Halloween

I've been getting so many questions and remarks about Halloween, I thought we should just have an open Halloween thread.

What are your thoughts about Halloween? For kids? For adults?

Do you dress up? Do your kids dress up?

Thankfully, Halloween's on a Sunday this year, so we don't have to deal with whether or not kids can wear their costumes to school.

How do you deal with the candy?

And, finally, are you ready for Candletime to start on Monday?

I'll start:

I like Halloween because I enjoy the dressing up, and the chance it gives little kids to play around with identity. Watching my younger one exploring what it would be like to be "bad" when he dressed as Darth Vader last year was fascinating.

I may dress up, but haven't decided that yet. My younger one is very into dressing up, but doesn't want me to reveal his costume in advance. My older one goes back and forth between being "over it, Mom," and thinking he might want to wear a costume but he doesn't know what…

I let my kids eat as much candy as they want to as long as they've eaten a reasonable meal first. They gorge for a couple of days and then get sick of it and it's over by November 3 or 4.

I am excited for Candletime! (In case you don't remember from last year, Candletime is a new holiday that prevents Halloween from sliding straight into Christmas. It runs from November 1 to November 24 this year, and the way to celebrate it is by dimming the lights and lighting candles when you're home in the evening, and enjoying a cup of tea or cider or cocoa or a glass of wine.)

Thoughts on Halloween?

80 thoughts on “Halloween”

  1. My son’s school is having a Halloween Party/Day for his class, so he’s wearing his costume to school (whether it stays on for long is in doubt). This year he wanted to be a ghost so I totally feel judge-y toward myself in that I’m copping out with the whole “holes in a sheet” bit. We got a bit creative and he’s going to be “Charlie Brown as a ghost” (and he got a new book, yay!). It’s good his school is doing something because we live in the middle of nowhere and trick-or-treating isn’t an option for us.Halloween is fun, and I love the dress-up and the exploration into the fun side of “scary”, but it’s challenging for us since he’s artificial colourant sensitive and practically everything is covered in FDC Red #40 and Yellow #5, etc. This weekend is going to be hell as he comes down off those chemicals he’ll ingest at the school party.

  2. Actually, I still get to deal with the costumes to school question, because the school is having a costume parade (parents invited to come and stand by the playground fence) on Friday. And the kids are supposed to bring their costumes to school in a bag and change there. This strikes me as more than a little inefficient, especially for my very slow dresser of a Kindergartener (not to even get into my own feelings about the parking nightmare that attending the parade is going to entail). Do they really want to wait for her to get herself changed into a pirate costume that involves: skirt, petticoat, long undershirt (for warmth), full-sleeved shirt, vest and optional pirate bling? I don’t see that going so well. I understand that wearing costumes to school is distracting, but isn’t the Friday before Halloween a fight for their attention even without costumes?Maybe I could just talk her into wearing a plain white shirt and black sweatpants to school and taking along the overskirt and the vest to layer on top (although I see the black and white palette as being a hard sell in lieu of the usual pink or purple). sigh.
    Every little thing won’t seem like such a logistical nightmare once I make it through this first year of public school, right? I just feel like I have no idea what the support level is like during the school day for tasks that might require assistance (with the amount of help required being a moving target for little kids, anyway). I miss the tiny, little preschool with the experienced teachers who were not hung up on standardized procedures.
    -girdtmom

  3. My son is almost 4 and I *think* this is the last year I may be able to slide right on through Halloween without noticing. I haven’t decided yet. I do NOT need extra yummy (and not so yummy candy, which seems to get eaten anyway) in my house. He won’t miss it, but I haven’t decided what I’m doing yet.

  4. Halloween is quite stressful for me- I love it, have fond memories of it, want to gorge on candy… and my 3 year old will NOT wear a costume, thank you very much. He’s not scared of other kids in costumes, but he’s scared of wearing one himself. He originally wanted to be a zebra, but after I ordered that costume, he panicked and refused. I’ve taken him to look at a variety of costumes, and we’ve talked about costumes with his friends and preschool classmates. He’s aware that everyone else will be participating. I guess it bothers me because I want him to love the things that I love? Maybe because trick or treating represents childhood? Maybe because I’m tired of his fears (haircuts being chief among them), especially of things that don’t bother his peers? Maybe because I just wanted to eat his candy?I’m telling myself that this might be the last time we all get to spend the holiday together, handing out candy, and we should enjoy it.

  5. We had a “eat all the candy you want this one night because it disappears at dawn – and brush real well!” policy.Then again, we are all very sick people, so maybe you shouldn’t take my advice 😉 The remaining candy went to work the next day with spouse. So it was a one night binge, not a monthly thing. One child didn’t have a sweet tooth anyway. The other one never wound up getting ill that night, even though she has a digestive disorder…
    Candletime – I am terrified of open flames in the house. I have just heard too many horror stories. Sure, they’re reasonably safe in a controlled environment – but my home environment was never that controlled when I had small children. Weird sh*t happens and routines get messed up, and fur and feathers fly… well, you get the picture. But the idea of a stressfree family time in November sounds lovely.

  6. I hate Halloween and I’ve always hated it, even as a kid. I hated dressing up and seeing adults in costume was really frightening–I just wanted to run and hide when the doorbell rang. Unfortunately, the chore of giving out candy at the door usually fell on me later on since I’d refuse to go out and/or go to Halloween parties. As an adult, it’s tolerable since other adults in costume are not so scary anymore and the kids seem to like dressing up. So far, when I’m unambitious with the kids’ costumes, it’s run smoothly–this year, my mother bought the 3.75 yo a fireman costume, which he’s been stoked to wear and the 15 mo will wear any costume (and there are many) that her big brother has outgrown. Last year, I planned on making my son a Max costume (a wolf suit) since he was so into Where the Wild Things Are (the book) but a month before (it takes me a long time to sew anything!) he changed his mind, after the costume was nearly finished. Sigh.

