Halloween: Yup, it’s really about candy

How do you say, “Bah, humbug,” on Halloween?

Don’t freak out; I’m not a Scrooge about trick-or-treating. I never pass out raisins, so please don’t egg my house. But what really rattles my bones are the hordes of Halloween decorations that Target wants me to buy.

It’s enough of a nuisance to store our red and green Christmas tubs 11 months out of the year. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in adulthood, it’s that there’s no good place to store an artificial Christmas tree (except Grandma’s house).

So I’m pretty sure there isn’t any room in my imaginary storage room for plastic pumpkin lights. But even if I wanted to go all Munster Family on my front lawn, how much is reasonable for a family to spend on Halloween anyway?

We have chosen not to buy Target’s 31-piece graveyard kit, and Halloween is still expensive. Our family usually prioritizes by putting our Halloween dollars towards pumpkins, candy and costumes.

Costumes present the biggest challenge.

There are three pirate outfits and four princess dresses on our playroom floor already. That’s not stopping my kids from drooling over every new “Costume Express” catalog that comes in the mail almost daily. The Ebenezer in me tosses those magazines straight in the trash.

If I was the Ghost of Halloween Past, however, I’d tell you that Jenny Williams’ favorite part of Halloween was a different new costume ever year. A younger me would assure you that there is no such thing as too many ball gowns or hoop skirts.

The Ghost of Halloween Present would tell you that Jennifer Bardsley has given her children a miserly costume budget. Twenty bucks each; take it or leave it. That will barely pay for a new Jedi light saber!

Now is when things get spooky. What does the Ghost of Halloween Future have to say? Will the Bardsley kids grow up to become the neighbors with a complete haunted house in their driveway?

I can see my daughter now standing next to a headless scarecrow. She’s a 30-year-old Goth princess passing out caramel apples to kids.

“My mom was a real witch,” she’s reminiscing. “Mom made me wear the same costume two years in a row!”

Oh, the horror!

My 34-year-old son is wearing a movie quality Batman suit, complete with the grappling hook I refused to buy him when he was 7.

Guess what? That grappling hook really does work, and he’s rapelling off the side of his house just to prove me wrong.

Goodie for me though, because I’ve just answered my own question. The way to say “Bah, humbug” in Halloween is: “Boo hoo.”

Cry me a river, kids. Recycle a costume or invent a new one from what you already own. Let’s go buy some candy.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.blog.com.

More in Life

How did 300 feathers get stuck in that old utility pole?

Artful adornment in Everett is the creation of a retired Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer.

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Herb Alpert aims to uplift the world in two recent albums

The Tijuana Brass bandleader releases a Christmas record and an album of covers.

Slick new V6 engine, safety updates boost Nissan Pathfinder

The SUV’s extensive redesign boosts towing capacity and adds driver assistance technology.

Prioritizing permanence and putting down roots

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I’m at a loss… Continue reading

Foo Fighters bounce back with new album ‘Concrete and Gold’

Foo Fighters, “Concrete and Gold”: Can you hate the Foo Fighters? Not… Continue reading

Taking a service dog on the trail

Tenley Lozano hikes with her service dog, Elu. They have section-hiked the… Continue reading

‘Fixer Upper’ couple say they’re ending popular HGTV show

Chip and Joanna Gaines says season beginning in November will be the last one.

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Most Read