I must confess…I’m a Halloween grinch

I may not strike you as a grinchy type of person. I’m easy-going, friendly and usually quite nice – truly I am.

But I must confess I’ve been a Halloween grinch to my kids and have rejected two invitations for them to celebrate Halloween this year.

See – I’m the Halloween grinch.

To be fair, there are other reasons for not celebrating this year. We’ve been busy recently and have more busyness to come so it makes sense not to overload ourselves, especially with kids on the autism spectrum.

But I must confess that if it were Christmas or Easter, I would probably push through and make the attempt to attend.

I just don’t see Halloween in the same light.

When I was younger, Halloween was something celebrated elsewhere. We knew of it through movies and TV. We knew it involved visiting houses and collecting candy and dressing up in costumes. But we never did it ourselves. Halloween wasn’t even a blip on the holiday calendar back then.

But in the last 10 years it’s taken on a life of it’s own and is now more of a mainstream celebration. Kids now routinely trick or treat. Costumes are everywhere (if you’ve been to the shops recently you couldn’t have missed them). And now adults are getting in on the act too. Not to mention our pets – well not ours, but I can imagine how cute Evie and Mandie would look in these…

Halloween Pugs - www.myhometruths.com

Now, I’m not against kids having fun. My kids went to a Halloween party at a friend’s house last year and had a ball.

Halloween 2014 www.myhometruths.com

Russell Kids – Halloween 2014

And this year Matilda has a Halloween night at cub scouts – she can’t wait. And I’m sure there will be opportunities for Gilbert and Delilah to celebrate throughout this week too.

I’m all for them dressing up and having fun with their friends. But there’s a few things that bother me about Halloween, things that make it hard for me to fully embrace it.

  1. I’m not a fan of sending my kids off to random houses and knocking on the doors of strangers for trick or treat. Call me old fashioned and even overprotective, but I don’t like the idea at all and I do not intend to let my kids trick or treat.
  2. While we’re on the subject of trick or treating, I’m also not a fan of my kids accepting food, especially lollies, from strangers. Again it goes against everything we talk about the other 364 days of the year – about not accepting rides or food from strangers. Why break that rule for one day?
  3. Halloween has no meaning for me, unlike the other significant holidays of the year. It just strikes me as superfluous and unnecessary, a way for retailers to get even more money out of us for lollies, costumes and decorations.

Yes, I may be a helicopter parent. Yes, I may be stopping my kids from having fun. Yes, I may be worrying unnecessarily. But the commercial face of Halloween does not provide me with a compelling case to think or act otherwise.

So, this year I am the Halloween grinch, for better or for worse.

What about you?

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36 Responses

  1. I must confess, I’m not a fan either, for much the same reasons. Linking and running… to bed. Just after 3am here. I will be back after a few hours sleep to catch up.
    Raych aka Mystery Case recently posted..Take 5 – Working Smarter not Harder

    • Kirsty says:

      Hope you’ve caught up on that sleep. And enjoy your time with Zita – hoping I can come over and visit sometime in the future too!

  2. This is the first year in 10 years I’m not having a party (we’re in the apartment)- but the kindy mums have hired a hall (I was asked to be on the committee of that and apparently argreed to organise but I’ve as yet failed to attend and on Friday, admitted defeat and just handed them money – I did order some US Halloween candies tho…. The other 2 will trick or treat – father will have to be with one and pick up the other….But I get to do nothing 🙁 And it’s a Saturday night too!! What a waste! But sometimes life gets so busy and your wheels spin so fast you just have to drop the ball a little from time to time…
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted..Stuck on the sidelines.

  3. Mumma McD says:

    I’m not a fan of Halloween either – my son has food allergies too, and the concept of knocking on strangers’ doors asking for lollies goes against everything I’ve taught my kids! But they do look super cute in their costumes, so it’s slowly growing on me 🙂
    Mumma McD recently posted..The Docket Diaries – Week One – Bring me ALL the coffee!

