Halloween Will Always Be Halloween

Halloween 2017

I sent my husband, my mother-in-law, and my sons off down the road last night as I sat on the porch, candy bucket in hand. Last year I walked the boys around our neighborhood, so it was his turn this year. I watched them walk away, squinting into the setting sun, and sighed.

My mom-friends with sixth grade children, specifically boys, lamented this being their sons’ last year trick-or-treating. My husband can’t remember if his last year was in sixth or seventh grade. Anectdotally, the only seventh grade boy in the neighborhood did not trick-or-treat this year.

I filled candy bags and pumpkins and pillow cases with some of my favorite candies as the sun dipped lower and the air got colder. Elsa. Some unicorns. A gum ball machine. Lots of super heroes—and specifically, lots of Wonder Woman. A flower. A very small It clown, which nope. Two gorillas. Two fire puppies. A lumberjack.

I loved them all, big and small, candy-grabbing and thanking. There’s really nothing more purely childhood than Halloween trick-or-treating.

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The boys returned to the house, stole some of the candy from my bowl, and went inside. They asked to watch scary movies (no) and eat candy (yes). I continued handing out candy and a feeling settled over me.

He may not want to dress up and traipse around the neighborhood with his brother next year. He might though. I’m not going to lead his decision either way. It’s his. Just like it was the younger kid’s decision to be Indiana Jones and the older kid’s to be some kind of Skull solider thing. I used to be able to dress them as I wanted for Halloween. Those days are over.

Halloween 2017

And it’s okay. They make good choices that fit them well. I wish them that in all aspects of their lives.

 

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What Works Best for Us at Christmas

What Works Best for Us at Christmas

I want to tell you all about our Christmas experience, but tomorrow we have another family get together. By the time we finish all of our Christmas-ing, January will feel well on its way. That’s how it is, I suppose.

Right now, our main focus falls on letting our sons enjoy their Christmas Day at home. No rushing through present opening. No making them get dressed before two o’clock in the afternoon. No splitting the day between various households. No four hours in the car. They wake up at o’dark o’clock, open presents, and spend the rest of the day eating delicious foods while playing with said presents.

It’s wonderful.

And it’s awful.

I love taking the slow approach to Christmas. I really appreciate telling the boys that I’m not even starting to make my labor-intensive Christmas Waffles until 9:30, and then, when I nearly catch the waffle iron on fire, there’s no big rush to get everything finished so we can get out the door. I like snacking sometime midday. In bed. I enjoy multiple mimosas. I really like staying in my super-cute Christmas Pajamas until four o’clock, at which point I put on leggings and a top.

But I miss our family members.

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We’ve invited them to spend the day with us for the past three Christmases, thus being the ones we’ve decided to stay home and let the boys do their thing. No one has taken us up on the offer. We’ve extended the invite to all people who may be hosted by those other individuals as well, as we want everyone to be cared for and fed on such a holiday. Last year, Gramps and Mamaw came over for our Christmas meal and we dearly appreciated their presence.

My mother once told me she didn’t get to host Christmas Day until she was well into her 40s. I’m 35, going on 36, and so far, no go. I predict when the boys are a little bit older and their Christmas presents all travel with them, we can start traveling on Christmas Day again. But when LittleBrother wants nothing more than to start building his 10 bag LEGO fire station set on Christmas Day, I feel like staying home remains the appropriate choice for now.

I’m so excited to spend the day with my family tomorrow (or, as it’s past midnight because insomnia, today). I can’t wait to watch our nephews open their presents, to spend time with my parents, to joke with my brother and sister-in-law, to create memories with extended family members. All of that may not happen on Christmas Day, but it still happens. I’m okay with that.

In fact, it’s what works best for us right now.

Merry Christmas.

What Works Best for Us at Christmas