  7. We were struggling with my almost 5-yr-old son wanting to be a princess and wanting me to purchase a pre-made princess dress. Even though we’re a very liberal family, my husband’s and my gut reaction was “Oh dear… How do we talk him out of this one?” Then again, isn’t Halloween the one time per year you are “allowed” to experiment with your identity? Thankfully, before we had a chance to even discuss it with my son, he changed his mind and now wants to be a butterfly, and we are making the costume.In general, as far as costumes, I don’t like how so many people buy pre-made costumes these days. A huge part of the fun of Halloween as I remember it was making a costume. I’m not talking about buying a sewing pattern and fabric, since I don’t sew, but just finding stuff, making stuff, and putting it all together. We’ve been lucky that we’ve been able to influence my son so far, although this year has been a little harder, and we have used mostly home-made costumes. But I suspect our days are numbered in that respect and soon he’ll want to purchase a ready-made costume, be it a princess, or something else entirely.
    As for candy, my son is still young enough that we only go trick-or-treating at a handful of houses, so he doesn’t end up with a ton of candy. But this is the time of year that he starts to expect a treat after dinner every night. It pretty much lasts until Easter! First, Halloween candy, then Thanksgiving desserts, then Christmas/Hanukkah candy, plus a December birthday, then before you know it, Valentine’s Day candy, and then Easter candy! We’re going to try to enforce eating a piece of fruit after dinner and before candy if it starts to get out of hand this year.

  8. My son is going to be Aang, The Last Airbender (cartoon version). He’s getting his head shaved down to the scalp for it. Yes, he’s nothing if not dedicated.They’re having a character parade at school. Character must be from a book. I bought him a novelisation of the second season.
    They’re not supposed to wear their costume to school, but I’m sending him in the shirt part anyway.

  9. Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I’m super excited as always (mostly). Why do I love it so? You get to dress up as anything you want, eat lots of candy, see neat decorations, and basically participate in a pagan holiday. AWESOME!But this year is a mixed bag for me, hence the “(mostly)” above:
    The good: My 3.5 daughter wants to be a unicorn this year, and I found her one that just about fits. I love unicorns and dressed her up as one when she was just a crawler. We bought my 16 mo son a dinosaur/dragon costume so he can be a dragon next to his sister’s unicorn. I will put on my fairy or princess costume (depending on weather).
    We did a really fun “trunk or treating” activity at my son’s daycare on friday. A bunch of parents (including us) decorated the trunks of the cars, lined them up in the parking lot and the kids went from car to car trick or treating. It was really neat.
    The bad: We couldn’t hold our annual adult Halloween party this year. Between lack of funds and my MIL’s being sick, we just couldn’t do it.
    The ugly: My daughter has a peanut allergy. We have a plan: we are letting her trick or treat and then trade the unsafe candy (there is SO MUCH of it that’s unsafe!) for safe candy I bought online and received the other day. I felt pretty good about this plan.
    But then yesterday, she started to get a couple hives on her face. Was it from some cross-contaminated jelly on her toast? But we haven’t had anything with peanuts in our house for at least 6 months! Was it from some candy processed in a facility with peanuts that we got at the boy’s preschool which had maybe got on the counter or toys she was playing with? But she hadn’t touched anything near the candy before the hives started! Was it from something else altogether? But we don’t know of anything she’s allergic to besides peanuts!
    So now I went from mildly concerned but with a plan, to being really freaked out and unsure of the plan. It’s definitely a damper on my favorite holiday.
    Candletime: I think I will try to participate this year!

  10. Unless you use soy candles or fake ones, candles emit indoor air pollution (soot, etc.). I have several family members with asthma, and work in the field of air quality, so no candles for us! The safety issue alone would be enough to keep me from participating.My kids are grown but we still enjoy Halloween. This is a college town, and lots of adults enjoy dressing up. We have a costume contest at work but I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about that. The past few years my department has picked a theme and decorated, but we haven’t done any planning so I have no idea what we’ll do. My daughter works at the grocery store and requested to work on Saturday, when most of the employees will be in costume. I used to love bringing my kids there to see all the people in costume when they were little.
    Since we don’t have any trick-or-treaters, I usually buy more candy than I expect to give out, so that we can enjoy a little afterward. My husband may take some to work to stash for snacking (he doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, so it depends on what’s left). My college-age son — along with any of his friends who happen by within the next few days afterward — will help finish what’s left.

  11. Last Christmas the grocery store had these awesome LED candles that sort of look like a real candle. Unfortunately we discovered that replacement batteries cost more than the actual candles (which were $4), which I hate, but they make it easy and safe to have a “candle” anywhere. Google “LED candle” and there are lots.

  12. No strong feelings about Halloween one way or the other. Our oldest is 2 and we haven’t dressed up or done the T or T thing yet, mostly because I am lazy and he doesn’t know enough to ask about it and why bring more candy into the house (my husband and I have a bad sweet tooth). Maybe next year.

  13. @Kelly, I LOVE the ‘Charlie Brown as a ghost’ costume idea. Filing that away for the future. Always loved watching ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!’ as a kid (and, ahem, ok maybe now) even if I would routinely get the moniker ‘great pumpkin’ afterward from a few smart ass friends.For us this year, DS will (hopefully) wear his costume to daycare – re-purposed turtle costume from when he was 4 months old. But if he doesn’t want to do it, I’m OK with that. You can see photos here of the 4 month costume:
    http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/costumes-little-mermaidshomecrafted-halloween-130245
    Ours is the middle one, but I love the helmet idea! As @Stacy said, a homemade costume isn’t always about sewing.
    Last year I made DS an amazing sprite costume. And he was sick on Hallowe’en so he couldn’t wear it to daycare. Oh well. It now hangs as decoration in his room. It’s alterable, so maybe he’ll wear it when he’s bigger.
    DS is 2 so we opted to forgo the trick-or-treating for at least another year as it’s past his bedtime, he might find it scary, and we don’t really want him eating candy just yet. We’re having friends over who have a son the same age for a little Hallowe’en party/dinner the Saturday before. I’ll try and bake some treats (cookies, pumpkin muffins) as the loot. And will bake extra for the total of 3 neighbour kids who walk up our 4 story building to our place. And you know, we’ll, ahem, buy one bag of Hallowe’en candy ‘just in case’.
    @enu, For Candletime there are battery operated pillar candles that actually look very close to the real thing. We’re thinking of picking some up because we love the look of candles, but with a wee one about are a bit worried about the open flames as well.
    http://www.batteryoperatedcandles.net/371705-p-enjoy-lighting.html
    I must admit that I’ll be joining Candletime in theory. But for me, starting Nov 1st for Xmas means I can do things slowly with breaks in between rather than trying to cram everything in to the month of December.

  14. Costume to school on Thursday (Friday is no-school for “fall break”, whatever that is). But the school said specifically no gore, no weapons, no violent costumes. I’m debating whether the hook from the pirate costume is a weapon. Probably easier just to leave it at home.

  15. My daughter’s pre-school does not do costumes for Halloween. Instead, they are having a “Silly Hat Parade” on Friday. We made her (and my) silly hat yesterday, so we’re ready to go!