    • Kirsty says:

      I love how the kids have so much fun. While we’re not participating in trick or treating, my youngest has dressed up in a different costume at preschool this week and they will dress up here at home, enjoy some treats and have a movie night on Saturday. Trying to find that balance of having fun but staying safe too…

  4. Denyse says:

    I’ve never been a fan. In fact years ago in schools it was a ‘banned’ activity and I cant believe now how much I see it occuring now. I do think though, that if it is part of your cultural heritage then go for it. For many of us it is not so I guess we need to respect others. However, the door knocking and all that, at night, by those who come in ‘packs’ just for the loot really p… me off. One year, because we couldnt escape it where we used to live, I asked them not to ring the bell (hub was already in bed) and to take a few sweets from the basket i left. Did they do that? Of course not, they took the lot. Quite a few years ago they knocked on my elderly parents door and Dad had no idea what it was about and when he had no lollies he was sprayed with a water pistol. No supervision…grrrrr. No, I dread it. We are in a new neighbourhood right now and I see that there is supposed to be a code of leaving a balloon on the letterbox if you do want to give out lollies. We wont, and I believe that we will still be bothered. This place has random people around the streets anyway on Sat nights doing things like knocking down signs so I am not looking forward to it at all. You do seem to have found the right balance, Kirsty.
    Denyse recently posted..Is The Colouring-In Craze Over? 298/365.

    • Kirsty says:

      Sounds like you’ve had all sorts of issues over the years Denyse. We have the odd trick or treaters and always have lollies ready but we’ve never had any real problems. I hope you’re left in peace this year D!

  5. It’s a really unusual concept isn’t it – kids head to other peoples house and ask for treats. Hmmm. My son’s birthday is on halloween so every year the kids go trick or treating – its now tradition in our house
    Natalie @ OurParallelConnection recently posted..What Mum says and what kids actually hear

    • Kirsty says:

      If it can be done safely I’m sure it’s a lot of fun for both adults and kids. But with Halloween still not fully accepted in Australia there’s still that element of the unknown. So I’m happier for my kids to attend parties and get dressed up but not trick or treat right now. But it sounds as it you have a fun family tradition developing in your house Nat – hope you all have a ball tomorrow night!

  6. Julie says:

    I like Halloween but on the same page as you with sending my kids around for lollies. Arrgh big no. I will do a little Halloween party or go to one with the kids but they are not on the street getting lollies from strangers either.
    Julie recently posted..Halloween Do you or Don’t you?

    • Kirsty says:

      I think that’s a good balance Julie – the kids still get the fun but there’s no blurring of the lines when it comes to stranger danger, etc.

  7. Ness says:

    All the YES. I knew there was a reason it bothered me but couldn’t quite put it into words. You’ve hit the nail on the head. There is just something odd about encouraging your kids to accept sweets from random strangers. Plus, I don’t like how commercialised it is. But I know what will happen. My boys mates will turn up wanting to go trick or treating and they’ll beg me to go with them. Grrrrrrr.
    Ness recently posted..Here I Am

  8. Oh snap, we could be twins! You’ve raised almost the same points as I did in my post. I really hope bub doesn’t get into Halloween for ages because I don’t want to have to deal with it at all.
    Toni @ Finding Myself Young recently posted..Do you do Halloween?

  9. I’m with your Kirsty; not a fan of Halloween. Yes, we gave in to the pressure and took our kids trick or treating a time or two but I’m so glad they are past this stage!!!
    Janet aka Middle Aged Mama recently posted..Blog Product Reviews – 3 Years On

    • Kirsty says:

      I probably won’t ever give in to their pleas for trick or treating – it will be way more trouble than it’s worth for mine. But I’m not against them dressing up or having fun – I’m just not a fan of knocking on stranger’s doors and asking for lollies. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

  10. ann says:

    You pretty much have said exactly what I think about halloween!! I think if I lived overseas in a country where it was celebrated I would make the effort but really it is just another thing to me!! Our school is having a spooky meal deal on Friday and that is about all the festivities I am up for!!
    ann recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- Halloween funnies 2015

    • Kirsty says:

      A spooky meal deal sounds like a fun way for the school to bring in a little Halloween. Hope you are not up for much in the way of festivities Ann – it really is a full-on time of the year, isn’t it?

  11. Zita says:

    I’m with you! I don’t see the point of Halloween and don’t understand why Australia has jumped on this bandwagon!!
    Zita recently posted..to fly West… Perth here I come!

