15 Sep 2014
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Halloween: A Great Time to Create Family Traditions

Costumes, trick or treating, parties and fall decorating highlight some Halloween fun.

Halloween: A Great Time to Create Family Traditions Halloween: A Great Time to Create Family Traditions Halloween: A Great Time to Create Family Traditions

Fall is officially here and you know all know what that means. Raking. Lots of it. Well, and Halloween is around the corner. Halloween candy and costumes have been out in the stores for weeks, some leaves are already turning colors, and fall plants are in bloom.

So one of the big questions to those with children is, “What is your child going to be for Halloween?” 

The popular movie characters of the summer are in full force with costume marketing such as Captain Jack from Pirates of the Caribbean, Lighting McQueen with the resurgence of Cars popularity with the movie sequel, Captain America, Harry Potter and Green Lantern to name a few.

Superheroes such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman will never go out of style, and there will always be room for Star Wars characters such as Darth Vadar, Jango Fett and Clone Troopers.

Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach from the popular video games will be seen, along with maybe a few Angry Birds.

You’ll have plenty of princesses, fairies, witches and skeletons ringing your doorbell, too.

Store-bought costumes are definitely more convenient and give you a huge variety to choose from, but homemade costumes highlight creativity and often can cut down on costs.

Heather Baer’s two-year-old son will be Elmo; a costume she has sewn herself. The costume will be worn for neighborhood trick or treating as well as to daycare. Baer will also dress up as a Sesame Street character. “I am a teacher, and we dress for school too!”

Halloween has certainly increased in popularity for holidays to celebrate. Group trick or treating, house parties and elaborate yard decorations are all typical for this time of year. The holiday has also become a time of year to build new family traditions.

Here are some ideas to start your own traditions and family fun:

  1. Watch a favorite Halloween movie such as It’s a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown or Scared Shrekless.
  2. Read fun fall and Halloween stories to the kids. The library always has a selection ready for you.
  3. Add some fall touches to the house and yard. A few pumpkins, corn stalks, and mums are basics to start with. Trombetta's, on Route 20, has a great selection. “I try to decorate with an eye towards fall,” said Baer, “so that it can carry over to Thanksgiving.”
  4. Host a costume parade/party with the kids’ friends.
  5. Don’t want your child to eat all that candy that he or she has brought home? Some schools and dental offices collect it back and donate it to the troops.
  6. Be sure to take photos of the kids in their costumes each year. They make great memories.

Amanda Tanaka has a three-year-old and a 13-month-old, and already they have some family traditions. “We decorate the yard, have a pumpkin carving/painting party and go to a friend’s neighborhood to trick or treat with a group.” 

Tanaka doesn’t have one favorite costume yet. “So far, I love them all: little pumpkin, puppy, dragon. This year will be a tiger and a panda bear.” Tanaka will be alongside her kids in costume herself.

Lisa Wei, mom to a four- and two-year-old, will purchase premade costumes and trick-or-treat in a friend’s neighborhood. One of the best costumes so far was when her two children were the Bee Brothers.

Remember, don't pack up those Halloween costumes. They are great for dress up play for your kids long after Oct. 31.

Rumor has it that pumpkins may be in short supply this year due to the effects of Tropical Storm Irene. Be sure to find one early in the season for the perfect Jack O'lantern.

What are your family traditions for Halloween?

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