  16. @caramama, hahaha! this year she is a cobra and I am al.most. done! I made a plain cheater tunic out of black felt (no hems!) and bought one of those little golf caps on sale…then I kind of sewed on a snake body in metallic snakeskin (available on any block in SF, especially this time of year) 😉 and constructed a cobra hood that attaches to the little hat…and am working on the eyes, fangs, etc.yeah, halloween is kinda required here. Mouse’s preschool used to ride the cable car in costume, which was really fun – now her elementary school parades around the castro on friday, has a costumed dance that night…and then things get real on Sunday.
    But I hate dressing up myself, never do it. We generally hit Belvedere street, which is 5 blocks of total madness, and Mouse gets to eat her candy until she gets tired of it. I don’t really worry about it, it’s once a year.
    I will say this: I love that the Giants have home field in the world series, but part of me thinks it’s HUGE waste that the Halloween day game is at Texas. Can you imagine how much fun SF would have if it was here?

  17. As an adult I kind of hate Halloween and you wouldn’t catch me in a costume if my life depended on it. But my 4 year old daughter LOVES it and can’t wait to carve her pumpkin, dress up and go trick or treating. It is kind of fun to watch her explore what she wants to be and plan it out. Then to watch her take in all the silliness around her. Her preschool is strictly no Halloween which I like. We did go to a party on Saturday night and she dressed up.She’s a fairy this year, her first choice was to be a robot and I was SO! EXCITED! to make that costume but shortly after she wanted to be a princess fairy. Truth be told – as much as I love making/sewing costumes, both my husband and I work and Old Navy had a fairy costume for $12 and I couldn’t by the fabric for that so…store bought it is. I do like to play it up with cool makeup and accessories that we already have.
    Candy-wise she gets a few pieces the night of, then a piece for dessert for about a week. Then she forgets about it and we throw the rest away.
    Overall, I kind of hate how scary everything is around this holiday. In our area there are tons of super creepy/gory billboards for haunted houses and those are disturbing to a preschooler. And hard to exlpain as an adult.

  18. Halloween is great, IMHO. A great opportunity to indulge in some whimsy.Everyone asks if we are going to take our daughter trick-or-treating. Well, she is under a year old. So, she doesn’t get it. I think we’d just look like two adults using a cute baby to score candy.

  19. We have been decorating for Halloween at home and are having a good time with it. We have spiders and webs and a carved pumpkin with fake rats peeking out of holes (mouse house!).Last year, at 2, he refused a costume but did want his face painted like a lion. This year he had a definite, nonnegotiable idea for his costume which thankfully was in stock at the big box store. We are going trick or treating with his best friend and parents in their neighborhood. We did a test run at a fall festival and it was a lot of fun.
    His daycare is having a halloween costume parade on Friday and I’m letting him take it with him.
    No allergies or intolerances and candy is just everywhere these days. I’m not going to stress about until until we get through all the holidays. Just adding in some extra teeth brushing and bike rides.

  20. No offense to the environmentally minded among us but I will give up real live candles when I am committed to a nursing home with rules. But I will go for soy (and can’t handle scented in any case), so thanks for the tip there. :)For Hallowe’en – ohhhh I like this holiday fine. What I actually like most about it is seeing my neighbours up close and personal for a change. It’s fun going around.
    Our school does Trunk or Treat (Fri) and I’m dressing as a pregnant fairy for it. However they’re also doing a party Thurs which I think is overkill. They might be doing it for the nursing home next door though, which I think is nice. Still – that’s _three_ costume days.
    So far I’m blessed with a child who thinks he wants to eat everything in his bag, eats two things, and proceeds to mostly ignore the rest. I threw out the last of the Easter candy last month and we have a jar of loot bag entrails. I don’t mind candy in moderation. Gum, however, gets pitched out.
    My son is going as Iron Man, off the rack, if he sticks to the plan. If so this will be first year that we haven’t thrown together an alternative costume on the morning of the school party. (Last year Darth Vader turned into a fireman – raincoat, boots, hat; the year before a PENGUIN, which I had to really search for, turned into a cat. This is why I do not lovingly create homemade costumes.)

  21. As an adult, I sewed gossamer wings on the back of my wedding dress (which was more of a ball gown…no train) and got a little crown and a wand, and I go as a fairy princess. Even before I had kids, I used to dress up to pass out the candy. The little girls would try to pet my dress and tell me how pretty it was. The moms would ask me if I was wearing my wedding dress (freecycling!).It was really nice when we lived in Ohio and trick-or-treating was on the Sunday before Halloween from 3-5pm. It was still just barely light out, everyone was home, the hay wagon would drive the streets and kids around (though I lived in a very residential neighborhood). It was like a neighborly parade.

  22. I have to work really hard to like Halloween. Probably there’s some deep scarring in my youth that explains my antipathy but I haven’t bothered to figure it out.I judge and scowl at the store-bought costumes but hate people who can make and sew super-awesome homemade ones. I grew up with “wear your rain jacket and carry this net – you’re a fisherman” and like the low-effort success but find it difficult to pull off for my small people. This year T has big plans to be a chicken and my sister sent me photos of a boy dressed as a goldfish that I plan to copy for the son. I will be cranky every moment I work on these, but will secretly covet praise and admiration for being creative. Seriously, probably therapy would help.
    The one thing I do to redeem the “holiday” is serve hot apple cider at the door to all the grown-ups. I get paper cups from the local coffee shop and keep it hot in the crock-pot at the front door. Meeting and greeting with the neighbours makes me less surly to their oh-so-successfully-costumed offspring.
    Again, maybe therapy required.

  23. ACJ, we have both store-bought and homemade costumes this year. I suspect the one I’m making will not approach anything resembling “super awesome.” I am shooting for “not completely humiliating to the wearer,” as in “What are you supposed to be?”My kids’ school has a Halloween parade around the neighborhood, so they get to wear their costumes twice. The youngest suggested that he could have two costumes, one for school and one for trick-or-treating. He’ll need two mommies for that one, because the original issue one isn’t going for it.

