I remember trick or treating as a child with my dad as one of our family traditions for Halloween. That and carving a pumpkin were our two Halloween traditions. Now that I have my own children, I’m keeping those family traditions for our Halloween and adding to them.
For many reasons, Halloween is one of the boys’ favorite holidays. Ok – it’s really just one reason: candy. For the sake of variety, I’ve tried to throw a few other fun things into the mix! If you want to know more about the traditions of Halloween and its history – this is a great place to start!
Family Traditions for Halloween: Decorate The Outside Like Crazy!
We always begin with outdoor decorations. But I admit that I sort of cheat on this one. All of my front porch decorations are really fall decorations. Garlands and lights around the front door, corn stalks in the corners – all fall. On top of that, I “layer” some pretty easy to put up and take down Halloween decorations – a wreath for the door, light up ghosts along the path and some scarecrows that go into the front porch planter.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention our Halloween sheep. Yes, at our house, that’s a thing. Halloween sheep. No typo. We have ceramic sheep by our mailbox year round. Before we knew what was happening, the sheep began to express their festive personas by dressing up for various holidays. So, at this time of year, we have Halloween sheep. It’s really turned into quite a thing – lots of the neighbors come by and say they love coming by our house to see what the sheep “are up to.”
Family Tradition of Pumpkin Decorating
And, of course, you can’t have Halloween without pumpkins. We take a trip to the pumpkin patch and each pick out our own pumpkin. For the past two years, for my youngest, we’ve decorated his pumpkin instead of carving it. And before you say “boooooring….” We used Mr. Potato Head parts to make the most fun pirate potato head pumpkin! The year before last, it was the ghost pumpkin of Mr. Potato Head! The sets are inexpensive and a great solution for the younger set who isn’t ready to wield a knife, even with help.
This year, I’m going to try roasting our scooped out pumpkin seeds. I love pepitas, but have never made my own. The boys will save a couple of seeds to plant in the garden and I’m planning to roast the rest. One of my favorites uses for pepitas is an awesome cilantro pesto that I make.
Family Tradition of Indoor Decorations
We have a Halloween tree. Yes – we have a decorated Halloween tree and (see above) Halloween sheep. Weird? Maybe. But a great family tradition? Absolutely. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Family Traditions for Halloween Of Course Include Our Own Trick or Treat Mob
We’ve started our own family tradition of having everyone from the neighborhood over who wants to come and join us for fun, play, hot dogs and trick or treating. We usually have a gang of about 20-30 friends and neighbors.
The mob is marvelous and the adults take charge of whatever children are close by. No chasing your child to keep up. No waiting because they’re too slow. Some of the younger ones get pulled in wagons. Picture organized chaos at its best!
I always make tons of hot dogs – no buns. When everyone arrives, there are hot dogs for the kids. It’s my sneaky way of trying to get them to fill up a little before the onslaught of sugar. And I don’t allow the switch witch into my house! The rule is that they boys can eat as much as they want Halloween night. (Of course, for our older son with both food sensitivities and allergies, inspecting before he eats anything is really important!) Once we are home, the boys enter into skilled negotiations that I can only liken to those that led to the Treaty of Versailles. Candy is valued and traded. Candy that you don’t like and are trying to “get rid of” is definitely less valuable. After that, all candy is theirs.
But…and here’s the catch: they keep it in a basket and they choose one piece each evening for dessert until it’s all gone. Letting them make their choices has been fabulous and the truth of the matter is – I don’t think there’s been one year that they’ve actually finished all the candy. By that time, the novelty has worn off.
Each year, I try to add in something new or special. This year, I found a recipe for candy corn vodka. I may just have to put that in a cocktail and serve it!
My Last Family Tradition For Halloween: A Prayer for Teachers Everywhere
And finally, once the boys have crashed in bed and my head has hit the pillow, I have one final tradition. Or maybe it feels like an obligation so the Universe doesn’t send me any bad vibes. I send out a prayer for all teachers everywhere. For I know that tomorrow may be one of the worst days of the year for them. All of the children in every class will be under-slept, over-tired, and over-sugared. They will be rowdy and unfocused. Dear Lord, please bless the teachers for not canceling school every year on November 1. Please watch over them and give them peace and patience to remember that they actually love our children and care about them – no matter how they may behave tomorrow. Dear Lord, please help our teachers to remember that parents love and respect them, despite the fact that we sent our children to school on November 1. Oh no!!!! This year Halloween is on Saturday! Revise that prayer quickly: Dear Lord, please let me find a babysitter for Sunday!
Give our family traditions for Halloween a read, check out some other tried and true Halloween ideas from my friends, or you can always find more great ideas to get you in the spirit of Halloween on my Halloween Pinterest Board.
If you enjoyed reading about our family traditions for Halloween, hop on over and give some other tried and true ideas for Halloween a look-see. I’d love to have you connect with me here, or on facebook or twitter, and let me know your favorite family traditions for Halloween!
Don’t forget to Pin this so that you can come back and pick up a new tradition each year!