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Simple Halloween …and dark chocolate


I wanted to post about Halloween and simplicity.  ….really any holiday and simplicity.  I think holidays are great, but they have turned into such a stressful and materialistic mess.  Halloween is hard for me too because I have mixed feelings about the holiday.

I am all about people facing their fears, but I don’t understand the need to create fear.  I can kind of understand the people that go ‘all out’ for Christmas, but the people that go ‘all out’ for Halloween kinda creep me out.

So how can this holiday be simple and fun?

Because this is the beginning of holiday season (followed by Christmas everywhere and Thanksgiving and Christmas here in the US) this holiday shouldn’t start breaking the budget… there is still so far to go.  But there are lots of great ways to enjoy without spending a mint or getting stressed out.

Search the toy box for costume

I think there was only one year so far that I purchased costumes (and it was at a consignment sale in the fall).  All other time we have used costumes they already had in the toy box.   I also hate the price they charge for the quality you get.  Flimsy, thin material and cheap plastic.  …that being said, the week after Halloween is a great time to get dress-up cloths for 75%- 90% off.  Dress-up cloths are great if they are pretty generic, good quality,  and allow the kids to act out their imagination.

Dress like mommy or daddy (or what they want to be when they grow up)

I love this idea.  Borrow a tool belt or a stethoscope and learn hands-on about a career.  This might work better for little kids.  I think my son would look so cute dressed up in a button up shirt with a stethoscope and a little prescription pad or a file folder ‘chart’. 🙂

Find a cute candy bowl

For giving or collecting I found this cool article on Goodwills website.  I hate those little plastic pumpkins.  They are ugly, expensive, and just take up space being stored all year.  They have some neat ideas in the article.

Quality Candy

Maybe not cheaper… but I just hate cheap candy and the huge bags of it that come from the store just sit around as a temptation in the house.  For the benefit of the kids coming around and the extra’s laying around the house find something good …like dark chocolate.  🙂

Family Fun

Whatever you do, do it as a family.  If Halloween is nothing more than an excuse to spend the evening as a family doing something fun than it is an asset to your life.

Meet the neighbors

A friend recently pointed out that Halloween was the best time of the year to meet the neighbors.  When else can you go from door to door and introduce yourself without it being awkward?  Or have them come to your place?  Make the most of it  🙂

Collect Cans for the Foodbank

I did this as a kid and my kids have done it twice and have loved it.  What we did was deliver little notes introducing ourselves and telling people we would be collecting for the foodbank on Halloween night.  People are home, expecting you to come by, and with the note many even have food ready by the door.

It is so cool to see kids just as excited about counting cans and boxes as they are counting candy.

Do you have any other ideas?  (if you are reading RSS join us in the comments)

Like I said, I haven’t figured out this Halloween thing but I wanted to share some of my ideas.  Just like every holiday, less stuff and more family is what memories are made of.  As far as our family this Halloween?  We will be on the road somewhere… if we get out trick-or-treating we will probably be dressed as campers… who haven’t showered in days… and have been stick in a small car with each other for weeks 🙂

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  1. I admit I don’t celebrate halloween. Although that is not uncommon where I live, usually no groups come to the door (although there are a few parties).

    Here it also decends into Mischief night far to much (egg and flour throwing etc), and I don’t like the begging aspect (and then here we have Bonfire night soon after). Maybe I am just a misery, but even as a child when I did celebrate it as it was also my neighbour’s birthday, I just found it felt like touching the edge of darkness.

    I know most of my neighbours well and talk to them often, so if I know someone is doing something I tend to give beforehand. Though the shops here are already filled with Christmas goodies

    Having said that . . .dark chocolate 🙂 Now that is tempting!!

    • yep, if nothing but a reason for dark chocolate… that is worth celebrating 🙂

  2. I never took the time to leave a comment, although I love your blog and book.

    Halloween, to me, has moved from what it initially was.
    Many people don’t celebrate it, they buy into the marketing thing.
    If one wants to celebrate it as part of the anglo-saxon culture, I find that great, but first read up on it. It’s not about pestering neighbours for candy.

    I celebrate Samhain, the Celtic initial version of Halloween, but I don’t go around asking for candies to people who will only have them so that they don’t get mischief done to them.
    I do a Druidic celebration with friends and family, take time to reflect on ancestors and the year/life that has gone past, make a meal with seasonal food…

    I know you are, and many who read your blog, Christian, but Samhain is about ancestors and we all have them. Going back to the roots of the tradition can be interesting for everyone, not just pagans.
    Just another suggestion to make it a family time together instead of a marketing feast.

    Have a great holiday season!

    • I realise it might sound as if I’m disagreeing with you, I’m not.
      I love your idea to get food for the food bank!

    • Good to meet you! Thanks so much for your comment. I found some of this in my search when writing this post but I like your description. Remembering people and eating with friends and family sounds like a great idea 🙂

  3. My mom always made our costumes growing up, which I appreciate now a lot! Especially with the choices for little girls…I asked my daughter what she wanted to be for Halloween and she immediately went and picked her snow white dress from her dress up clothes and said snow white. It made me happy to know that she doesn’t feel that she needs a new costume to wear for one night!

  4. Elizabeth Kane Elizabeth Kane

    I laughed out loud at that line “but the people that go ‘all out’ for Halloween kinda creep me out” because I feel the exact same way. I love autumn with the apple cider, sweater weather, and leaves all over the place, but Halloween’s kinda bleh to me.

    • Oh I adore autumn as well, such a beautiful time of the year and the stars seem so lovely as this time of year (not that I’m a expert in stars, but they seem different). . . I could ramble on in I am not careful here

    • Yep, I could go from fall decorating right into Thanksgiving. In Canada, where I grew up, Thanksgiving is the second Monday of October (if I remember right). Since people start decorating for Christmas at the end of October I like how it spaces out the holidays and doesn’t leave much for Halloween. Here all of fall leads up to Haloween and then Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close together.

  5. Gosh. Halloween really is about everything that isn’t minimal. Tons of candy, a great big, decked out costume. This is a great post to help us quiet that down a bit.

    • thanks Skylor!

  6. we scrounge the thrift store for costumes and just as you pointed out, one year we met some great friends in the neighborhood!

    • awesome!

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