I LOVE October! I say that and hear in my head, "That's nothing novel - everybody does!" Fall is a popular time of year because people think of a chill in the air that requires cozy sweaters, fires and snuggling. At least that's what I think of. And it usually means less yard work which means more family time (and that could really swing good or bad - my kids become caged animals!). It could also mean more board game time which I like as long as I am winning. Just kidding - I can handle it so long as the winners aren't being smug and cheeky which usually doesn't happen because it is my husband that always wins and he loves being both (to me in particular).
I also love tradition (hello Friday night homemade popcorn and movie night). October seems to be the tradition 'kick-off' month as we usher in the holidays. I start pulling all my favorite scary movies (the original black and white 'The Haunting,' 'What Lies Beneath,' and 'Van Helsing' - the one with Hugh Jackman, mmmm), and getting my chili and cornbread recipes out. I also have to start planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas and what kids go where and what that encompasses. This year I'm really working on invoking some new traditions to keep the focus on the holiday and the memories and not so much the expenses and toys that they play with for a week and then forget about. My favorite Christmas tradition that I remember more than anything is our favorite Carmel Roll breakfast with German Scrapple, eggs, bacon and barnyard cocktail. I STILL love and look forward to that more than anything and I think my kids do too!
At any rate, I've gotten ahead of myself. And I don't want it to be Christmas yet. Yikes. So, Halloween! The biggest trick with Halloween is trying to figure out how to keep the magic alive without all the junk. I know I sound like such a mean mom but I can tell you that candy with colors transforms Preston into the Hulk. He gets big and crazy (although not necessarily always angry - but definitely more aggressive). Last year I made him his own homemade frosted pumpkin cake in exchange for all of his candy. This worked initially although the luster wore off and he eventually became bitter that I was a mean candy-stealing mom. I felt somewhat re-assured when one of his neighborhood friends told him that her mom made her throw her candy away after a week or so. This year I think I'll do some major label-reading and find a bag of candy that doesn't have anything terrible from the naughty list and trade his pillowcase for that bag. It just might work. Did you know that the mini Reese's peanut butter cups have TBHQ (a naughty preservative) in them but the larger cups don't? Interesting.
I'm also going to try to orchestrate the writing and production of a homemade horror movie (or just a mystery movie) leading up to the big night. I'm actually having some fun with this and making some jabs at all of our quirks - I always say the best lesson my Dad taught me was to laugh at myself. I'll post the script and the movie itself upon completion. If only it hadn't snowed quite so soon. Bah.
So here is what I have on taps for a fun-filled Halloween Night:
~My delicious homemade chili and fresh corn bread (All recipes now posted on my Recipe page)
~Spider Cookies or Pumpkin Cake
~Trick-Or-Treating and Photo Scavenger Hunt with various monsters and creatures
~ Hot Apple Cider while watching our Homemade Horror Movie
What Halloween traditions do you have? If my stupid comment box doesn't work please do email me so I can post them!