  24. In case I came off as judgmental about store-bought costumes, I do want to say that I totally get it. My husband and I both work full time and trying to find the time to throw together a “home-made” costume is a lot of work. Not to mention the fickle-minded child who may change his mind after all that hard work. Still, I guess I like to torture myself because for as long as I have any control, I refuse to purchase a costume of the rack. Maybe I feel like I’m selling out, but I do get it. My life would be so much easier if I did that. And I’m certainly not saving any money doing it myself. Last year, we made a no sew octopus costume (super cute), but ended up spending more money on all the materials than if I just got something from Old Navy. Probably too late for this year, but here is a great resource for pretty easy no-sew costumes: http://familyfun.go.com/halloween/halloween-kids-costumes/I have similar opinions about birthday parties, which is a topic for another time. But I’ll say that last year for my December child’s fourth birthday, we hosted a kid party with a camping theme. Because our house is so small, we had to limit it to four kids (and their moms). We probably spent under $50 for the whole thing, but it was a lot of work and chaos. This year, like the rest of the people in my town, we’re splurging on a party at a gymnastics place and spending a gasping $225+. I can’t stand that this is the norm now – at least for winter babies, where we live.

  25. @SarcastiCarrie – I love the idea of adding wings to the wedding gown! I am going to have to try it, except I’ll also have to figure out how to get away with not zipping it up…I also love actually seeing and talking to neighbors and dress up to hand out candy. In my parents’ neighborhood, the adults trick or treat for beer or wine while taking the kids are getting candy. They all are friendly with each other so it’s a funny thing they’ve been doing.

  26. I don’t think I’ll be celebrating Candletime, because frankly I LOVE Christmas and would celebrate it all year long if that were socially acceptable! I fully plan on starting my Christmas decor plan right after Halloween (ok don’t laugh, but every year I change up how I decorate my home for Christmas, and I’m quite crafty and make a lot of my own stuff. Yes storage is an issue). I have already started my Christmas shopping. Bring it on!I’ll still take the opportunity to have wine though. Does that count? 🙂
    @enu, MarkieK, I use these in my home instead of candles: http://www.scentsy.net/en-us/index.aspx You get the warm glow, the scent (and their scents are freakin amazing), but no smoke or flame.
    @mom2boy, we’re making our own Halloween decorations too. We always did this as kids in my family, made decorations and taped them up to the front window. So I’ve started that with my kids too. So far we’ve made pumpkins and ghosts out of sparkly felt, and I have supplies for pom-pom/pipecleaner spiders and sparkly felt black cats.

  27. I used to be pretty “meh” about Halloween. Some of this might be because I used to live in a neighborhood heavily populated by college kids, who used the holiday as an excuse to dress in very little clothing (the women, anyway) and to go out and get so smashed that they could barely walk. Incidentally, this behavior sort of ruined the 4th of July for me, too. I guess there was a downside to living near the beach.Also, in college, my orchestra had an annual Halloween concert and we were required to dress up and strongly encouraged to go with whatever theme the conductor picked. I was broke, and resented having to come up with a costume I could afford and could wear on stage while playing the viola.
    BUT… my 3.5 year old LOVES it. Last year she wanted to be a horse, and we still have fun playing with that costume (I bought a horse’s head that neighs and fake hooves that clop- a toy from Amazon- and pinned a white tail made from fleece onto a brown sweatshirt). This year, she saw a skeleton costume at the store while shopping for a birthday gift for her little sister, and announced that she wanted to be a skeleton. And then she saw a little skeleton sweatsuit for her sister and that was that. So my too beautiful little girls are going as skeletons. Maybe we’ll get to do something girly next year.
    I don’t have the time or skills to do much in the way of costume making, so we mostly use store bought and I don’t feel bad about that at all. This is probably related to my overall “meh” feeling about the holiday. It is interesting to read the comments from the people who wouldn’t dream of buying a store bought costume!
    This is the first year that Pumpkin really gets candy- last year, we got some, but she lost interest in trick or treating pretty quickly so we didn’t get much, and could easily dole it out one at a time. I suspect we’ll get more candy this year, particularly since Petunia will come, too, and she’s too little to eat candy. But Pumpkin has insisted that Petunia have a candy bucket, so she will. (We’re in tantrum avoidance mode right now… save the tantrums for the big things, I say.)
    They do a Halloween parade at day care at lunchtime on the Friday before Halloween, and that is honestly my favorite thing about the holiday.
    @BiteSizeTherapy- I’ll totally hand out candy to any adult who shows up at my door with a cute baby. You’ve earned it!

  28. I’m pretty excited for Hallowe’en this year – mostly because DH is going to be dressing up as a matching cartoon character to take DS out, and I can’t WAIT to get pictures of that.I’m good with store bought costumes. We like to play dress up around here so they get used over and over again. I haven’t got a creative bone in my body and my sewing skills are limited to replacing lost buttons.
    DS got to dress up on Friday last week for my work’s children’s Halloween party. He gets to do it again next Friday for his preschool Hallowe’en party, and then on Sunday. It’s fun because he LOVES his costume and he is so excited when he gets to wear it. He’s already got a bunch of candy from my work party (the kids all march around trick or treating from office to office). I stole (and ate!) all his mini-chocolate bars because chocolate makes him psychotic. He’s allowed one candy at day at snack time. He seems to be good with this so far.
    I don’t dress up.
    Candletime sounds lovely and I am totally in.

  29. Whoops, I posted my comment without actually answering the question!I’ve been known to attend the odd Halloween party, in which case I’ll dress up. Other than that, my effort is pretty limited. I’ll throw on a set of cat ears and a black top or devil horns with a red sweater for the benefit of the kids at the door, but that’s it.
    My 3 year old Rosie is excited about Halloween and is going as Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). It’s store bought… if she wanted to be something I could easily make, I’d make it, but something as elaborate as a Princess and as specific as Princess Aurora… well its worth the $20 to just buy it. My 9 month old Annie is going as a Strawberry. Also storebought, and only because I saw the costume in the store and it was so incredibly cute I couldn’t resist. It has green and white striped tights with it for crying out loud! Cutest ever!
    Last year, when Rosie was 2, she was a Ladybug. The year before she was a Chick, and the year before at 4 months old she was a pumpkin (basically an orange sleeper with a jack-o-lantern face on the chest).
    And I should mention, I live in a cold place, and the biggest challenge for kids costumes is how to fit a winter coat under there without ruining the costume. It’s snowing today so I’m expecting a chilly Halloween this year. The Aurora costume is a size to big so I can get her parka under it, and as a result I have to hem it because it’s so long. Sigh.

  30. Oh, two years ago, my wedding dress did not fit as I was 2 weeks away from giving birth, so I put three triangle-shaped pieces of duct tape on my orange maternity shirt and went as a Jack-O-Lantern.Last year, I actually wore my crown in to Urgent Care (on Halloween, of course) when Bobo was sick.

