Confession time: I am a Halloween Grinch

Yes, I admit it. I am a veritable Ebeneezer Scrooge of Halloween time. 

You know when you are growing up and you swear you will never inflict the horrible persecutions your parents inflicted on you growing up? Well, not properly getting into the spirit of Halloween was what I swore never to do.   HA!

For Ruth’s first Halloween, she was one month old. I dressed her in a little Halloween themed outfit that my sister bought for her and went to my aunt and uncle’s house to join in their neighborhood Halloween block party. Ruth pooped all over her cute outfit the minute we arrived and got so fussy we had to leave soon thereafter.
Not to be deterred, I took Ruth and two week old Rose out treat or treating the next year. Ruth donned her adorable pumpkin costume (the cheapest one I could find at Pottery Barn), I put Rose in Ruth’s old Halloween outfit from last year (underneath some bundles because it was cold) and we doggedly tried to go trick or treating. Ruth was one, so she was finished by the time we got to the end of the driveway. 

The next year, I was pregnant with our third child, and budgeting was on the forefront of my mind. That was when the seed of my Halloween grinchiness began. I bought Ruth and Rose the cheapest costumes I could from Costco, and we took them trick or treating. Walking to the house next door might as well have been 40 years across the desert with a 2 year old and 1 year old in tow, but we did make it. Ruth very much enjoyed her post two pieces of candy sugar high, and they did look cute in their costumes. 

Ruth only wore hers because I told her it was a Minnie Mouse costume. My sisters were appalled at my deception, and sided with Ruth on the goofiness of the cheap mouse costume with irrelevant questions like, “why does the mouse have a beer gut?” Et tu, Brute? 

I won’t continue to put you to sleep with the litany of Bass Halloweens. You get the idea.  But I will outline the reasons I have become a Halloween grinch in my old age.

  1. Reason 1: The kids’ costumes are so damn expensive. I mean, really! They are in all likelihood going to wear the thing once! For a few hours! And for that reason, all of the reasonable and cute secondhand costumes are harder to come by than Taylor Swift tickets.   

Picture source
You can buy the above costume for the low low price of $89! That better be real magic coming out of the wand and those wings better actually fly. That’s all I have to say.

2. The women’s costumes were clearly designed by 15 year old boys. 


Picture source
Look kids! Mom is a truck stop stripper beloved character from classic children’s literature!  Remember girls, when you grow up, Halloween is all about shedding all womanly dignity and debasing yourself as much as possible. But have fun with it! 

3. All the candy. I mean, I love candy as much as the next person, but the candy aftermath of our Halloweens is just gross.  There is no way we can possibly eat that much candy, so it just ends up being tossed.  So wasteful. (Although I have heard something about donating candy to our troops? Does anyone know about this? And more importantly, do the troops even like it?)

4. Our doorbell being rung all night long. Since our neighbors across the street build a pretty popular “haunted house” every year, teenagers with pillow cases will seriously still be ringing our door bell at 10:30 at night, waking up our kids that we put to bed at 8 over and over again. They don’t care that all of our lights are out, and they won’t pay attention to our little sign. It is exasperating.

So yes, I am a Halloween grinch.  Guilty as charged. But I DO love autumn. October weather in Atlanta is sublime. And pumpkin picking with the babes is so much fun. I love the gorgeous leaves, pumpkin spice everything, hay rides, corn mazes, candy apples, the whole nine yards. So I am not a total lost cause. But you will find me on All Saints Day a much relieved Sylvia.  



28 thoughts on “Confession time: I am a Halloween Grinch

  1. Pingback: Our First Halloween without Buying Costumes - Tales from the Mommy Trenches

  2. morgan

    Oh. Looks like it has some peaks when you grow up without the Halloween tradition. Until the early – mid 90s Halloween was only something that you knew of by watching movies.
    Until then Halloween for me was to trudge over cemeteries to freeze various bodyparts off err….show your respect to your dead relatives and ancestors.
    (and try to douse the graves in holy water I mean get into trouble with your parents…)

    But its getting more and more popular over the last years. We even had the occasional 2-3 groups of trick-or-treaters last Halloween (one of them was a bunch of gigglings kids that just saw a couple of others ring our doorbell and get some candy for it)…
    So while I’m not really a Halloween grinch I’m also not into it. I’m glad that our street is pretty well hidden and most of our block are elder couples with kids already moved out, but I’ll still keep a small stash of wrapped candy like minipacks of gummybears just in case someone’s getting lost and ringing at our door.
    Carnival (or Fasching, Fasnet and various other names) is quite another story. The days & weeks before ash wednesday are madness! And I’m a grinch. But I cannot really stay that way, because my kids loooove to wear costumes. So I try to find costume-like apparel that they can sort of wear all year round and still be a fireman, princess or cowboy…

      1. morgan

        depends on the region you live in 😉 in Cologne it’s HUUUUGE and carnival season starts nov.11 at 11:11 a.m. … and madness. and it’s more political satire there.
        in the black forest it derives from old rites where they drive out either beelzebub or the winter and wear scary costumes and / or extremely colorful costumes with or without bells and other clanking stuff attached.
        But the kids don’t care. They love the parties and the costumes 😉

        These days I saw some posts on fb from evangelical christians that Halloween means worshipping Satan and that it’s a straight way to hell (huh) – is this something german-special or do you have these as well?


