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So far in our kids’ lives, we’ve held off doing anything for Halloween. They’re young, Josh and I never celebrated it so we didn’t have a huge emotional attachment to it, and we were just undecided on the whole tradition. Last year Emmeline was two at halloween, and she was just barely old enough to notice that other kids had candy and she didn’t. I can’t speak for Josh, but I’ve always gotten hung-up with Halloween because it seemed unsafe. Growing up (in the suburbs of a big city), I remember seeing hospitals advertise free x-raying for your halloween candy, and I remember that being a normal part of other families’ halloween routines. So I always thought, “What is fun about being given a candy bar if it might have a needle in it?” The first time I asked Josh “Where do people in Nashville take their candy to get x-rayed?” He looked at me like I was from some war-torn third-world country. I’ve gotten that same look from basically everyone in Nashville whom I’ve mentioned candy x-raying too. I guess I’ll concede that if no one here has heard of having candy x-rayed, then it can’t be too dangerous. Plus, I’ve met our neighbors, and they’re nice people with young kids like us. None of them strike me as the lollipop poisoning types.

Speaking of neighbors, they’re the main reason we decided to take the kiddos trick or treating this year. When I was a kid, it was normal for kids to play outside and for our parents to visit while we all rode bikes in the cul-de-sac. Nowadays I hardly ever see parents outside (we sometimes see kids, but not often). Whether it’s because people don’t feel safe or because they’re all inside playing video games, it’s much harder to feel connected to your community these days. Halloween is one of the few nights when everyone comes outside and visits with everyone else, and because it’s important to us that we get to know our neighbors, we’ve decided to be a part of it.

Emmeline is going as a ladybug princess (we have to put princess at the end or she won’t wear it) and Gareth is going as his cartoon doppelganger, Charlie Brown. Between thrift stores and sales, we’ve spent less than $15 on their costumes. Cost of costumes was another big hang up for me. Why participate in a tradition that requires me to spend $30 a kid on a costume? Thankfully we’ve been creative and found ways to get costumes cheaper.

We told Emmeline she was going trick-or-treating this year, and of course now she asks me every day when is “Trick for treat.” You read that right. Personally, I think Emmeline’s version, “Trick for Treat,” sounds a lot more entertaining. We ought to make those kids work for their candy! “A sommersault? You call that a trick? The last kid played a mandolin! Sorry kid, I can only give you one treat for that performance.”

Also, Emmeline basically thinks that “Trick for treat” is going in the backyard with a dollar-store pumpkin bucket and collecting rocks and sticks. If only we could convince every kid that’s what trick or treating is, then we’d all have a few less cavities come November 1.


3 responses »

  1. Such a good post. Tyson’s family never celebrated Halloween, either, and my family was slightly bipolar about it. πŸ˜‰ We celebrated most of my growing-up years, but then my parents got convicted about it after we were too old to trick or treat and would turn the lights out and then, if anyone rang the doorbell, my dad would stick his head out and say, “I’m sorry, we don’t participate.” Hahaha. Then, when my little brother was born, we started participating again. Ha! I think we just wanted to get candy, not give it. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, Halloween was something Tyson and I discussed when I was pregnant last year and we decided to celebrate it because, honestly, I think it’s a great opportunity for mission. Once Milo is older, I’d love to teach him to say, “God bless you” after receiving some candy. And, since we’ve been married, I usually put together little bags of candy with either invitations to our church or slips of paper with Bible verses. Our church looks at Halloween as a missional opportunity as well, which I think is such a good way to look at it. And, even like you were saying – as an opportunity to be intentional about community. Community is so important and, like you said, I guess we’re all inside on our computers (sayeth I as I type a blog comment) and we’re not outside as much.

    P.S. As a lifelong Tennessean, I can tell you that I’ve never in my life heard of x-raying candy. πŸ˜‰ BUT…my parents never let us keep candy that wasn’t packaged properly. We wold go through our buckets at the end of the night and anything that looked like it was compromised in any way (or hard candies that were loosely wrapped) went into the trash. I’m personally planning to make it easier on the parents in our neighborhood by handing out school supplies this year. πŸ˜‰ I’m not joking, either!

    • *would

      Sorry for all of the emoticons in my comment! I didn’t really notice them until I hit “enter.” Ha!

    • I like the idea about teaching them to say God bless you! I was planning on drilling “Thank You” pretty hard, but I think I’ll use your idea! And even our friend from New Jersey (that’s a dangerous place, right? ;)) thought I was crazy when I asked about x-raying candy.


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