  31. The kids always dress up here and trick or treat with friends while the parents meander slowly down the street to keep up with them.We always make costumes ourselves, scrapping together materials and accessories. I’m a bit sad because this is the first year we don’t have anyone dressing up cute. Scary is the word of the year now. No more “marching band dude” or robot or baby dinosaur- instead I have a vampire and a mummy. But, my vampire will still be kissable- and has no idea that vampires are trendy/sexy right now. (a sexy vampire? horrors!)

  32. Bah, Humbug! Oh no, wrong pagan festival. They’re all pagan festivals really, Christmas, Easter, Halloween. I do enjoy the festive season but for me it doesn’t start until December.Which makes me like most of the UK.I do like Bonfire Night on November 5th and the firework displays and the toffee apples and all that. That’s Guy Fawkes. A nice autumnal knees up. It’s gone cold here as it happens this year. Better atmosphere.
    Halloween is growing in popularity for families with young children. Sweets, costumes ahhh. But the more usual Halloween fright is a sullen teenager wanting money in a Scream mask. Scares the you know what out of toddlers. Some in past years threw eggs or flour at the homes of pensioners who wouldn’t give.
    For those who partake in elementary school the parents will make sure to only knock on homes with a lit pumpkin and to stick to near the school.
    The rest of us cower inside showing no visible lights. DD is nearly three and scared stiff of skulls and carved pumpkins and Scream masks.
    My time may come,but going door to door is not likely. Where I am I see no little children trick or treating.
    More likely she will attend or I will throw a Halloween party so she and her friends can be in costume and eat cupcakes with spiders and butternut squash soup in safety.
    Some of the advice I’ve seen online here for those who don’t wanna included giving polished single pennies to teenagers or asking for a trick and chucking water on them. Big scary dogs are good too.
    This year it’s subdued as all spending is subdued from the moment the cuts that happened this week in parliament were pre-announced.
    DD is allergic to peanuts,milk and egg. And bell peppers. So realistically I had better hold the party when the time comes so I can control the cupcakes. We do the swapping treats for ” better” treats like Caramama does also.
    I suffered terrible ghosting due to a passion for a certain New England Scented Candle brand that does those cute jars and all the fragrances. Imported. Loved them.
    Nothing paranormal but soot went all over and needed cleaning off before repainting. That was hard work. And scary! If that’s the ceiling imagine one’s lungs.
    So I burn beeswax candles or plain plant wax dinner candles but I have discovered an imported brand of scented soy candle. I burn that now, but only for a short period of time. We have a candle with dinner from September to May until evenings get light. No sign of ghosting.
    Happy Halloween across the big pond!

  33. Sorry for the second post but it now looks like London Fire Brigade will strike from November 5-7 when bonfire nights and fireworks are held.Now that’s a scary thought. Interesting times.

  34. I always stressed out about it growing up. Had some really terrible costumes – great ideas but the costumes didn’t pan out.Now I’m enjoying it. Last year the little one (not quite 3 at that point) dressed up as Snow White (cheap store-bought costume from my MIL which is the sort of thing I always wanted as a kid and never got), we wandered all over the neighbourhood chatting with folks. We insisted she say “Thank You” at the very least, and once we threatened to go straight home she even started throwing in “Trick or Treat” and “Happy Halloween”. She’s gotten heaps of use out of the costume for dress-up.
    Morning-after Hallowe’en we let her go totally nuts with the candy. Poured it all out on the table along with breakfast (she’s strange, ate all of her breakfast in between bites of candy), and then put it away and let her have one piece a day as her “treat” (she’s allowed one treat a day – cookie, candy, ice cream – whenever she wants it) and that worked out nicely. I was really worried about it ahead of time, but the one piece a day rule, and having it replace any other sweets she would have been eating worked out beautifully.

  35. We love Halloween and have had the house decorated for a month already. Husband and I try to go to an adult Halloween party, but could not make it this year. Both kids love Halloween and pick their costumes for the next year right after Halloween is over and everything is clearanced. This year my daughter (age 7) is going to be a witch and my son (age 4) is going to be James the train from Thomas and Friends. We allow Halloween candy to stick around for about a week. Then both kids get to pick about 25 pieces and the rest gets left out for The Great Pumpkin. The Great Pumpkin takes the candy and leaves each child a small gift (usually a new book). They are already speculating what The Great Pumpkin will bring them this year. 🙂

  36. I like the kid version of Halloween (dress up, get candy, pumpkins, farms, cider) I HATE the adult version where every costume is sexy and there are constantly terrifying commercials for horrible horror movies on TV an billboards. So I’ve liked doing it with my kids, though we buy or borrow costumes (sorry, but with 3 kids 4 and under and too much else on my plate already I simply do not have the time for even no-sew options).I adore the Candletime holiday. I even posted about it on facebook. I have high spot where I burn a candle on a regular basis, but wanted to toss out there that if you need a good place for a candle you might want to try your range top. In theory, the kids should already not be able to read up there since there’s open flames there on a regular basis, so it would be a great spot for a well-supervised candle. 🙂

  37. This year my 3.5 y.o. son is REALLY into Halloween (probably in no small part to all the decorations and preparations they’ve been making at preschool). As an adult (before kids) I was “meh” on Halloween, but it’s really fun experiencing it with him. We simply had to have the fake spider-web stuff on our shrubs and trees and my son picked a couple of other outdoor decorations to hang up. We’ve also been making a ton of decorations as he is really into scissors, paper and glue right now. I downloaded some stencils from the internet and we’ve been cutting out bats, skulls, pumpkins and spiders for two weeks. It’s actually been really fun because my son is so into it. Of course, carving pumpkins is the ultimate activity– he cleans out the guts, specifies the design (“lets make a really scary pirate face!”) and I or his Dad cut it out. I am not especially talented craft-wise, but I considered it high praise when my son said “MOMMY! That punkin’ is sooo pretty and sooo scary!” :-DMy son’s preschool sets a theme for Halloween (to avoid a room full of princesses and spidermen). Last year it was “barnyard” (overalls, wellies, tractor cap, plaid shirt– done). This year the theme is “ghost house”. I’m 7.5 months pregnant and am preparing to present my dissertation prospectus for approval on November 12th– in other words, store bought costume this year! He picked out a bat costume on-line and has been playing with it since it arrived.
    I like Moxie’s approach to candy a lot. Seems like a good way to take the candy off the pedestal. Our approach with candy in the past has been two fold: on the first day (Easter, Halloween, whatever) he’s allowed to eat pretty much as much as he wants (which is usually less than I think it will be); thereafter, he can pick a piece of candy out of the stash to eat after dinner (if we’re having dessert, then it’s either a piece of candy or dessert; if we’re just having fruit after dinner (our norm) he can have both his fruit and his candy). Though generally follow the division of responsibility approach and try not to make a big deal out of “forbidden foods”, I really don’t have a problem rationing candy in this way– and FWIW, my son seems to have a healthy attitude toward it (i.e. he likes candy but doesn’t constantly beg for it or binge on it when given the opportunity).
    I *love* candle time. It’s just a great, soothing winter ritual. Personally, I plan to keep it up all winter. As for open flames, alternatives are the little Turkish lanterns you can get at IKEA, candles high up on sconces (far from little hands) or in stable, out of the way hurricanes, and, obviously, only burning candles in the room you’ll be in most of the time (easy in our small apartment). Our little guy loves candles but is well versed in candle safety and we haven’t really had any problems (though of course we take basic precautions).