    • Kirsty says:

      I don’t really like being a grinch but I can’t fully embrace Halloween. I suspect I never will but I also suspect that coming generations will know no different. BTW enjoy your WA sojourn!

  12. I am a Halloween grinch for all the commercialism and that it just hasn’t been part of Aussie culture. I have participated in Halloween one as a child overseas — I went as a clown and it was disastrous. I got chased by a dog and it ruined my night. 😛
    Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life recently posted..10 things that made me happy {Week 8}

    • Kirsty says:

      I suspect that terrible experience hasn’t helped you embrace the holiday as an adult Sanch! I think it’s way too commercial and, as I said in the post, I don’t have that cultural connection to it as it was never a thing when I was young. No doubt the way it is growing, there will come a time where it will no longer be debated and will just be accepted.

  13. Vanessa says:

    I did Halloween in the US as a kid a few times, so I have pretty fond memories of it! I don’t actually do anything for it though – sometimes a friend will use it as an excuse for a costume party, so that’s fine with me.
    Vanessa recently posted..This Year Of Me

    • Kirsty says:

      I remember attending a Halloween party as a teenager. No-one really celebrated it much back then but it was a fun excuse to dress up!

  14. Natalie says:

    I know what you mean, I used to feel the same up until a couple of years ago. Trick or treating has become a huge activity in our suburb, I think because it is a very family oriented community. Last year we had 40 children visit us within an hour! To be honest, it’s something I thought was cool when I was a kid, something you saw on TV and read about in books and wished you could celebrate here. But I do hate lollies and sugary treats in general, so it goes against my normal thinking.
    I will be taking the kids out this year, but I’m secretly hoping that it rains so that we have an excuse not to!!!
    Natalie recently posted..When I Had To Own That Red Display Cabinet

    • Kirsty says:

      You’re not the first person here, or in real life, to make that wish Natalie! For us, it’s too hard with kids on the autism spectrum but if you have a supportive, safe and friendly street then I’m sure it could be an awesome celebration for everyone. I’, just not sure I’ll ever be okay with trick or treating myself…

  15. I must admit I was slow to warm up.. whilst we have decorated our home for the past 5 years (inside purely for the kids interest) this will only be our second year Trick-or-Treating. Last year we went as a family and I only allowed them to eat the commercially packaged lollies, none of the unwrapped or home-made things.. they had a ball and it was a lot of fun. I too had my reservations and found myself eating some of their lollies just incase they were tainted (too bad if they were I wouldn’t have fared very well LOL) But I do agree with you, it is one of those things.. this year I wanted to just stay at home and watch movies but when I announced that the whining and complaining was too much to bare! So we might pop out again for some trick-or-treating.. heres hoping it rains and we can just watch the movies instead … LOL. that way I don’t have to test so many lollies again this year..
    Danielle @ Several Kinds of Crazy recently posted..Halloween Decor 2015

    • Kirsty says:

      That’s exactly what would happen here if we started that up. It’s too hard with two kids on the spectrum – no doubt they would be disappointed with the type and number of lollies provided and would have meltdown after meltdown. Much better for us to have our own little celebration at home where they can dress up, eat the lollies they like and watch some Halloween inspired movies too.

  16. Hugzilla says:

    I have to confess…. I’m a Halloween convert! (yes, I’m as surprised as anyone by that….). I get to hang out with my friends and steal the kids’ chocolate.
    Hugzilla recently posted..A Love Letter to the Baby I Thought I Hated

  17. Suzy says:

    I’m not a fan of Halloween either. And my kids weren’t keen on it either. But I do keep the lollies handy in case some kids drop by.
    Suzy recently posted..#MondayMusings #IMC Halloween Or A Drink At The BAR

  18. Jo Tracey says:

    I was too late to link up this week- but also wrote a bit about Halloween. I get the whole pagan meaning of it- and like all of that, but am not a fan of the Cadbury commercialism. Having said that, I do have a crisper full of sweets (including some gluten free and nut free alternatives) for when the kids in the street come calling. I was lucky that Sarah was never really into it.

  1. November 2, 2016

    […] year, I shared that I was a Halloween Grinch. I even ended up on radio, chatting to 1233 ABC Newcastle Drive presenter, Paul […]

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