I've never been a huge fan of Halloween. The darkness of it all, scary costumes and decorations, and somehow the inner serial killer that lives in the weird house on the corner is allowed to come out. You'll never find me in one of the haunted houses West Bottoms is known for or throwing parties serving edible fingers and blood. No thank you.
But I've always loved dressing the kids up and I'm going to hang onto matching their costumes for as long as humanly possible. I feel like this is a huge perk to being a mom and I will milk it for all it's worth.
This year, we actually walked around our own neighborhood for the first time. Jamy mentioned he'd never trick or treated is his own neighborhood (growing up in the county) and we've always taken the kids to trunk or treats or fall festivals. Correction, "we" didn't walk around the neighborhood. Somehow I lucked out and got to "pass out candy" while Jamy took the kids out. Win-win.
Every year, our kids are left with mounds of candy that they don't need. When they're little, as parents you can sneak it away little by little (if you say don't do this you're lying). But as they get older there is candy sorting and counting that happens. The last thing we need in our home is two children hopped up on sugar for weeks in November. That candy pile simply never ends.
I started a tradition years ago that always stuck. I have no idea where I came up with the idea (I'm sure it wasn't originally my own), but it's been pure genius and our kids have never known better.
A few days after Halloween, after the kids have enjoyed some of their candy, the Halloween Fairy comes to visit. The kids leave their buckets full of candy on their doorknobs when they go to bed. And when they wake up in the morning, they've found that the Halloween Fairy has visited and exchanged their candy for a book. Each year they eagerly anticipate trading their candy knowing the Halloween Fairly will bring a book they'll love.
I'm not full of many parenting pro tips. But this is one that's a win all around. Our kids are thrilled with a new book. No candy to last till Easter in our house. And admittedly sometimes the "Halloween Fairy" gets some sweets to snack on after the kids are in bed.