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We are in NYC too, but as our neighborhood is pretty residential - all 1-family and 2-family houses - we see trick'o'treaters every year. Whenever Halloween falls on a weekday, like this year, we end up seeing younger kids the weekend before, and older kids on the day of, so we have to make sure our candy supply lasts across several days. We keep the candy in a common area right outside the door, so that if the kids ring our tenants' doorbell, at least they can use the candy we put out.

There are some religious considerations for us, too, but since the kid is still young, we are putting that in the category of "deal with it later."


It wouldn't be stressful (the baby isn't interested what with being only 3 months old and all), except that Chicago (or at least the south side - don't know about the north side) is insane. On the 31st, our doorbell will ring repeatedly for 4 straight hours. And every time it will send the dogs into a frenzy. And we'll run out of candy no matter how much I buy. Last year I pretended to be gone.


Love it!

We have a few logistical problems because my commute is very long and we typically don't get home on weeknights til 6:30 or even (gulp) 7 pm. By the time a costume is on, we will miss trick or treating. So, one year we just trick or treated from my mom's house, which is about 5 minutes from work. But we want to be part of our own community where we actually live, so now I use a half day.

The competition in my office is FIERCE for that time off, too. We have several moms and we have a rule that only 2 people can be scheduled out of the office at the time (we are small.) So, this year, the nice young guys in our office actually came to me to say that they wanted all of us Moms to get the afternoon off and they promised to cover for us,, whatever it takes. Aren't they sweet? I'll make sure to embarass them by thanking them in front of their girlfriends.

Its a bit nuts that we have to take the afternoon off, but realistically, if its going to be fun we need the time. Getting a preschooler ready is not always fun udner any circumstances, and add the stimulation of a holiday and... yikes!

Also, this year my MIL has helped tremendously with the logistics of getting the grandparents to see everyone (we live in a tight knit little group of aunts/unlces/ cousins) in costumes by throwing a little Halloween party this weekend. This lets everyone see their grandkids in the costumes without anyone needing to add another round of stops to the commute.

On the big day itself, we always trick or treat together with the next door neighbors who are also family, and then everyone has pizza together and cupcakes that I will make the Saturday before and decorate while they are trick or treating. We alternate years of being home to hand out candy.

Its fun-- but busy.


I can't be bothered to get worked up/stressed about halloween. We aren't religious, and I don't care about making/getting the Best Costumes Ever. We go to the store, they pick something out, I make sure they're warm enough (it's snowing already), and we go get as much candy as we can. We're probably out for a couple of hours, bring it all home and sort it into bowls (suckers/chocolate/gummies/chips). They end up with snacks for their lunches for WEEKS, Mommy and Daddy don't mind the candy either hehehe. It brings us back and we spend a lot of time talking about what we were and where we used to trick-or-treat.


No stresses here, though Halloween is a BIG DEAL for our kids:

1) Costumes. My kids are huge into dressup, so costumes are a major focus for them (must be able to re-use during play time!). That can mean sewing at times, though I'm a master of the 'costume-hack' - simple parts that can be made of many colors or materials for different effects (mainly tunic, overtunic, and cape, though sometimes more complicated items if we have time). I'm willing to buy, but they usually don't like what can be bought-- usually not flexible enough or sturdy enough for re-use.

2) Candy issues:
a) Forbidden candies. We handle the 'candy you may not consume (doctor/dentist orders)' by buying one small bag of candy they may eat, and trading one-for-one for items that would totally wreck their teeth or cause hives into next week.
b) Leftovers. We allow them to keep their top 30 candy items, and buy the rest off them at a dime per item (25 cents for large-size items). They like the cash payout, and we don't end up with leftover Halloween candy at Easter (we do the same thing for Easter treats, and also buy the 'no-no' candy from birthday party goodie bags). They don't get candy in their lunches, so it takes a loooong time to get rid of, otherwise.

Between those two candy approaches, we manage to leave them with the sense of 'jackpot' that Halloween candy seems to bring, and limit the risk of further intensive dental work or repeated doses of antihistamines.

As for the religious issues - we have none. Halloween is an American cultural holiday for us, separate from religious practice. We have no trouble celebrating both, we're just clear about defining the difference.


