I have an unpopular opinion to share with the masses. Ready? Here it goes — everyone needs to leave Halloween on October 31. The holiday falls on a Monday this year, but Halloween should not be moved to a Saturday. Period. The end.
Don't agree? I get that, but please hear me out on this one. I am the first to admit that when Halloween falls on a weeknight, things can feel rushed and my kids are too wound up from consuming all things sugar-covered to fall asleep anytime before 10 p.m. (not exactly convenient for elementary schoolers), but I still stand firm in my belief that Halloween is Oct. 31 and we should all just leave well enough alone.
People try all sorts of trickery to try to bump trick-or-treating to the weekend. Do I feel bad for that lady on Facebook who suggested that our neighborhood collectively move festivities to Sunday evening and got piled on by a bunch of hardcore Halloween-loving parents who just want one stinking Monday without homework or extracurriculars for their kids? No, I do not. Halloween is on Oct. 31 and that’s when Halloween is. Period. End of story. If you try to convince me otherwise, I’ll give your kids a toothbrush instead of candy out of spite because that’s just how I roll. (Actually, don’t even bother ringing my doorbell on the Saturday before Halloween. We’ll be at the harvest festival.)
Call me a stickler for tradition, but traditions are the foundation for many of my own cherished family memories, so who am I to buck tradition for the sake of convenience? In fact, the tradition of celebrating Halloween on Oct. 31 — regardless of what day of the week it falls on — is one that I would be extremely sad to see go.
Think back to your childhood with me for just a moment. (OK, we're thinking back to my childhood, but I hope you can relate.) It's Oct. 31. You have on your favorite Halloween-themed t-shirt, complete with a big orange, black, and purple sparkly bow atop your side ponytail. Your teacher lets you color on worksheets with pumpkins and black cats and you count Tootsie Rolls during math time. At the end of the day, you celebrate with a small class party and chit chat with your classmates about what costume you'll wear that night. You wait anxiously for the bell to ring because you know trick-or-treating time is almost here.
Halloween on a weekday creates a magical school day that I don't want my children to miss out on. The excitement, the anticipation, the sheer fun and joy that comes from going to school on Halloween is one of the most memorable parts of my childhood. It would be a crying shame to take that away from kids today. Childhood is short and gets shorter every day. Giving kids this one, fun day shouldn't be that big of a deal.
I understand that it might be easier for working parents to celebrate Halloween with their kids on a weekend, but honestly it's just one measly night. I've been a working parent for almost as long as I’ve been a mom and my husband works nights — I get it. The struggle to pick your kids up from school or day care, get them in costume, eat some semblance of dinner, run around the neighborhood with them, get them to bed at a decent hour, and then up bright and early with a candy hangover the next morning is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But honestly, it's fun and I totally live for it.
I also welcome the break from our normal weeknight routine. Isn't it more fun to rush around and collect massive amounts of candy from your neighbors than to haul one kid to baseball practice, the other to piano lessons, and try to make sure everyone does their homework at some point? (If your answer to that isn't yes, I'm sure you're a ton of fun at parties.) Most teachers don't assign homework on Halloween night, and extracurriculars are often skipped or rescheduled, so use that to your advantage and actually enjoy your kids for once instead of just playing chauffeur.
Another perk of Halloween not being on a Saturday? The weekend is wide open to do whatever frightening festivities you please. Halloween on a weeknight is also handy for parents who work on the weekends or those who only see their kids every other weekend to pick and choose when to do what for Halloween. Halloween parties, trunk-or-treats, carnivals, fall festivals, and adults-only bashes are definitely more fun on the weekend, but trick-or-treating should be on the 31st.
Just like me, you probably have an opinion as to why Halloween should or shouldn't be permanently moved to a Saturday. But in the grand scheme of things, we're all just doing the best we can as parents. For me, leaving Halloween alone and letting kids trick-or-treat on Oct. 31 is a matter of tradition that preserves the magic of the holiday. You may not see it that way and that's OK, but ultimately Halloween is still on Oct. 31. The important thing to remember here is that you only get so many Halloween nights with your kids — embrace the chaos and enjoy it while it lasts.
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