Thursday, 4pm, the day after Halloween. Riley, the kid who never naps, is crashed out on the couch in a post-Kit Kat coma. After a long day of mainlining M&Ms and candy corn, a late night of trick-or-treating, and a morning of sugar-induced meltdowns, the kid has had it. And so have I. I am done with Halloween, I tell you. DONE.
For what feels like several months now, but in reality was probably 6 weeks, we have been in full-on Halloween mode. Halloween-themed crafts, food, decorations, activities, TV shows, you name it. Skeletons, ghosts, and spiders, oh my! I’m all for a fun family trip to the pumpkin patch, but did we really need to go to 2 of them, plus 3 hay mazes, and a half dozen parties, parades, and gatherings, all featuring candy and all requiring different costumes? It’s all too much.
I know I sound like the Grinch of Halloween. I’ll be the first to admit it. But inevitably, each holiday, I end up running around like crazy at the last minute procuring skull-patterned tablecloths and making pizza into ghost shapes with cookie cutters while the kids beg for more candy corn and whine, “When can we go trick or treating, Mom? WHEN?!”
The thing about blogging for as long as I have is that you have years and years worth of proof in your archives that, in fact, your frus-stress-tion with holidays (Yes, that’s a word. I just coined it.) is actually not a new thing but a well-documented pattern of behavior. I have made myself and my family crazy with birthdays and Christmas for YEARS.
The thing that REALLY makes me crazy, though, is that I don’t get all nutty because of some Martha-Stewart-on-crack urge to make everything perfect. In fact, I think I set a pretty low bar. I always try to keep things fun, simple, and above all, cheap. I have 2 growing kids to keep in Crocs, you know!
No, what makes me crazy is our society’s expectations. Yeah, that’s right – I’m blaming SOCIETY. All of YOU are being dragged into this with me! If it weren’t for the people who spend millions (billions?) of dollars on PET COSTUMES, I wouldn’t have a kid asking me what the dog is going to be for Halloween. (I have my hands full with the 2 kid costumes, thanks!)
If it weren’t for all the people who decorate their houses to the hilt for every single minor holiday Hallmark’s ever invented, I wouldn’t have a kid asking me where OUR Earth Day decorations are. (Um, does the recycling bin count?)
If it weren’t for the preschools making themed crafts and throwing parties for every imaginable event… OK, I’ll stop. If they want to throw a Johnny Appleseed party and a May Day party, who am I to complain?
But seriously, can we all just calm down a little? Agree to lower expectations a smidge? Make the holidays (ALL the holidays) less stressful and more fun? Personally, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. A nice, simple, one-day holiday that’s all about food. Although I DO have a turkey craft with pinecones that’s really cute…