Halloween is my husband's favorite holiday. For years I didn't get it. In my experience, it was a time of struggling to reign the kids in, keep them safe, while still allowing them to enjoy the experience. It was a lonely experience as my ex always had to work. It was a rushed experience I couldn't enjoy, since I worked to get a meal in two kids before costuming and trick-or-treating began. And then we moved to our neighborhood and I married Sam. Suddenly, Halloween didn't seem half bad. I could even understand why some found it to be fun. See, in our neighborhood, we believe it takes a village to raise a child. Better still, when it comes to holidays, that village bands together and we have some great traditions that enable to adults and the kids to have a great time.
Instead of having a bunch of families struggling to get dinner made, our Halloween starts with a neighborhood cook out. Yes, the neighbor across the street fires up the grill and all the families contribute. We come together with food, drink, sides, and condiments. One by one, the kids get ready and we gather together to enjoy the last semi-healthy food the kids will partake in that night. It's not fancy, but it gives us a chance to come together as a neighborhood and enjoy the kids.
After we finish eating and picture taking, all the kids go trick-or-treating together. We have at least one adult working on herding them...usually a parent of one of the younger kids. Sometimes there are multiple parents. Sometimes, an older kid drives the tractor towing a trailer full of kids and adults through the neighborhood. The rest of us hang back and pass out candy.
When it's good and dark, there is a fire in one of the neighborhood fire pits. We have s'mores. We tuck the kids in and the adults get to relax and visit for a while longer. A good safe time is had by all.
How do you keep your kids safe and happy at Halloween?
When Nicki isn't immersed in neighborhood activities, she can be found writing about life, love, parenting and relationships on her blog: Suddenly *Not So* Single Journey. Her books can be found on Amazon.