  38. we (the adults) have always liked Halloween & we live near a college town w/a huge celebration. we don’t participate in that any more as it’s too huge, but have taken the boy out since he was teeny around our neighborhood. we traded out his candy overnight for Halloween stickers (left by gnomes who stole the candy..am questioning getting the gnomes involved, but oh well.)I’m not sure we’re going to do the gnomes again…he’s 5 now and I’m trying to figure out how to let him learn his limits. I am sort of bingey re: sugar, and candy’s not a part of our lives. and we recently have been discussing this to death, as his kindy teacher has occasionally rewarded the class for good behavior w/candy corn or some such, but gave him a sticker instead as she wasn’t sure if he was allowed (we’re the crunchier parents in the school & he has a cows milk intolerance which totally throws them!) so he feels excluded. he also has sealants on his molars as there are cavities starting and can’t have anything like Dots or gummy anything. so that’s all annoying.
    now, the fun is, he’s going as Zeus for Halloween! I was obsessed with mythology from 4th grade on, and we recently had the library book, _Z is for Zeus_ which he loved! Lightning bolt is complete, shield w/Medusa’s head half done. toga (sheet w/Greek key edging in fabric paint, totally messy) belt is some gold cording. trying to figure out how to do white hair & beard. I never realized I loved crafty stuff so much, it’s nice to get in touch w/my artsy side. I’ll be wearing fairy wings made from coat hangers, tights, electrical tape & glitter.
    my favorite costume as a kid was when I wore my late uncle’s sailor uniform in 8th grade, white canvas bell bottom pants, top w/the flap on the back, complete w/sailor hat! my default costume for years was a gypsy as I usu. had lots of bangles & necklaces and usually had a gauzy skirt & scarves.

  39. I’m kind of meh on Halloween, for a number of reasons. First off, my mother always hated it, for her own very personal and understandable reasons—her mother died when she had just turned 3 (it’s her birthday today, as a matter of fact—happy birthday Mom!) and so her first memories are all tangled up with her mother’s death and Halloween. So it’s never been a happy time for her, she was never into it. Then, I grew up in a rural area and there just wasn’t a big trick-or-treating culture that I remember. So it was never a big deal in my family. But for my husband, growing up in an area with a HUGE culture of trick-or-treating, it’s a big deal. He’s really into it. That’s cool and all, but, frankly, he can be kind of despotic about it. For example, costumes have to scary. It’s Samhain after all, is his take on it. He’s really judgmental about people who don’t buy into the scary thing. So (deep sigh) this even extends to our daughters, Eldest, who wants to be Dorothy and Younger who wants to be a lion. I just feel like, you know, if someone wants to dress up as a fairy or a fireman why the hell do you get so annoyed like they’re all lame or something? They’re not you. That’s not a crime. Can you hear the annoyance in my voice? Also, this year, as part of my personal initiative to be less controlling I’ve said he can take Halloween—he’s the one who loves it so much. I’m not sure he realizes yet that monkey helpers don’t drop those costumes off Halloween morning. We’ll see how this plays out.As for the candy, I really like our system. They can choose 20 pieces of candy. The rest goes to my work and I put it in a big bowl and it goes away. In exchange for relinquishing the candy, we go and let them pick out a little gift for themselves. Also, since it’s just 20 pieces, I can give them total ownership of it—if they want to sit down and eat it all, fine. If they want to dole it out one day at a time, that’s good, too.

  40. @Rudyinparis,”I’m not sure he realizes yet that monkey helpers don’t drop those costumes off Halloween morning.”
    Bwahahaha! Not sure if the Wizard Of Oz nod was intended in that sentence, but maybe your husband could be a flying monkey to get the scary in.
    My DH would totally love trick-or-treating with a Dorothy and a lion. His pseudonym on the interwebs is ‘tinman’…you know…’If I Only Had a Heart’ and all that (he has a heart transplant). OK, perhaps that humor is a bit twisted, but you know, we have to find a bit of humor somewhere… 🙂 I even found a tinman hat online that I’ve been meaning to get him. Perhaps next Hallowe’en?

  41. @Rudyinparis- good luck with your push to let go of Halloween. I did that with swim lessons this summer. And we didn’t do swim lessons. Bah. I’m pretty sure that I will cave and schedule swim lessons next summer.So I guess your husband would approve of our costumes this year (skeletons), but not last year (horse and… um, a baby in a sleeper with pumpkins on it). The previous year is less clear. Pumpkin was a bee on year. Bees are scary if you’re allergic, right?
    Actually, people have phobias about lots of things. Maybe my little horse struck fear in the heart of a horse-phobe somewhere. You could argue that your little princess is scary to people who hate Disney princesses. Etc.
    Sorry. Does it make it better or worse that I’m equally “so what?” about religious holidays?

  42. And the Lady Gaga Meat Dress Halloween costume is frighening to many people on many different levels.And Dorothy was super-scary to the witch on whom she landed. And the witch on whom she threw water.
    (FYI: Letting your husband take charge of something and then it not happening….I did that once and really was hoping it wouldn’t happen and then he got a stroke of inspirition, and it happened. Now my kids have been baptized. But they still wouldn’t have new shoes, hair cuts, or swimming lessons.)

