Halloween Has Been Hijacked by Overachievers & I Won't Apologize for Slacking

Oh, Halloween, what have we done to you? You were once a simple, straightforward holiday. But, you've been hijacked by overzealous revelers who've taken the focus off where it should be -- candy, and lots of it! -- and put it on just about everything else. 


Now our relationship has gotten so complicated. No longer can I simply buy some costumes, carve a jack-o'-lantern, and call it a day. Because it's no longer just "a day." Halloween is now a season, and it's killing me. Let me explain.

I used to adore October 31 for the do-your-own-thing-ness of the holiday. Decorate, don't decorate. Dress up? Or don't bother. Turn your porch into a veritable fright fest, complete with a smoke machine, or simply leave a bowl of candy on a step and the porch light on. Your call. It was so beautifully unencumbered.

Well, not anymore.

Things got a bit more complex a few years ago when we started getting "ghosted." It's like ding-dong ditch, only when someone rings your bell, he or she also leaves you a pile of candy, and a note akin to a chain letter that implores you to go out and "ghost" a half dozen other homes. Ugh. Really?

Before my kids could read, I could just pretend the note simply wished us a happy Halloween and let it go. Not anymore! Now, of course, my children want to "ghost" the whole neighborhood, which means we'll be out of candy before even the first trick-or-treater appears.  

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But the thing that has really pushed me over the edge this year is Trunk-or-Treat. Surely, you've seen this? Instead of going door-to-door ringing bells and running off all that chocolate and sugar, you simply saunter from trunk to trunk to collect your loot.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a complete witch. If you live in an area where houses aren't close together or you're faced with a lot of traffic or dark roads, I get it. Trunk-or-treat to your heart's content.
This year, I've been asked to participate in one at my son's school -- during school hours. So now I'm supposed to decorate the trunk of my car with all the cauldrons, cobwebs, and other crap I don't already own. No, thank you.


I haven't even tied my cornstalk around my lamppost yet, nor have I purchased any pumpkins either. But I'm supposed to have time to decorate my trunk, a place I don't even enjoy cleaning after a trip to the recycling center? Who thought this was a good idea?

Now, remember, this would be during school hours. So, my child will come home stuffed full of lollipops and Twizzlers only to go out again in search of more loot that evening. Who's the evil genius that thought this up anyway? (Probably a hungry 8-year-old!) 

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When I was growing up, a week before Halloween my mom drove us to a five-and-dime store, gave us each $5, and told us to meet back at the car in about 10 minutes. And we were fine with that. We didn't know any better. There were no Pinterest boards for my mother to try to emulate.

Now, granted, my costumes weren't winning any contests, but my mother didn't have to morph into Betsy Ross and get a head start in July to create a one-of-a-kind ensemble. And, I didn't have to sit through more fittings than your average Bridezilla to see if my Halloween masterpiece would hold up to a marathon night of trick-or-treating. 

As Halloween rolls around once again, I'm longing for the simplicity of years past when the only thing I had to do was stop myself from eating all the Milky Ways. 

Image via iStock.com/romrodinka

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