Your kid is cute. Your kid in a costume is even cuter. Why stop at one, when you can find an excuse to enjoy SEVEN? That’s right, SEVEN days of dress-up fun. I formally invite you to my totally made-up excuse to turn Halloween into a week long event: HalloWEEK!
Step 1: Stop trying to decide which costume to choose. Choose them all.
Step 2: Each night, put on a different costume.
Step 3: Let them actually ENJOY the costume. Make believe play with them. I hate that this so often gets left out with the flurry of activity on Halloween night! Let them eat dinner in the costume and talk like that character all night. Run errands in the costume if you are feeling brave! I can’t tell you how many giant smiles I got as I rolled my super baby through the aisles of the grocery store trying to make his cape fly.
Step 4: Document. A picture of a kid in a lumberjack costume standing by the front door is fine. A picture of the same kid “chopping down” the tree in your backyard is better (and way more fun for them)
Step 5: Choose a special person or family member to Trick-or-Treat at per night. Call ahead to let them know you are coming. Odds are, one or two of your nights may actually be trunk-or-treat events or other community events in your area. Great!
Step 6: Trick-or-Treat. Enjoy staying and visiting for a while! *Bonus* This is a great time to practice learning to say “Trick-or-Treat” for little ones, or to reinforce manners for the older ones who don’t always remember the power of a “thank you”.
It’s not as expensive as you think. Be honest, you have a pile of dress-up clothes already sitting around! If you don’t, a friend does. If they don’t, your local thrift stores do. HalloWEEK isn’t for the parent who stresses over the perfect costume. Relax. Enjoy. Oh, and pick up a few costumes the next size up in the after Halloween clearance bins for next year.
Don’t be worried about getting too much candy. First of all, is there such a thing? Second of all, one of my favorite parts of Hallo-WEEK was being surprised at the thoughtfulness of those we visited. I’ll never forget when his great grandma pulled out a tray of toddler snacks she had gone out to buy especially for their night.
His other great grandparents had a stuffed animal and a book ready for him when he came ringing. If everyone you visit gives candy, just set the expectation that “we still only get XYZ pieces of candy on the ACTUAL night of Halloween.” It’s a made-up holiday, so the rules can be made-up, too.
An added perk of HalloWEEK is that it gives you a chance to trick-or-treat with all your favorite people. It may be an older neighbor or relative who doesn’t get any trick-or-treaters anymore. It might be a friend’s house across town that you would never make it to on the 31st. If you have family fairly close, this is a great opportunity to get to visit them without having to cram it all in on one night. We live close enough to our parents that all the Grandmas and Grandpas got to see all of his costumes. We intended to stop by just once, but they loved it so much they asked for him to come by EVERY night. Ahhh, the power of HalloWEEK! Ok, maybe more realistically the power of cute kids in cute costumes!