Photo courtesy of Ashley Jones

Leave Halloween On October 31, You Literal Monsters

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I have an unpopular opinion to share with the masses. Ready? Here it goes — everyone needs to leave Halloween on October 31. 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've often lamented that when Halloween falls on a weeknight things feel rushed and my kids are too wound up from consuming all things sugar-covered to fall asleep anytime before 10 p.m. (which isn't 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.

I may be a stickler for tradition, but traditions are the foundation for a bevy of cherished family memories created over the course of my life, 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'm hoping that you can relate.) It's Oct. 31 and you're wearing your favorite Halloween-themed t-shirt to school complete with a big orange, black, and purple bow atop your side ponytail that all of your friends are just going to gush over. 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 be wearing that night while you wait anxiously for the bell to ring, knowing that trick-or-treating time is almost here.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Jones

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 getting 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 nearly the entire time I've been a mom and my husband has a job that requires him to work in the evenings — 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. I live for it.

I also welcome the break from the weeknight extracurricular craziness that usually has kids and parents running from one activity to the next and stressed out to the max. Isn't it more fun to be rushing around collecting massive amounts of candy from your neighbors than rushing around getting one kid to baseball practice, the other to piano lessons, and trying 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 many extracurriculars are skipped or rescheduled, so use that to your advantage and take the evening to actually enjoy your kids instead of just playing chauffeur.

Another perk of Halloween not being on a Saturday? Your weekends surrounding Halloween are free to do with whatever you please. When Halloween falls on a weekday, it leaves two entire weekends open on either end of the holiday for attending Halloween parties, trunk-or-treats, carnivals, fall festivals, and the like with your family, or even celebrating the holiday in adult fashion sans kids. It gives parents the flexibility to attend multiple celebrations, and provides options for parents who maybe work on the weekends or those who only see their kids every other weekend to pick and choose when to do what for Halloween.

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 and preserving 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 craziness and enjoy it while it lasts.