  43. I’m a Halloween baby so it would be an understatement to say it is my favorite holiday – get to dressed up and everyone gives me candy on my B-Day? Bring it on! Now that I’ve got a 5 year-old the tone of of Halloween parties has become more kid-centric (we had a pumpkin carving wine tasting party one year – now we do more pumpkin carving and a little less wine drinking) but I’m big into theme dress-up and since my son is also big into Star Wars that is what we’ll be doing.We’ve moved back to the neighborhood where I grew up that is a bit rural so trick-or-treating with the little guy has been a challenge (although last year was our first with him). We were lucky in that his school had a trunk-in-treat with all the kids and families that was a lot of fun (and had a nice mix of store-brought and homemade treats). This year we’ll be camping with a bunch of friends and celebrating with pumpkin carving, decorated tents, and trick-or-treating from tent to tent. I’m getting very excited.

  44. On the homemade vs. store-bought costume issue. There is a woman in my neighborhood who runs a puppet show who had a costume-making party. You paid $5 and brought the bones of your costume (box, sweatshirt, whatever), and she helped you put together a costume. I thought this was GENIUS and I strongly encourage anyone in a similar situation to do something similar. Since she is always making puppets, she had a bunch of paint and glitter and little things to glue on. If I’d tried to do something by myself it would have been an unbearable pain and not looked particularly good, but now my son has a clearly homemade but adorable fire truck costume.

  45. I cast my vote for store-bought costumes. I am so grateful that by the time I had a child, they actually started selling decent costumes in stores, as opposed to the plastic smock-based costumes sold in my youth. I am not a sewer, nor am I crafty or clever. And in my opinion, it is cheaper to just buy a pre-packaged costume than it is to run around to 57 different stores buying bits and pieces to make your own costume.My kid is going to be a Ghostbuster. Nothing like a reference to a 25-year-old movie. But my husband started playing the new Ghostbusters video game with him, and so he insisted on being a Ghostbuster. Of course the smallest Ghostbuster costume they sold was a youth small, and my kid is only 3, so we had to have it shortened (again, I cannot sew).

  46. I have a love/hate relationship w/ Halloween. I love the fun and frivolity of dressing up, etc. and I’ve always wanted to go to an adult Halloween party w/ fun creative costumes, etc. My daughter’s costumes are always cute but I have no talent for sewing, so I buy them. (she’s a lady bug this year. she’s been Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and a pumpkin). I finally got an invite to an adult party, so my husband and I are going as Gibbs and Abby from NCIS. I’m psyched.I HATE the commercials on the TV w/ all the scary ads for the theme park scare-events, the horror movies that flood theaters, etc. I don’t like the creepy, gorey costumes and the stores that cover themselves in spider webs that have spiders that jump out at you. If it was all about the kiddies dressing as something fun and cute, I’d be very into Halloween. As it is, I’m a little apathetic.
    I’m going to try and participate in Candletime this year. Looking forward to it.

  47. Growing up, my mom always hated Halloween. I remember going trick or treating as a young child, but starting when I was 10 or 11, my mom would turn out all the lights, and we’d hide inside our house. Once the hiding tradition started, she surprised us Halloween morning with a bucket of candy on the bed so we didn’t feel like we missed out on trick or treating.My best Halloween costume growing up was a homemade scarecrow–my mom’s jeans tied at the waist with rope, one of her plaid shirts, and real hay sticking out around my ankles and wrists. I also had a broomstick through my shirt to support my arms (had to go through doorways sideways). I won the costume contest at the school carnival that year, but my arms were really tired by the end of the night.
    I really don’t care that much about Halloween, but we have fun going to the pumpkin patch as a family. And my daughter (3.75 years) loves all the costumes, decorations, etc. She’s going to be Ariel this year (store bought). My son (4 months) could obviously care less at this point. I’m unsure yet whether he’ll be dressing up.
    Last year (at 2.75), my daughter had really never had candy before and forgot she had even gotten it within a day. This year she’ll definitely remember, so I’ll have to figure out what to do. I like the one piece a day approach, I think.

  48. My daughter’s new school is having a party on Friday afternoon. It’s a semi-rural school in a Mennonite area and there is more going on with H’ween than in her old public school! She’s loving it. Moms are coming to help the kids change into costumes for a parade prior to the party, and then they’re feasting in class and decorating a gourd. Our contribution will be some very elaborate goodie bags we filled together; some other parents contributed as well. She’s into it, her father likes to play, and I’m the boring person who will pass out candy. That’s okay; it’s the perfect job for me.I like the idea of Candletime; we’ve been having candles at dinner on Sunday nights for the last couple of weeks. Maybe it’s time for a new ritual! Kids love rituals.

  49. We carve pumpkins, and our neighborhood throws a pre-trick-or-treat potluck and then the kids (mostly quite little) go as a group along with some adults (others, obviously, go home to hand the candy out). It’s fun, not highly organized but works out well for our small group. I do hope, though, that it won’t persist (in current form) to the age where I figure the kids should be allowed to head out on their own around the neighborhood, say 8.I’ll get into homemade costumes when our son is old enough to pick what he wants to be and think through (with help) how to make the costume. Until then, it’s store-bought for us.
    Last year he was too scared to trick-or-treat but did (sort of timidly) enjoy helping with handing out candies. This year, we’ll see.

  50. PS…DD is not a huge candy person. She likes her treats crunchy and salty. She’s always been happy for us to take most of it in to work with us.

  51. My opinion is:We live in Australia and we don’t do Halloween.
    I see Halloween as an exclusively American holiday, and if I get people knocking on my door for lollies I will tell them to go home.
    Unfortunately, the shops here jump onto anything that helps them sell, so there are displays everywhere advertising Halloween.

  52. I love Halloween. Lovelovelove. All the spooky and all the cute parts. Our neighborhood, starting two blocks down, is very into trick-or-treating. The weather is mild, so the adults have parties on the patios and wait for the kids to arrive. One neighbor walked home with us the other day and quizzed my kids on their costumes. He makes a point to talk to every kid on Halloween night and there’s a line down the sidewalk to his house (he also invited me for a glass of wine while we wait…I love him, too).I do homemade costumes which is a pressure I put on myself. I have one sheep and one “sheep-eating greyhound” this year.

  53. My daughter (3 1/2) is likely going to be a princess, she just hasn’t decided which one! We have this huge warm Elmo costume that she was thinking of wearing but it may be too warm here now to don that.As for the candy, she gets to eat a piece a day for a couple of days. Then on a set date, the “Halloween Fairy” comes at night, takes the rest of her candy and leaves a small gift in its place. Last year was the first year we did this and it was a great success. This year TS3 comes out on DVD a couple of days after Halloween so my daughter is already “hoping” that the fairy will leave her that.
    Then the candy gets recycled to one of our workplaces. Win-win!

