4 Ways to Make Halloween Suck Less

It’s that time of year again! Time for Big City Moms’ favorite Halloween Scrooge to pop in and complain about a holiday that everyone else on the stinking planet apparently loves but she hates.

Last year I ranted about all the reasons why Halloween is the absolute worst. And I stand by my statements. However, as much as I’ve tried to will my kids into sharing my feelings about this obviously BS holiday, they have fallen in line with the rest of the world and are stoked beyond belief that it’s October. RUDE.

Time to suck it up, I guess. Instead of grumbling under my breath whenever I walk by this year’s obnoxiously creepy Halloween display in Walmart (honestly, who approved the menacing, inflatable murder clown?) I’ve come up with a plan to make the most of it.

So if you’re like me, and your kids love Halloween but you don’t, here are some ways to make this holiday suck just a little bit less for you.

1. Consider hand-me-down/up-cycled/thrifted costumes, and befriend the Dollar Store if you haven’t already. My biggest beef about Halloween is that it’s so freaking expensive. (It’s the most expensive holiday except for Christmas!) So this year, I’m looking at the costumes we already have in our house. My three-year-old can wear what my six-year-old wore a couple years ago, and my six-year-old could wear his costume from last year. Also? The Dollar Store is now my new favorite joint. Not only can you get a cauldron-full of candy on the cheap, but when I was there last week, I also saw that they even carry (minimalist, yes, but isn’t that all the rage in the hipster age anyway?) costumes and other types of Halloween home décor. And they’re all actually pretty cute, TBH! Which brings me to…

2. Orange twinkle lights. They’re cheap. They make any home feel just a teensy bit more spirited. But mostly, they’re a nod to Christmas, and I’m really just trying to get there as fast as I can, okay?

3. Paint your Jack-O-Lanterns instead of carving them. Okay, I know I’ll get a little pushback on this from the Halloween purists, but carving pumpkins is a messy, frustrating, and—if you’re a klutz like me—seriously dangerous tradition. Last year, instead of carving pumpkins, we painted them. It was easier, it looked prettier, and the pumpkin didn’t rot as quickly. Wins all around. Also? Roasted pumpkin seeds aren’t even that good. Fight me.

4. Recruit your friends. It’s just like The LEGO Movie taught us: “Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!” And I’m not just saying that because I’ve had to watch that movie on repeat 80 bazillion times in the past month. I’m saying it because it’s true. Reach out to some friends, whether they have kids or not, and ask them to be a part of your Halloween night. Chances are if they DO have kids, they’ll be excited to share the experience. If they don’t have kids and are hoping to get to a proper-childless-Halloween party, you can promise to help them work out any kinks in their costume before their party in exchange for providing some extra hands to hold onto your wiggly, over-tired children. Plus, your kids’ bedtimes are most likely WAY before their parties start. (Why, though? Halloween is on a Wednesday, guys. Don’t you all have jobs? Or do you just go to your jobs very hungover and tired? Explain to me how being childless works. I’ve forgotten.)

All right. Here we go, guys. We’re toeing the starting line in the race to Christmas, and our only fuel is pumpkin spice lattes and candy corn. But we can do this.

One neighborhood block and “trick-or-treat” at a time.