Hi Moxie,

To add to your fair trade chocolate links, I thought I would pass along a link to 'green halloween' written by Cybele at CandyBlog:

Best, Cory


We have a small neighborhood, so the kids don't get much candy. There's no costume competition to speak of.

To get back all the peanut candy from the kids with allergies, and to get back most of the rest of it anyway (because hey, free candy for us!), we have the kids trade most of their candy for a pre-selected toy. This year, we're giving them battery-powered Thomas the Tank Engines (Percy, Lady, and Thomas) that will run on the tons of plain old wooden track we already have.


We live in a small town in the West and our Downtown Alliance sponsors a Halloween trick-or-treat event every year. In a past life, I might have considered this too commercial, but in small towns where Wal-Marts are killing local business, I do everything I can to support to little folks. Also, it really is a nice community event. Our Chloe is too young to get into the whole candy thing (10.5 months), but I'm going to dress her up and enjoy socializing with friends on Main Street (yes, our little down really does have a "Main Street"--that intersects with "Center Street").

Later, we'll let her greet the older kids at the door when they trick-or-treat in the neighborhood.


Well I'm a Halloween baby myself so I few it as a day that EVERYONE calibrates my birthday! Seeing as how my son is only 1 we haven't had to deal with his candy binges just yet but we regularly host a party for friends and their kids where we do some pumpkin carving, working on costumes together, and some trick-or-treating. I've always strived to be the cool aunty that has the Halloween party and so far it has always worked out that way with little to no stress.


Our kids really get excited about coming up with their costumes, which we make ourselves (nothing too elaborate). For the second year in a row, my kids (5 & 7) want to coordinate. This year, they want to be a chess set king & queen. Sadly for me, it's going to involve a little sewing, although I wisely chose fleece and felt, so I don't have to sew any edges. They'll cut out the crowns and do any necessary gluing. I have no idea if anyone will have any idea what they are, but I don't really care. I don't think it will bother them if they have to tell people what they are.

As for candy, we're still working on last year's loot. We don't get a major amount, but they forget about it pretty quickly. We usually let them have a couple of pieces a day (after a reasonable meal, as determined by an adult) until they get bored with it. Then they ask for it once or twice every few weeks.

The biggest thing for them seems to be the act of acquiring the candy. They love to go trick-or-treating -- we go with the same kids every year (cousins & neighbors), and it's pretty fun. When we get home, they like to taunt their dad with their loot.


I'm gearing up for my daughter's first Halloween. She's almost six months old, heehee! We're going to a Halloween party at our Early Year's centre which is a government run Family centre-Mommy social gathering place all in one. Sure, DD won't know that everyone's dressed funny but it's another fun social for both of us.
I will admit being somewhat obsessed for weeks trying to think of costumes for the little one and myself. I had decided on a ballerina (pink onsie, pink tights, robees, bow in hair) for daughter when my DH decided to confuse matters by bringing home a cow costume from Old Navy. Siding with Ballerina as the cow, albeit pretty cute, just screams "unisex" and mass produced. Anyway, DH's right in that I'm doing this more for me, but I want those cute pictures of our "First Halloween". Any candy DD receives will be devoured by myself no less.


You mean Halloween is a thing to get stressed about for some people? Huh. We are just an easygoing, no-religious-objections, hand-me-down-tiger-costume, still-keeping-the-toddler-in-the-dark-about-candy kind of family over here, I guess. I don't see it ever getting to be a big hyperventilating deal for us, either. When M gets older, making up costumes with her will be fun, and we'll keep the candy haul on top of the fridge and ration it out at some agreed upon rate, and probably our continued pagan-y Christian-y beliefs will continue to allow us to enjoy the fun without getting our undies all in a bundle. What's to worry about?


Halloween is a favorite at our house. My husband loves it and has passed that on to our kids. My three year old is at a great age -- she's been wearing her pirate costume (also off ebay!) every day since it came. My younger daughter is just old enough to be a little freaked by the scary stuff, so we've been really careful with her. We have a candy dish with an automated hand that grabs you when you reach for it. We had to put away, because if she saw it she'd start crying "Hand! Hand!" and not be able to let it go.