  54. i love halloween. loved it as a child, a college student (i was st pauli girl one year), & now. of course, the toddler couldn’t care less. oh, well, maybe next year.as a child, mama took our candy after a couple of days & put it in a tupperware. then we could have a piece whenever we asked for it. out of sight, but still in our control. that was what she did with all holiday candy, so there was always some in there – like a cookie jar.

  55. I love Halloween so much I got married on it! Which, in hindsight, was probably not the greatest idea since as Lil gets older, we spend more Halloween energy on her activities than on our anniversary. I still love having that connection, though.Also, casting my vote for the store bought costumes, and like a previous commentator, I’m so grateful that they make decent ones now–I had to wear the terrible plastic ones with the face mask when I was small, and HATED them. I don’t sew and am not crafty at all, so this works for us.
    Lil is going to be Princess Cinderella, and is very excited. We’ve only been in our new neighborhood for a couple of years, and we did Halloween in our home state last year, so this is the first year we’ll Trick or Treat locally.
    I don’t mind the scary elements of Halloween, but with a pretty sensitive 5 year old, I wish that people’s house decorations wouldn’t be quite so gory. Even *I’ve* been spooked by realistic hanging figures, devils that scream at passersby, etc.
    With candy, we let her have a few pieces when she gets home, and then the rest gets parceled out until all the “good candy” is gone. Then we keep the rest in a candy jar for visitors or us when we get a sweet tooth.

  56. @the Milliner: I love the Tin Man! Have you read the Wizard of Oz book? He is a romantic, through and through.@Cloud: this makes me think we should start a FB group like the one “Sh*t my kids ruined” called “Sh*t that didn’t get done because I gave ownership to my husband.” So: swim lessons. Halloween costumes. And, frightenly for me: car insurance payments. That’s a mistake you only make once.
    By the way, I LOVE reading people’s happy Halloween stories, like Christine’s.

  57. I loved Halloween as a kid but as an adult its just one more hassle at crunch time at work (I teach college). Her birthday is the week after as well and I seem to have married into a ‘party’ family (mine was not). this is a real problem for me b/c I do not organize parties well. I don’t even GO to parties well.anyhow, My daughter loves to dress up and last year managed to wear multiple costumes–one at school, a different one at dance class and then yet another different one for actual trick-or-treat.
    In school this year (Kindergarten) they are asking the kids to dress up as an descriptive word. My daughter chose pink. Which is relatively easy b/c boy, do we have a lot of pink $hit. But for Halloween itself she’s decided she wants to be a witch cat. Or maybe it was a princess witch cat? I love to sew but i won’t waste time any longer sewing anything fancy b/c she just changes her mind!
    luckily the toddler doesn’t care and will probably wear whatever we have around.
    and for candletime…–well, I’m all about it but my husband is a freak about fire and (in conjunction with a school unit on fire safety) has infected our daughter. sigh.

  58. I love Halloween! I love candy and so does dd1 (age: 2.5)! This year, dd2 (6 mos) is going to wear one of dd1’s old costumes & be a ninja assassin. DD1 is going to be a dinosaur. Hells yes, I bought dd1’s costume at a resale shop. Why would I bother to make a costume when I can buy a perfectly good used one for only six dollars? It’s from Children’s Place, all soft and plush & whatnot. The mark-down on costumes is insane. My mom sewed all of my costumes when I was growing up. I loved that I could pick out whatever I wanted to be, but it’s so much easier to just buy one. When my kids get older, I will let them pick their own out from resale.We do take our babies trick or treating, but so far we have only done our block. DD1 was the 6-mo-old baby eating her first lollipop & dd2 will follow suit this year 😀 DD1 eats candy every day anyway so extra treats for holidays do not phase me.
    We are a Waldorf-inspired family, so we already do light a candle and sing a song at our mealtimes (calling the fire fairies). DD1 blows out the candle at the end of our meal. This is what we do at our Waldorf parent/child class every week, too (candles lit at snack time). Beeswax candles also burn v nicely & they naturally smell nice, too.

  59. My biggest Halloween blessing is that my son forgets about the candy the next day. I am a recovering chocaholic and I am glad he doesnt have that addiction.I am sure more will be revealed as time goes on, for now, I am focusing on next years costume, I am going shopping on November 1!
    http://www.gaynycdad.com

  60. late to the convo…we are totally on board with candletime! though i lovelovelove xmas, i have always been a big defender of the thanksgiving season. i will be a christmas-carol-singing, cookie-making fool but not a DAY before thanksgiving has it’s due.
    i ran out and bought those LED pillars right away. the second my 3.5yo son saw them he wanted to light them. so candletime started in our home a few days ago.
    so, here’s our twist: before we light each one, we think of something we’re thankful for. nothing deep, could be as simple as “mama let me eat a lollipop.” but we take time to think of the good we have and the things we enjoy. then our son gets to “light” them.
    btw- i also love and own real candles but am very unlikely to use them. a dear friend is a fire chief and arson investigator. he’s told me all i need to know about candles. LEDs for us.

  61. If I go through the normal processes, like listening to music or relaxing, then I’ll just read more if those things don’t work. That’s the best thing: keep reading. Another thing that helps is exercise or playing sports. I get a lot of ideas while running, definitely.

  62. Opps, he failed to mietnon how Bush put housing deregulation on steroid to finally crash the economy. Oh wiat isn’t Barney Frank’s fault? Lol! I haven’t heard anyone mietnon a key change in the law that took place around 2001/2002: it was made legal to take out a mortgage using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), instead of the previously required Social Security number. This opened up the sub prime mortgage mess to illegal aliens and contributed to the explosion of minority homeownership that ended so badly.Reply

  63. My nephew (3) loves to play dress up with his big ssiter but was getting a bit tired of being a princess. I got him this pirate costume for Christmas. He loved it and entertained us greatly on Christmas Day. An eye patch would have been a nice addition though. What’s a pirate without an eye patch? Oh yeah, Johnny Depp. Only downfall to the purchase is that I thought the shipping cost was quite high.

  64. I might try Target. She might actually be 3-6 mhonts size by then anyway. My son was in a size 6-9 mhonts by 3 mhonts. No fooling! I was only ever able to use 0-3 month size for my babies for the first 6 weeks or so. My twins were around 5 mhonts on Halloween and I had some little one piece zip up tiger and cheetah costumes for them in 3-6 mhonts and they were a tad too snug for them.

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