Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Halloween Traditions
Making lasting memories with your family

by Mary Susan Buhner

October 01, 2011

Halloween is now ranked as the second most popular holiday of the year. Of course, Christmas is ranked first, but Halloween is closing in on it. But Halloween is not actually a technical “holiday.” Rather, it has become more of a tradition for many to celebrate autumn and have some family fun. Families are partaking in many of the annual Halloween festivities – the prepping for the costume, carving pumpkins, hay rides, bonfires and more. I have to admit, all these traditions make me feel like a kid again which makes me a big fan of Halloween.

As moms, we know a BIG part of Halloween for our kids is the actual costume. Especially now, when catalogues start arriving in July featuring the year’s most awesome costumes. My kids carry around these catalogues for weeks. They circle their most favorite costume, discuss it over with one another, then cross it out only to contemplate it some more and eventually go back to re-circling their original favorite. I am convinced that my kids don’t really even care about the candy at Halloween. Instead, they have more fun planning and talking about their costume. They have so much fun in fact, that they started a tradition of picking out my husband’s costume for Halloween.

We celebrate two family birthdays in October so we always have a family Halloween costume party. This serves as the perfect excuse for my kids to dress their dad up in what else, the perfect costume! Each year my girls surprise my husband with their carefully selected Halloween costume to transform “Daddy” into whatever costume they have selected. In past years, he has been a a cowboy, a race car driver, a pirate (“The Pirates of the Caribbean” version, of course), Elvis (jumpsuit, wig and all) and my personal favorite, a sumo wrestler (you know, the zip-up costume). It has become a tradition in our family and it is loads of fun.

With everyone squared away with their festive and fun Halloween costumes, that leaves me - the mom. I didn’t always used to be “the mom.” There was in fact a time when I was young (hard for my kids to believe, I know) and I could dress up as anything and not think about it. As a mom of three now, costumes fit differently. Furthermore, somewhere between 1990 and 2011 Halloween costumes got a little trashy for us moms. Want to make a million bucks? Come up with a great costume line for moms who would rather not dress up as a “dirty” nurse to “Dr. Feelgood” or as the “Bad Cop.” Yes, I do feel compelled to set an example to my three girls and not wear a costume that warrants a “R” rating. Call me conservative, but a garter and red lace bra popping out from a costume does not spell appropriate family fun. With that, I am still on the search for the perfect Halloween costume.

Regardless, I know it is not what I wear that my kids remember, but the fact that as a family, we had fun. I have learned, in fact, that the process of planning, talking, and laughing about our Halloween costumes beforehand, have become just as much fun as wearing them on Halloween.

To all moms, working like crazy to make all the magic happen as we enter into the second biggest “holiday” – Halloween, just remember that it all does not have to be perfect. In fact, some of the most fun and funny memories come from those moments that are not perfect. Happy Halloween!