Halloween Is Already Stressing Me Out

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Halloween stressIt’s September, and that means it’s time to start thinking about Halloween. The stores are loaded up with their Halloween supplies, and I am wondering how much longer I can put off dealing with discussions of costumes, candy, and everyone’s favorite game called “How many more days is it until Halloween? Is it still the same number of days as it was this morning? Ok. How about now? And what about tomorrow?”

Halloween requires a lot of careful, strategic planning. There’s a vague Halloween timeline — jump in too early, and you set yourself up for insanity. Wait too long, and you also set yourself up for insanity. It’s a difficult holiday.

First of all, there’s the costumes. I am not a mom who makes my kids Halloween costumes at home. No, I am a mom who goes to the store and sees what is available as a complete set in one big plastic bag. But however you do your kids costumes, you have to make sure that it’s not so early that they have time to change their minds because they will, but not too late so that by the time you get to the store your only options are “Sexy Cat” in a 5T or “Baby Lobster” in size 3-6 months. Guess who’s wearing a bed sheet and going as a ghost? Your kid.

Then, there’s decorating the house. Not everyone does this, but enough people in the neighborhood will that it becomes a daily prompt for the “How long till Halloween” question. You have to pray that you don’t have a neighbor who decorates for Halloween in September, which just prolongs the days of questioning. Be a good neighbor and wait till October. But then again, if you wait too long to decorate and then just slap up a paper skeleton, your kids will begin to suspect that your heart isn’t in it. Which it isn’t. But let’s lie like good parents and keep the mirage going till middle school.

Finally, there’s buying the candy. This can be a very delicate area for people who love candy, such as everyone with a soul. Those enormous bags of candy are already in the stores, taunting us, reminding us of how much we love Twix. And then they’re in those itty bitty sizes that look so harmless until you’re trying to throw out all the empty wrappers and can’t fit them all into your hand. So you wait, and then the kids start asking why you don’t have candy yet, and isn’t our family doing Halloween this year? And what about all of the children who are going to come to the house and leave disappointed because there isn’t any candy? And what if by the time you get to the store all that’s left are Smarties and Candy Corn? Then you’re asshole handing out stickers on Halloween, and no one wants to be that person. I’m pretty sure even that person hates themselves for disappointing all of the children in their neighborhood. Them, and the person who gives out raisins.

We’ll see how I handle this year; so far, the kids don’t seem to remember that Halloween is coming soon. If I can just keep them out of Target for another few weeks…

(photo:Elnur / Shutterstock)