Halloween Is Already Stressing Me Out

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Halloween stressIt’s September, and that means it’s time to start thinking about Halloween. The stores are loaded up with their Halloween supplies, and I am wondering how much longer I can put off dealing with discussions of costumes, candy, and everyone’s favorite game called “How many more days is it until Halloween? Is it still the same number of days as it was this morning? Ok. How about now? And what about tomorrow?”

Halloween requires a lot of careful, strategic planning. There’s a vague Halloween timeline — jump in too early, and you set yourself up for insanity. Wait too long, and you also set yourself up for insanity. It’s a difficult holiday.

First of all, there’s the costumes. I am not a mom who makes my kids Halloween costumes at home. No, I am a mom who goes to the store and sees what is available as a complete set in one big plastic bag. But however you do your kids costumes, you have to make sure that it’s not so early that they have time to change their minds because they will, but not too late so that by the time you get to the store your only options are “Sexy Cat” in a 5T or “Baby Lobster” in size 3-6 months. Guess who’s wearing a bed sheet and going as a ghost? Your kid.

Then, there’s decorating the house. Not everyone does this, but enough people in the neighborhood will that it becomes a daily prompt for the “How long till Halloween” question. You have to pray that you don’t have a neighbor who decorates for Halloween in September, which just prolongs the days of questioning. Be a good neighbor and wait till October. But then again, if you wait too long to decorate and then just slap up a paper skeleton, your kids will begin to suspect that your heart isn’t in it. Which it isn’t. But let’s lie like good parents and keep the mirage going till middle school.

Finally, there’s buying the candy. This can be a very delicate area for people who love candy, such as everyone with a soul. Those enormous bags of candy are already in the stores, taunting us, reminding us of how much we love Twix. And then they’re in those itty bitty sizes that look so harmless until you’re trying to throw out all the empty wrappers and can’t fit them all into your hand. So you wait, and then the kids start asking why you don’t have candy yet, and isn’t our family doing Halloween this year? And what about all of the children who are going to come to the house and leave disappointed because there isn’t any candy? And what if by the time you get to the store all that’s left are Smarties and Candy Corn? Then you’re asshole handing out stickers on Halloween, and no one wants to be that person. I’m pretty sure even that person hates themselves for disappointing all of the children in their neighborhood. Them, and the person who gives out raisins.

We’ll see how I handle this year; so far, the kids don’t seem to remember that Halloween is coming soon. If I can just keep them out of Target for another few weeks…

(photo:Elnur / Shutterstock)


  1. Geekfamily

    September 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    No way, we love Halloween in our household. We already have our costumes ready too. I am nerding out that Guardians of the Galaxy finally was made into a movie and we will be going as Star Lord, Gamora and Rocket. Our LO is three and so excited to dress up as Rocket, we have taught her well 🙂

    We are currently plotting our decorations and our trip to the pumpkin patch. We are good and don’t put up anything until the first weekend in October.

    • Spongeworthy

      September 15, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      The grocery stores here are already selling pumpkins. It’s only September! What am I going to do with a pumpkin now besides let it rot on my front step?

    • candyvines

      September 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Duh, you put a baby in it.

      ETA – this is not my baby.

    • Spongeworthy

      September 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      OF COURSE.

    • M.

      September 16, 2014 at 7:51 am

      We used to put our dog in a pumpkin every year (8 lb papillion) with a little pumpkin hat on her head. You have never seen a dog look more humiliated, it was hysterical. We’d put her in a christmas stocking with a santa hat on at christmas too, if she was bigger she probably would have mauled us in our sleep.

    • candyvines

      September 16, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Pics please!

    • M.

      September 16, 2014 at 10:38 am

      punkin’ dog!

    • Guest

      September 16, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Punkin’ dog!

    • M.

      September 16, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Punkin’ dog! (and I had to delete this like 3 times because my image WOULD NOT SHOW UP, BLLARRRG)

    • M.

      September 16, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Aaaannnd it STILL isn’t there, wtf

    • candyvines

      September 16, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Amazing. So much better than I’d imagined. And yeah, that buddy looks super pissed.

    • M.

      September 17, 2014 at 7:40 am

      Sssoooo embarrassed, but totes adorbs. And why did it post the pic a thousand times as “guest”??? It kept giving me error messages, so sorry for spamming you with dog pics :-/

    • candyvines

      September 17, 2014 at 9:02 am

      That’s ok! It’s a picture I didn’t mind seeing a lot of 🙂
      Sometimes you have to refresh the page before Disqus will show you the image you posted. Also, if you delete a comment it doesn’t go away, it just removes your username from it.

  2. Katherine Handcock

    September 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    My son has declared that he wants to decorate the house this year. At 5 1/2, he assures me that he’ll be in charge. Yeah, we all know what that means. But I guess I’ll pull myself together for a few trips to the dollar store for Halloween-ish stuff.

