I’ll tell you the McMillan answer to that question: there’s no such thing as too much Halloween fun.
And, to be honest, in our family, I’m the one who sets the tone for this. I’m sure my kids would be fine with a minimal amount of Halloween partying, but Iwant to milk the season for all it’s worth. I love Halloween, and always have.
We decorate for Halloween almost as much as we do for Christmas. In fact, if it wasn’t for the tree, I’d be certain that we do more seasonal decorating now than we will in two months.
Since our house is always festive-looking, mini McMillan family parties happen often throughout the season. I don’t need to wait until October 31st to make mummy dogs–or any other Halloween-themed recipe, for that matter.
It seems like the world at large is celebrating with us. This year in particular, I am noticing more and more “spooky” things for the public’s general consumption, from movies (ParaNorman, Hotel Transylvania, and Frankenweenie) to toys, clothes, packaged foods, and more.
And–as I’ve said–I can’t get enough of it.
But, I do wonder what the world at large thinks of all this hoopla. I can imagine that what is fun to me feels like pocket-picking to some people.
I can relate–heck, give it a few months, and I’ll be the one grousing about all of the things we’re expected to shell out money for in the name of Christmas cheer. In fact, I’ll do a little grousing now: some stores are already displaying their Christmas merchandise at least as prominantly as the fall stuff, if not more so. Not cool, retailers. Not cool at all.
The Halloweens I remember–and loved–as a child looked nothing like the fetes we throw today. My family put a few cardboard decorations in the window, my mom made (or helped my brother and I make) a costume, and we trick-or-treated. That was about it, save for a little pumpkin carving on Oct. 30th or so.
Some years we were invited to parties, and when we were old enough we were free to throw them ourselves–provided that we did most of the planning and preparation on our own.
And, again, I loved Halloween even then. It didn’t occur to me that our home should positively glow black and orange for the entire month of October. So, why do I think that it should now?
There’s one other thing: my daughter, who’s now 6, has always been a little bit spooked by Halloween. She doesn’t like the creepy decorations (and, in our house, a witch or two is about as spooky as things get), and sometimes expresses a desire to skip the celebrating altogether.
I check in with her periodically to see if she’s OK with doing Halloween this year–and she always says she is–but, I worry that she’s just being a trooper because she senses my enthusiasm and doesn’t want to disappoint me.
I’m always happy to let her reassure me that she’s OK with it, but the question is: How OK is that?
What do you guys think? Is celebrating Halloween in your house a joy, a burden, or something in between?
Rachael McMillan teaches sixth- and seventh-grade history at Campus Middle School for girls. She also tutors at The Reading Group and serves as the education coordinator for Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade retailer in downtown Champaign. She is totally in love with her Chambana life, which she shares with husband Scott, second grader Jack, first grader Kate, and a soon-to-be-born baby boy her kids have named Bob.