Happy Halloween! I know I normally do an organization post on Wednesdays, but I thought I would change it up a little since today is Halloween. I will admit that I am not a big Halloween person like some. My husband actually loves Halloween and he says that it is his favorite holiday. He loves it because all of the old scary movies come on TV and he just loves those. I, however, am not a fan of scary movies, haunted houses, dressing up, or any of the other things that go along with Halloween. I guess the candy is okay, but I really am not a huge candy person either. I’m more of a cake and cookies kind of girl. I remember loving Halloween as a kid, though; but I think I liked more of the fall aspect of the holiday with hayrides (not scary ones), fall festivals, getting tons of candy, and trick or treating with friends. I still love going to fall festivals and taking the girls to pumpkin patches. I even still love hayrides. So much fun!
I’m not, however, a fan of carving pumpkins. It just so gross to me and way too much work. I do love the look of uncarved pumpkins with fall flowers sitting on the porch, though. That look can carry you all the way through Thanksgiving! I don’t have any fall flowers on my porch this year because, well, I do not have a green thumb. I cannot keep any kind of plant or flower alive. I even killed a cactus! I know, it’s sad! Some of our neighbors in this new neighborhood have gone all out with their Halloween decorations. They have spider webs, spiders, graves, skeletons, witches, and more all over their yards and porches. My youngest keeps telling me that we need to do more decorating, but I think I am just fine with the pumpkins on the porch and the fall wreath that is on the door. I’m definitely for the more classic fall look than the scary Halloween look. How about you?
I don’t know about you but “back in the old days” as my daughter would say, my parents didn’t go out and buy me these crazy and expensive Halloween costumes like kids wear now. I remember in my really younger days having those plastic trash bag-like outfits with the plastic mask with the rubber band that held it to your face. I think one was a Cabbage Patch Kid and maybe a My Little Pony one year. I think my mom has pictures of them somewhere at her house. Then as I got a little older, I made my own costumes. This was also back in the days when you could wear your costume to school and had a costume contest. I will throw in there that I won 1st prize for my Paper Bag Lady. Haha! I must say that I was pretty creative. I told this to my kids the other day and they looked at me like I had 3 heads. The thought of actually having to put work into their costumes was a concept that they couldn’t imagine. Are my kids spoiled or what? When I had all of my pictures out organizing them the other day, I found these pics of the homemade costumes above and showed them to the girls. They of course just looked at me like I was a weirdo. Got to love them, though! But, for real, wasn’t I cool? Go ahead and click on them and make them bigger to see the whole costumes for all their glory. You know you want to! LOL!
Now that you have had a good laugh at my expense, I want to get into the one thing that I am passionate about at Halloween, and that is the Teal Pumpkin Project. If you have never heard of it before, this is a movement that was begun several years ago by some parents of children with severe food allergies who are often unable to experience the joy of trick or treating because it can be deadly for them. The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project is not only to make others aware of kids with food allergies but also to encourage people to provide safe options for kids with allergies (non-edible treats). As the parent of a child who has had so many food restrictions due to her EOE, Halloween was a depressing day in the past. Although her allergens did not cause her to go into anaphylactic shock like they do for so many kids (even if they just touch or smell the allergen), she was still unable to ingest most of the candy that she got on Halloween because it could damage her esophagus. After we would get back from trick or treating, she would sit on the floor with all of her candy dumped out in front of her and sort it into a pile of what she could eat and a pile of what she couldn’t eat. Let me tell you that she would then sit there and cry because her pile of allowable candy was soooo small compared to the pile of what she now had to give to her sister or someone else. It was the saddest thing and absolutely broke my heart for her.
I know it may be too late for this year, but I urge you to consider offering alternative treats to candy. I am not saying that you shouldn’t give out candy, by all means, please do. I am just asking that you have a SEPARATE bowl of allergy friendly treats available to those kids that can’t have the candy. What are some allergy friendly treats you may ask? Non-edible things like pencils, spider rings, Halloween themed erasers, small containers of play dough, silly puddy, those rubber bracelets, and vampire teeth are so easy to find at places like The Dollar Store or even at Walmart and Target for very little cost. Dum Dum lollipops are also allergy friendly for most kids with nut and dairy allergies. There are so many affordable alternatives.
How will these kids know that it is safe for them to come to your house to trick or treat? If you are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, you simply place a teal colored pumpkin at your door and that lets parents and kids with allergies know that it is safe at your house. I have painted several plastic pumpkins over the years, but now you can actually purchase teal pumpkins at craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby as more people become aware and are willing to participate. You could even choose to paint a real pumpkin that you carve and make all cute or scary if that’s your fancy.
The number of kids with life-threatening allergies is increasing in alarming rates and no one really knows why. Just because you have an allergy, you shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun tradition of trick or treating like every other kid around. The parents of these kids shouldn’t have to fear this day because they are afraid of their child coming into contact with something that could essentially kill them. Please be aware and consider participating in this amazing movement. I know it would mean the world to thousands of little boys and girls like mine. Better safe than sorry! It really could mean the difference of life and death for a child. That’s a Halloween Horror that I am not willing to live with.
Anchored and a Proud Supporter of The Teal Pumpkin Project,