        Oh yeah, the Protestant Evangelicals tend to be very against Halloween and have church parties where they all dress up like Bible characters instead. Most Catholics don’t have a problem with it, since it is a derivation of the Eve of All Saints Day anyway. All Hallows (Saints) Eve.

      3. morgan

        so. wait. they are totally against Halloween but throw “counterattack” parties instead? (I don’t know if there is a proper translation for that typical german term. It means that you don’t want to celebrate the event itself but don’t wanna miss out on the fun so you throw a reversed party)

        That would be sort of the same what the missionaries did by turning Samhain into All Saints…

        Don’t know if I should find that one hilarious or just bang my head on the desk….


        Ha! Yeah. These are probably the same people who protest Harry Potter. To me, that is not the hill I want to die on, as my mother would say. There are more pressing cultural issues. Also, Harry Potter is awesome.

  3. Cheryl

    I used to love Halloween but I am also turning into a grinch. I think it’s a combination of my husband and 3yo daughter being T1DM, poverty, and welcoming Jesus into our hearts. I still LOVE fall though! It will always be my favorite season!
    TorT wont be an issue for a now bc we live in a condo in the middle of nowhere now so kiddies asking for candy are not likely.

    1. sylcell Post author

      You know what, I should start having a stash of sugar free treats for kids just for that very reason! That had never even occurred to me, thank you! What would be good, boxes of rasins and/or packs of sugar free gum?

      1. Cheryl

        Raisins are a big NO-NO! Carbs bombs!
        We do organic sf lollipops bc we don’t feel comfortable giving her a hard candy without a handle yet. Chocolate covered nuts are a good option esp dark chocolate. We have found that most diabetic kids are pretty adventurous eaters bc they can’t eat most of the typical American diet. Sf gum is a great option IF you make sure it’s low carb on the nutritional info. The FDA says you can label a product sugar free even if you add sugar byproducts so it’s still high carb. Individually wrapped cheese sticks would rock my daughters world if she got one!

  4. Amber Shrader

    Do you have a soup kitchen or shelters nearby? I know that soup kitchens in my area (upstate NY) love getting treats for patrons. It’s a nice surprise for everyone. I call around to see which organization is accepting donations.

  5. Rachel A. Hanson

    My mom was always amazingly creative with our costumes (my dad was pursuing a PhD when I was trick-or-treating age, we were poor!). Footie pajamas with a tail pinned on and whiskers drawn on our faces and we were cats. Black cable knit tights, a white leotard, and a package of purple balloons turned me into a bunch of grapes one year. I don’t know that I have that ability though, haha.

    1. sylcell Post author

      I know! Us not having an exorbitant costume budget would be fine if I were super creative and good at crafts, but alas. Martha Stewart I am not.

  6. Annie williams

    We drop our extra candy off to the troops but we are lucky in that we have a base about 2 miles away! Is there a nearby VA? They may be interested or at least know where to bring it!

      1. sylcell Post author

        I don’t have a basement, but we can hide up in the bonus room! 😂😂😂😂 I definitely do that if someone rings the doorbell during nap time.

  7. Ashley P

    I’m a Halloween grinch too. I can’t stand wasting money on costumes and also cannot stand the people in the street. No one walks anymore. Everyone rides in trailers attached to trucks and most of the kids are too old and think paint on their face is considered a costume. I’m not big on giving my kids candy so I always take it to work and give it away. We did find a cheap ninja turtle costume for our son at sams today. And thankfully he’s 3 so he’s at the fun age where he wants to wear it and is excited. Unlike my daughter who whines when we put hers on 😊 Probably going to put my two month old in a Halloween onesie and call it a day!

    1. sylcell Post author

      Yeah, I’m going to see what I can muster up from around the house, costume-wise 😜 And Halloween really does seem to make you hate your neighbors 😑

  8. juliaattheritz

    Me too! Will’s costume last year and this year are both used. Trey thinks I’m cheap. Whatever. Not spending $50 on an outfit he is going to wear (and hate) for an hour.

  9. Mo

    I was a bit of a Grinch when my kids were younger too, but the older they get, the more in to it they get, which makes me enjoy it more! I don’t tend to spend tons of money on the costumes either, but the ones we do buy go into a big toy box as dress up clothes to be played with all year long, that way I don’t feel as bad with spending close to $100 on costumes for 3 kids.
    Door bell ringing at 10:30 at night?! Goodness, I’m glad people around here understand that if your lights are out you have nothing left to hand out, and they leave you alone!

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