For How-To Tuesday I’m going to tell you how to have a good Halloween. So what if this is entirely non-applicable for another 364 days! You can memorize this list for next year.
1. Carve Jack-o-Lanterns. Roll your eyes when your 10-year-old daughter says that pumpkin guts make her sick. Try not to yell at her when she actually throws up on the kitchen table, entirely missing the black garbage bags that have been taped all over.
2. Live in Texas (or somewhere else in the Southern part of the country). Trick-or-treating when it’s 75 never gets old. Especially when you grew up having to wear a coat over every costume.
3. Spend your entire Halloween afternoon making a healthy dinner. Make sure it’s halal so your son’s Muslim friend can have some too even though he ate before he came over and isn’t hungry but thanks anyway. If you keep busy enough with that you’ll forget to charge your camera. But by the time you’re done forcing everyone to eat their broccoli soup with whole wheat rolls and the kids get their costumes on, all the good lighting outside will be gone anyhow.
4. Make sure your kids tell you about all the pieces of their costumes that they’ve lost before you are walking out the door to go trick-or-treating. In may be hard for children to believe but extra hats, Wonder Woman bracelets, and mustache adhesive cannot be magically conjured up. (On a related note: It might be tempting to use hot glue to attach a fake mustache. Don’t.)
5. Do NOT live on a lame cul-de-sac where only two houses have their lights on. Also, just because you’re misogynistic/bitter/childless doesn’t mean you can’t hand out free candy.
6. Leave the giant box of old Halloween costumes out so that your five-year-old can change his mind about the costume he wants to wear three times on Halloween. He will have to try each costume on several times. Resist the urge to chop his head off with the fake gothic sword from said box. This also might not be the time to fight about whether he does so like Peter Pan and what’s wrong with a boy wearing tights?
7. Go on a super strict diet one week before Halloween. The sheer volume of candy will make it impossible to say no. Who cares that you hate plain M&Ms and got absolutely no pleasure from eating them? All that matters is that you ate them and now feel terrible about yourself. If you don’t have anything but soup and water for the next two weeks, it should be OK.
8. Set up plans about who will be hanging out with whom on Halloween night. There is nothing as mood-killing as a group of your friends coming to the door, making it perfectly clear that you have not been included. This applies to 8-year-olds as well as 40-year-olds.
9. Have a baby. Is it just me or are there a ton of birthdays on Halloween?
10. Make sure your kids get assigned lots of homework. The sugar will help them sit still and focus. Additionally, all AP tests should be scheduled the day after Halloween. If we can have Thanksgiving always fall on a Thursday, why can’t they make Halloween always fall on a Friday? (“They” being the people who changed “Fall Back” to November).
I can’t find my crummy camera this morning (the one that had functional batteries), so all you get are two pictures taken with my phone before the Halloween Party we went to on Saturday. Jasper ended up going trick-or-treating as a Mummy, not as a black ghoul/dementor as you see here. I’m sure it will break your hearts not to see Arabella as a pirate or Finn’s as Wyatt Earp.