Friday, October 26, 2012

The Eubanks: Unplugged: S1:E25

October 27th

Halloween. Costumes. Candy.

Halloween is not my favorite holiday. I'm not a fan of scary costumes OR candy OR spending loads of money at the store for a ridiculously chinsey costume that will be worn for 2 hours.

There is a little weirdness-factor for me, being that everything is suppose to be scary and gross, the focus on death and creepy things in the decorations. I love the "fall" stuff - scarecrows, pumpkins, indian corn. But the scary Halloween stuff bothers me. I also have a resistance to it, being the "devil's holiday," because of my evangelical Christian upbringing. We did "celebrate" Halloween in my family, but there was a definite focus on the fun side of it - getting candy, and dressing up in fun costumes (we weren't allowed to do scary costumes).

As a parent now, I struggle with the "scary costume" thing. I'm not a fan of anything scary. I REALLY REALLY hate scary movies, and I don't get the whole zombie obsession. But I do realize that it's sort of a part of our culture, and maybe it's not such a big deal to let the kids dress up in scary costumes for Halloween. Maybe it's just my personality, and not anything more. I don't know.

I also have a hard time knowing what to do with all that candy. I know there are options - trade it in for money at the dentist, send it to the military, etc. But honestly, I don't even know if my kids would go for those options. They love candy. And I hate it. I'm a little on the extreme side when it comes to "no sugar" for my kids. I don't deny them cake at birthday parties, and I let them eat the miscellaneous candies they bring home from school or whatever. But as a general rule, I don't buy sweets to just have around the house. But when Halloween comes (followed by Christmas, Valentine's Day, and then Easter) it's the beginning of the holiday candy craze. I don't want to be a poop and say "NO CANDY EVER," but there is just always a "good" reason to have candy. I've tried the "eat as much as you want" idea, so the candy is gone sooner. I've tried the "only 2 pieces a day" thing so they're not eating a TON - but then they're eating candy every day for 6 straight months and becoming addicted to sugar, and they start to think that they "get" to have candy every day, and I don't like that expectation either. Ugh.

Then there's the other issue of costumes. My frugal and artistic sides scream at me "DO NOT BUY COSTUMES!" They're a HUGE waste of money, and isn't it better to be creative and make your own costumes? Not that I sit for hours at a sewing machine creating beautiful artistic costumes, but I'm talking, go to the thrift store, throw some things together, and be a Pirate or a Grandma or something like that. Then there's the uber-busy, side of me screaming "I DON'T HAVE TIME!" I don't even have time to think about planning make-your-own costumes, let alone actually going to the store and finding the pieces and then putting them all together. Halloween is only 5 days away, and my girls still don't have costumes, and they're bugging me about it constantly.

The lies are creeping into my brain: "If you buy a costume, you're wasting money and giving in to commercialism" FAIL. "You don't have time to make a costume now, you should have done this weeks ago" FAIL. "What on earth are you going to do about all that candy" FAIL.

So I have decided to reject the lies that I'm a failure at Halloween. I am going to buy costumes. I'm going to go to the dollar store and buying the cheapest costumes I can find. And I'm not a failure. I'm going to chalk it up to "I just can't do everything." I can't do everything I would like to do, and I can't even do everything that I think I should do. That doesn't make me a failure. It makes me human. And that's ok, and I'm going to choose to be ok with it.

Do you think I over-think things? I think maybe I do.

1 comment:

  1. You are not a failure by any means. You are a concerned mom. I also dislike Halloween for the same reasons that you listed - scariness, sugar, cost. When I taught a pre-school class we would have a "costume" day sometime during the year because kids love to dress up. Your kids are a bit young yet, but my kids loved to create their own costumes. They would come up with an idea, and then I'd help them implement it.
    As far as the sugar is concerned, it is possible to raise a kid who doesn't eat sugar. My nephew had none till about age 5. When offered lollipops at the doctor's office, he'd politely refuse. Once kids have had that taste, it's a bit harder. But it's your house and you can set the rules in your house. You can't always control what they eat/do elsewhere, but you can control it in your home. Don't be afraid to go sugarless. Let them go trick or treating and have one item when they get home, and then take the rest to a homeless shelter or food bank.