We used to get about 100 kids, but in the last few years that number's dropped to under 50. We take the girls out first anyway, so I think we miss a lot of the crowd while we're gone.

The girls are little enough that candy isn't an issue. With my three year old we let her have a piece with lunch or dinner and after a week she forgets about it. We'll let them both splurge that night, though.

We treat the day as a time to dress up and have fun, to carve pumpkins and celebrate fall, and don't let it interfere with our religious beliefs. My grandmother would argue me that point, but that's what we do.


Does anyone have preschoolers who won't wear costumes? My twin 3.5 year old boys want nothing to do with dressing up, for the 3rd year in a row. It's fine--if it's not fun then why do it? But it is a tad bit disheartening, and I feel like I have a couple of weirdos. Am I alone in this?


Kim, some kids don't like playing dressup much. Others just dislike it when it is expected. Mine will refuse if they sense that *I* want them to wear something in particular. Okay, that's on any given day, actually - if I picked it, or if they picked it and I got emotionally involved in the choice, I can bet on it being rejected. Preschoolers like to control their world, and feel powerful. The fastest way to do that is to say NO. :)


Another idea for "extra" candy:

I got this idea from Southern Living, actually, and it worked GREAT last year-- I only buy candy to give out that I can also bake with (M&Ms, Butterfingers, mini chocolate bars) so that those leftovers can be turned into cookie dough, which I then freeze. Last year I did this and ended up with several batches of dough that we had fun making, had fun baking, and were still using for last minute homemade treats well into the winter.

This year at Easter and Valentine's I snagged the "bake-able" candy from DD's loot, and I will do the same with this year's Halloween candy. At 4, she understands what I am doing and she enjoys making/ baking/ eating homemade cookies, so its all good!

FYI-- for KILLER Butterfinger cookies- just make a standard butter cookie recipe (JOY has one, as does Craig Claiborne's NYT Cookbook) Add crushed butterfingers to the batter right before baking. The results are phenomenal! My DD LOVES crushing up the butterfingers in a sealed baggie using a toy hammer.


Joanne, you should totally dress your daughter as a cow ballerina. The cow outfit with the tutu over it and a pink bow around a horn? That would be adorable and a good compromise.


I'm totally psyched for Halloween--I've bitten off a teeny bit more than I can chew in terms of making the spider costume ("with a red tummy, mommy") that became an obsession after we visited the Bug Zoo...but it's fun. Turtleneck, leggings, some felt legs stuffed with cardboard tubes, glue on a red spot. But we're in San Francisco, where it might as well be a civic holiday--and we live right near Belvedere St, which is kind of like the Castro party for the under-6 set. Not competitive, just complete pandemonium in a fun way.


Catching up on my reading, but wanted to share my Halloween candy secret that may be over this year (he'll be 5 in January).

He believes that after trick or treating, you put out all the candy (well, except for a few choice pieces) and the Great Pumkin comes and takes it, but leaves you a cool present.

This has been such a great thing. He doesn't end up having candy I don't want him to have, he doesn't feel cheated (he got something he wanted and its just gone), I haven't had to put up with weeks and week of begging.



Halloween is one of the more fun times in our rowhouse neighborhood. Most of the families sit out on the steps to hand out candy. The families with older kids tend to have fabulously carved jack-o-lanterns. Beers are passed between houses. The parents of the little ones take turns shepherding the kids up and down the block and around the corner.

I do feel guilty that I have succumbed to the hand-me-down purchased superhero costumes and JR has never had a homemade costume, like the ones my mother made for us when we are kids - but since last year he wore 3 different hand-me-down costumes (1 for his preschool party, 2 on Halloween night), it's clear that he doesn't seem to mind.

We usually do like Susie when it comes to candy. It goes up in a closet and he gets a piece a day until he forgets that it's there. Some of it gets taken into our offices to be shared with co-workers, so we don't end up eating the extra stuff.

I liked the cookie idea, though, so this year I'll have to watch out for the Butterfingers.

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I start to prepare to Halloween in summer! My kids love this holiday so much, that I can't give up on it.


no lol what i mean is if you brought say the movie avtaar on dvd just because you own the disk dosnt mean you have the right to pirate it on youtube etc.but black ops is diffrentsee they added theater mode, they WANT people to put vids on youtube


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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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