Parenting Blog

My Favorite Family Halloween Traditions

Jeff Bogle OWTK Crest favorite family Halloween traditons

This story is sponsored by Crest

Nostalgia is of no interest to me. The music of my youth is not being rammed down my kids’ throats and I’m not banging on about how much better anything was when I was their age. I also eschew tradition-for-tradition sake thinking. Progress, man! Let’s move forward and out of our comfort zones! Still, even we have our favorite family Halloween traditions and I’ll admit that it is something I look forward to annually.

Our neighborhood is a fairly bucolic place to live and raise children for 364 days out of each year but on October 31st, this gentle place is a ghost town — and unfortunately not in a spooky seasonal sense. As the girls have gotten older and began making friends who live in more densely populated areas of our sleepy suburb, they started to ditch our dimly lit street in search of more decorated homes, more illuminated coach lights, and more candy!

My Favorite Family Halloween Traditions

Jeff Bogle OWTK Crest favorite family Halloween traditons

Nowadays, I snap their pictures and text them to my mom so she can see her granddaughters in costume, and I wave farewell to my family as they drive away to someplace far more interesting on Halloween night; the headlamps of the car are the only lights on our curvy road. With the house to myself, I put on some music, unclutter the family room and vacuum its green carpet to produce a clean canvas for the Halloween tradition that will come later, light a few pumpkin-scented candles, and enjoy the serenity of an empty, neat & tidy, well-decorated home. Occasionally, I will rise from the sofa to urge the dozen or so Iron Mans and Disney Princesses who haven’t yet figured out that our neighborhood is terrible for scoring sweets to, please, “take a few!”

A couple of hours later, after I flick off the light by the front door, I’ll stare at a more-than-half-full candy bucket and wonder why o’ why do I continue to buy so much?

I know the reason though, it’s because the year I don’t overbuy candy, Halloween utopia will arrive on our doorstep, I’ll quickly run out of chocolate, and my home will be egged by sweets-deprived children who weren’t offered free candy. At least that’s the weird dystopian narrative I construct in the Halloween candy aisle of Sam’s Club as I fill up my cart with bags upon bags of fun size Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Peppermint Patties. According to Crest’s Halloween survey, 73% of parents purposely buy more Halloween candy then they need so that they can eat the extras but I swear that’s not what I’m doing! In fact, I usually buy candy I don’t fancy to prevent this from happening in my house! That said, those extra Peppermint Patties aren’t gonna last long!

Once back home, the girls will excitedly dump their candy hauls out onto the immaculately vacuumed green floor of our family room. The next of our Halloween traditions then commences as they sort their candy by brand, size, and color packaging, and count to see which candy was the most popular this Halloween. As they do, my daughters will regale me with stories of the weird dude who acted like he was dead in a lawn chair and the old lady who gave out shiny nickels and dimes like it was still 1968. I’ve loved the quiet of the house while they were out experiencing Halloween but love equally the giddy commotion of hearing them describe their night as a rainbow of candy coasted dreams takes shape at our feet.

Jeff Bogle OWTK Crest favorite family Halloween traditons

Being the dutiful dad, I inspect the candy, and let them have a few pieces (and then a few more) before sending them into the hall bathroom to wash up and brush their teeth (and then brush again, because that wasn’t nearly long enough!) with Crest Kids Sparkle Fun toothpaste.

I’m absolutely part of the 40% of adults who enjoy Halloween more now than I did as a child but it’s not because I can eat as much candy as I wish without parental supervision! Halloween is better now because of my family’s favorite Halloween traditions that allow me to have the best of both worlds: at home alone as the candy dispenser to neighborhood kids and as a dad who happily watches his own children organize their treats and listens to them tell the stories of their young lives still being written.

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