    Costumes for the kids, on the other hand? I’m all over that. I loved costumes as a kid, so I love helping my kids have the same joy in dressing up as something new. I wish I could sew well enough to make decent ones, but for now, buying will do.

  3. joanne

    September 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    This is my first Halloween as an adult in a house. I am SO EXCITED! (I don’t have kids so I don’t have to deal with the costume 1/2 of this discussion). I can’t wait to decorate and have been pinning ideas like a madwoman. I asked my neighbor kid who mows my lawn what the expectation is for my neighbors and if we get trick or treaters. I’ve always wanted trick or treaters! He confirms the neighbors do decorate (although not over the top) and we do get trick or treaters! Trick or treaters!!

    • Kimberly Oliver

      September 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm

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    • WhoremonalCrazyLotusSlugalo

      September 16, 2014 at 7:30 am

      I just love your enthusiasm!

    • jsterling93

      September 16, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I bought my house in a cute little neighborhood with lots of kids. I was so excited for my first Halloween as a grown up. And no one came 🙁

      That was a couple of years ago. I am really hoping that this year will be different. I love Halloween!

    • joanne

      September 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      That’s why I asked the neighbor kid about Halloween. He’s lived in the neighborhood for several years. I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to have them dashed. He claims we get trick or treaters. I hope he’s right.

    • leahdawn

      September 16, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Last year was our first Halloween in an actual house. We carved pumpkins and I was so wound up for trick or treaters… only to be a bit let down when we only got 30 kids (the median age in our neighbourhood is skewed a bit high, whole lotta octogenarians going on).
      So we went with full sized chocolate bars this year! Now I’m pumped again cause I’m gonna be that house that every kid tries to hit up twice. 🙂

  4. Megan

    September 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    My husband is a sucker for holidays, which is why he already bought the kids costumes and plastic pumpkins. But hey, less work for me and I get to enjoy the Reese cup spoils. Omnomnom.

    • Bethany Ramos

      September 15, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      I already bought two matching Ninja turtles costumes 😉

  5. Greta Young

    September 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I’ve been hyping up last Halloween’s costume in hopes of getting two years of wear out of it. (My daughter requested to be a “scary ghost” and somehow I took the world’s easiest costume and got a bit carried away crafting a way more complicated version…) So far so good; just have to keep her from discovering that such thing as an Elsa costume exists and we will be GOLDEN. *fingers crossed*

  6. Spongeworthy

    September 15, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    You mean eating 16 fun-sized Twix in one sitting isn’t a good thing? They’re so tiny, they’re basically negative calories!
    I am not a huge Halloween fan (except for the candy), so it will be interesting to see how the next few years go as our son gets older. I’ll do what I can to get him a costume and of course take him trick-or-treating, but I’ll probably draw the line at decorating the house. I don’t want all that crap on my lawn (I swear I’m not 70, I just sound like I am).

  7. Drstephaniedvm

    September 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    So am I a terrible mom if we don’t do trick or treating? My girls will be 3 this year and I’m not planning on costumes. We don’t get any trick or treaters at our house either (seriously 5 years and not a one).

    • Katherine Handcock

      September 15, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      I felt like we had to trick or treat with our kids when they were little because there were so many people in our community who wanted to see them in costumes. If there hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have taken them until they were old enough to realize it could happen on their own!

    • Kate

      September 15, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Oh, it is fun when they are little! They are so dang cute in their little costumes. They get so much attention and they think it is SO AWESOME to dress up and be out late (and since they can’t tell time, they will have no idea that you are only keeping them out like 30 mins past bedtime)!! And then you give them the token piece of candy, send them to bed and then RAID THAT SHIT for yourself!!! What’s not to love?????

    • geekfamily

      September 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Trick or treating is for the parents at that age. Our daughter gets that candy and my husband and I eat it. It’s awesome – free candy!


      September 15, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      Right on
      i do like seeing some of the little kids,they are adorable

    • Emil

      September 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      Do you have any dress up clothes at home that they could use? It depends on the kid but I don’t think I’ve ever seen my daughter as happy as the first time she went trick or treating. She was 2 1/2 and we only went to a couple of houses but she loved it.

  8. pixie Ninja Tits

    September 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    I’m kind of disappointed that I don’t have class on Halloween this year. I love dressing up. Hopefully my friends and I can find some time to go to a bar or club. I really want to dress up.

    • alexesq33

      September 15, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      Hey since I’m assuming that is you on your horse ….we used to do such fun Halloween stuff at my barn – but now unfortunately now I’m an adult 🙁 but dressing up the horses/ponies was the BEST lol

    • pixie Ninja Tits

      September 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Yeah that’s me on the horse I ride. I haven’t been around for Halloween at the barn for nearly 6 years now (the joys of being away at university), but one year we had a musical ride at Christmas and dressed a few of the horses up as reindeer. At one of the camps I helped out with, we also did “mad hair day” (coach is Irish) with the horses/ponies and it was fantastic. Colour hairspray paint from the dollar store, hair gel with glitter, leis and Mardi gras beads. One of the greys had blue in her mane for a few weeks even though we gave her several baths.

