him over and over to keep fully charged, which he did, and then (facepalm) I went and let my OWN phone run out of battery in the middle of trick or treating! I really felt like an asshole. But with all that picture-taking, my phone battery tends to run out quickly! So this year I plan to keep a closer eye on that.

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Melinda Wenner Moyer

The treat when getting home is brilliant!

This morning we all somehow got up late which means nothing got talked through, and I also had to go to work early bc I am leaving early. So not exactly on the right foot here..

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Melinda Wenner Moyer

Honestly, we let *all* of the rules/routine go for Hallowe'en - eat all the candy, stay up 'til whenever, go to as many houses as you want. Yes, it means that (often) Nov 1st brings tired cranky kids, but .... they are kids and it is one day out of the year. It means no meltdowns on actual Hallowe'en, and I feel like even if we did enforce some more rules on the day, they would still be grouchy the next day regardless, so.....

One tradition we have is that when they are done trick-or-treating, we drive to the Grandparent's house to trick-or-treat there. That helps to give the night a natural ending, plus they know they will get a special treat bag from their Grandparents. They are now teenagers & even if they don't go out trick-or-treating, will always drive over around 9:30pm to get their treat bag - ha!

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Melinda Wenner Moyer

If you have kids you are dragging home at 8:30, I congratulate you on their stamina! I remember my own final few years of trick or treating when I thought I was going to be out alllll night and I ran out of energy. Although TBH in every neighborhood I've handed out candy in I think 8:00 is considered the end of the evening and people get annoyed at "the big kids" who are still coming around more than a few minutes after that.

My kid doesn't love candy that much -- he will enjoy pouring it out on the floor, sorting through it, seeing what he has, and then he will ask for an Italian ice, and I will spend the next several weeks trying to restrain myself from eating his candy even though I know he doesn't really care for it.

The really annoying thing is we realized last night we just have to get him straight from school today rather than having him go to afterschool. His friends are going out shortly after 5 (a serious faux pas in my childhood, when you had dinner and went out at 6 on the dot) and if we're going to have him home, fed something dinnerish, and in his costume, afterschool simply isn't an option.

He's seven now. Nine is the age our city lets kids walk to and from school alone, so I guess that'll be the year he trick or treats without adults? I hope so. My mother has a major issue with how adults coopt Halloween as a children's holiday, and while I may not bring her level of anger to the subject, I basically agree.

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I love Halloween but this year I’m feeling a bit bummed, my kids are far enough apart in age that we can’t take them out trick or treating together anymore because the older one wants to do stuff with friends & it’s a situation this year where my husband will go with him & stay with him so I’ll be taking my daughter around by myself. I reached out to the parents of 4 different school friends of my daughter to see if anyone wanted to go around with us, one never responded & all 3 others said they have neighbors that they go around with every year, none of them live close enough that we could walk over to them & my husband will have our car so we can’t drive to them either. I made the mistake of telling my daughter that I was going see if any of her friends wanted to join us so now she’s disappointed that it’ll just be me & her going around. I’m hoping to convince her to maybe go to fewer houses this year & then maybe we can come home, eat candy, drink some hot cocoa & watch something Halloween themed.

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We generally haven't had meltdowns, but my kids have a lot of control over their celebration. They choose when to go, when to come home, what to wear, etc. Bedtime stays roughly the same, but we always have a late bedtime. We limit candy because of vomit issues, but that is our lived experience. As a child, I never had a problem eating all the candy and never being sick--but I have one kid who can't hang like that and appreciates the reminder that the candy will still be there tomorrow. They still eat plenty of candy. Also, we eat dinner outside with our neighbors, so there really isn't any waiting for things to start--they can run around in the street and help set things up and feel like things have started for a long time before trick or treating begins.

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jeepers freakin' firstie carols. there are other choices than the candy grab. My kiddos were privilged to participate in a waldorf school pumpkin walk {and mom got to hang with Timothy B Schmit on luminaria duty}. We'd visit six decorated classrooms, hear a story or watch the class act out a fable, decorate ONE cookie baked by the Kindy parents then go home with our treasures: bits of wool, interesting stones and shells for our nature table.

https://liveoakwaldorf.blogspot.com/

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It helps only having one child, for sure on things like Halloween. She's usually a pretty chill kid, what has been weird a little bit the last few years is that we've been going trick or treating in our neighborhood with her down-the-street bestie and her mom. That mom is WAY strict about not letting her kid eat candy between houses and they usually end up arguing and her threatening to end the night early while we are standing there awkwardly. I"m of the mindset that as long as they aren't strewing trash, she can eat whatever as we walk so then we get pulled in to "Alice is eating candy!" and that's awkward. But I have no interest in policing every piece of candy she gets because this other kid's mom does. We did usually line up with this mom though on about how long or how far we wanted to go, so that was helpful. This year, her new school bestie and her family, including an adorable toddler sister, are coming over to trick or treat in our neighborhood and her neighborhood friend might go to another neighborhood with her friends so hopefully it's all fine. If she has one friend to go with, that works better for us than trying to coordinate with a whole pack of kids.

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The downsides: I am just now getting to my Substack emails and this morning started with a lot of anger.

The upsides: The morning was the worst and the kids were surprisingly pleasant the rest of the day even though it snowed off and on all day. My kids trick or treated with friends and apparently this year escaped getting meanly excluded from trick or treating/party groups which sadly hit some other kids I know.

The wtfs: Huge candy bars. I know the people who do it and think it's fun to be a chaos agent. But idgi. Can you just hand out money instead if you need to show off???

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