To trick or treat or not to trick or treat?

It’s that time of year. Fall is upon us. Everything is orange and yellow and beautiful! Everyone keeps asking me what I’m going to dress Asher up as for his first Halloween. Honestly, I hadn’t given it much thought. In fact, when my mother-in-law bought him a onesie that says “My First Halloween,” I just thought it would work for him to wear on Halloween and we’re done.

I am not a fan of Halloween. I think back to when I was little and I don’t remember it being a big celebrated event in our household, at least not like the other holidays. I remember dressing up a few times, but not every. stinking. year. We didn’t have “spooky” decorations around the house. I remember my mother putting out “fall” decorations, but no cutesy ghosts or anything like that.

You see, I don’t like to be afraid. I don’t like that feeling of fear. I try to avoid it as much as possible. I don’t watch scarey movies. I don’t like to scare other people. I just don’t like it. Yes, I used to teach Edgar Allan Poe who wrote some bizarre stories, but I really only did that because I knew the kids would like it, because his stories are “classic literature,” because they needed to be exposed to him, because of his rich vocabulary, blah blah. All that good stuff. Do I go home and read Poe stories on my own? No.

I know there are lots of fun things kids can do for Halloween, but I think I struggle with all the dark things that are associated with Halloween–demons, witchcraft, etc. How can I look at a cutesy witch in my house knowing that there are real people who act as witches who do some crazy things? So what’s my point in all this?

I’m struggling to figure out how to deal with this now that we have a child, ok, baby. But eventually, before we know it, he may want to go trick or treating like everyone else! What about trick or treating? What about haunted houses? Two different things that can have two different affects on a child, but two very popular activities to do around Halloween. I personally don’t want Asher to think that haunted house are supposed to be fun and he should want to go and scare himself! I don’t like that feeling, why should I impose that on him? I hated it when after I would watch a scarey movie with my friends and I came home, then I would be afraid at night. I feel like these incidents increase around this time of year.

I’m all about family traditions and positive activities that bring families closer together. Ever since Mike and I got married I have created fall traditions for our house and plan to continue those and expand them as Asher gets older. I know Halloween can be made fun and positive for families but I’m struggling to figure out what we’ll do.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you handle Halloween with your family? What have you found that works best?