    • 2Well

      September 16, 2014 at 1:00 am

      Halloween is huge where I am at. I need a costume, but I’m completely behind on pop cultural references because I don’t watch TV shows.

  9. Ashley

    September 15, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    “And what if by the time you get to the store all that’s left are Smarties”

    Then I need to know your address so that I can trick or treat all of your Smarties away from you, gimme gimme gimme.

  10. Marisa Quinn-Haisu

    September 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Australians have a love hate relationship with halloween. Some like it others hate it because it’s too American. I don’t mind it. I would give out lollies if I got some kids at my door but I never do where I live. My parents used to pretend they weren’t home when they got trick or treaters. I don’t know how they were able to ignore the cuties on the doorstep dressed as batman.

  11. ChelseaBFH

    September 15, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    This is my first Halloween as a parent, and I’m known among my friend for being pretty crafty. And I have twins, which raises the hilarity bar even higher (have you seen the Dumb and Dumber twins?!?!). The result? SO MUCH PRESSURE! I’ll admit that I’ve brought some of it on myself and pinned some hilarious twin costumes. But you know what? Now that it’s here, I’m realizing that all of those creative costumes are time consuming and/or expensive to make (what am I supposed to do, buy two christening tuxedos and dye them myself? Where does one find a baby sized top hat?), and since all we are doing is a lap around the neighborhood it seems a little pointless to go all out. I don’t have the heart to tell people that I bought two comfortable-looking $12.99 costumes at T.J. Maxx….

    • Rowan

      September 16, 2014 at 5:03 am

      Ebay is your best friend, seriously.

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 16, 2014 at 8:55 am

      my sister and I have daughters born three weeks apart. They’re turning 2 around halloween and this is their first halloween. They’re basically part-time twins and adore each other so we’re going to bring them together. At first, we thought of dressing them up in a hilarious costume – we were thinking Thelma and Louise… But then I realized that they’re old enough to know that they’re dressing up and will have a basic understanding of what halloween is if we prepare them… So I decided to get her a costume that I knew she would love. I’m actually receiving her Foofa costume in the mail today!!

      I think that when the kids are too young to notice that they’re dressed up, if you’re gonna go pass halloween because you’re going with older kids, it’s okay to dress them up in stuff that only adults will really get… But when the kids understand halloween, I think it’s important to let them dress up in stuff they love, even if it implies buying a pre-maid costume in the stores…

  12. Jessifer

    September 15, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Know what stresses me out? Going to the dollar store this weekend and seeing a huge aisle with Halloween decorations on one side and CHRISTMAS decorations on the other. That’s right! In mid September.


    September 15, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    us guys don’t stress,,we just look forward to eating the chocolates,whats the big deal??

  14. OptimusPrime*

    September 15, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Curious (not judging), does anyone still just task their kid(s) to make their own costume(s) from the dress-up bin? My mom can really, really sew, but most of mine were just my dress-up clothes. Then, in college–Goodwill. My mom claims all kids went as ghosts (old sheets), witches (mom’s dress), or hobos (worn-out clothes) in her day.

  15. AP

    September 16, 2014 at 1:17 am

    I LOVE Halloween! But the trick to a nice holiday, in general, is to not overdo it. You’ll have more fun if you’re selective in what you do than if you try to do ALL THE THINGS.

  16. WhoremonalCrazyLotusSlugalo

    September 16, 2014 at 7:28 am

    HALLOWEEENNNN!!! We love Halloween here. Love. It. It’s block party from 3:00 pm on. I make margaritas, my hubs gets all the candy prep’d (only the good stuff…no one likes tootsie rolls more than RPC’s). My neighbor handles the pizza, another takes care of paper plates, napkins, etc. Everyone has glow things. Living in a literal suburb (row homes at the edge of the city with slightly larger yards), we get bazillions of kids. We have hallo-fucking-ween heaven. There’s no planning, no stress… and yes, I’m the big dork that makes my kids costumes.

  17. Véronique the Attachment Shark

    September 16, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I won’t be decorating my house since I live on a street with a majority of first generation Asian families (who I don’t think will be too much into halloween) with teenagers (very little families with younger children), in the middle of the city… My street is weird because it’s a random cul-de-sac that looks like it should belong in the suburbs, with all of the adjoining streets being full of duplexes and apartment buildings. And in the city, there are much less trick-or-treaters.

    That’s why I’ll be going to the suburbs to my sister’s house to trick-or-treat with our daughters.

  18. Guest

    September 16, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Ha! I’m part of the problem, I decorated the house some Sunday night. I’ll leave the big guns for later in the month, but Halloween is my favorite holiday and if I have to look at Christmas crap in the stores starting in August, I can have pumpkins and skeletons in my yard September 15th.

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