Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why I Hate Hallowe'en

There, I've said it.

As a child, I loved Hallowe'en. In fact, it even vied with Christmas as my favourite holiday of the year. Christmas usually won out, but just barely. It was so exciting and fun to dress up and be someone or something else for an evening, and end up with a pillowcase full of candy at the end.

As a parent, I despise it. I have never put much effort into dressing my kids up. We usually purchase $20 costumes at Giant Tiger which they are quite happy with. I figure, when they get older and they want to put their own costumes together or make them, then that's great. And if it makes me a bad mom to never go to the effort of making a Hallowe'en costume for one or both of my kids, well, so be it.

When they were very little, it was fun to take them around the neighborhood. They'd only last thirty minutes at most, so it wasn't a big deal. And they were so cute, toddling up the steps to say "Trick or Treat", it was a joy to see.

But now they're older, and, luckily, my husband enjoys taking them on the rounds. I'm not worried about them tumbling down front steps or wandering into the parking lot, so I like to stay home and hand out candy. But I even tire of that after an hour. By then the kids are home and my husband takes over door duty while I monitor candy consumption and eventually try to get them up to bed.

My kids generally go to bed pretty early, because we find that works best for our family, and my daughter for some reason, has an infinitely difficult time going to sleep if she's not lying down in the dark by 7:30. I've tried putting her to bed at 8:00, only to have her struggle and end up being awake until 9-9:30.  Whereas, if she's lying down by 7:30, she's generally asleep by 8:00.

So Hallowe'en means they will be up late, hyped up on candy, and a huge pain to get to sleep. If, as happened this year, they are both stricken with the beginning stages of one of the frequent illnesses that fly around the school this time of year, things are even worse.

My husband said that my son was pretty adorable doing the rounds of houses. He was dressed as Darth Vader and instead of saying "Thank you." after the candy was given, he said, "May the Force be with you.", much to everyone's delight and amusement.

However, when they got back home, he threw a huge tantrum at the end of the laneway because he didn't want to stop trick or treating. He continued to scream and cry for various reasons until I finally got him to bed, his nose running and his cough much worse. My daughter, although more cooperative, woke up in the night with a sore throat and cough.

So now I've got two kids home from school, sick, and so much candy that I'm going to secretly dispose of handfuls of it every morning. I don't know how my parents managed with four of us.

As I spend part of today putting away the Hallowe'en decorations, I will vow not to be a Hallowe'en Scrooge next year. I'll start looking forward to putting up the Christmas decorations. Now that is a holiday that I enjoy just as much as my kids!


~ Liz

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