“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
Truly. It’s a quote from “Anne of Green Gables,” and you’ll see it adorning every farmhouse sign at Hobby Lobby, but I think it resonates with people because it’s just so true.
While nature starts the beautiful process of dying away, people around us seem to bustle with life and activity. School is in full swing. Sporting events and festivals abound. Parties are planned. Everything feels abuzz with excitement.
Somehow when the calendar starts moving towards Oct. 1, I become 7 years old again. I cannot get pumpkins on my porch fast enough. I break out all the spooky decorations. I let the kids run wild with Halloween costume ideas because there is something so pure and so fleeting about the delight of wearing a costume around the neighborhood for a night.
So, if you find yourself a little short on enthusiasm for the year’s greatest month, here are some ideas for making it the best one yet from a bona-fide October enthusiast.
You don’t have to overcomplicate it to make some beautiful family memories.
HOST A SPOOKY MOVIE NIGHT
If scary isn’t your thing, turn on a classic like “Spookly the Square Pumpkin.” Buy the cheap, fall-themed pjs, pop the popcorn, serve up some fall cookies and get those highly coveted snuggles.
DECORATE THE HOUSE
Take the kids to Dollar Tree and let them buy all the things — window clings, fake spider webs, etc., and then let them unleash their imaginations on some designated spot in your home. Maybe it’s a playroom or their bedroom. Maybe you’re really brave, and it’s your front porch.
DRESS UP IN FAMILY COSTUMES
Come on, you can do it! Let them add you to the costume plans, and see their joy explode through the roof.
PACK UP THE CAR AND LOOK FOR HALLOWEEN LIGHTS
We love going to the Thriller Night of Lights at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile each year. It’s a super fun and easy way to make a great memory. Throw the kids in the car, get something quick to eat on the drive over and enjoy a fun, not-that-scary light show for kids of all ages.
BOO YOUR NEIGHBOR OR FRIENDS
If you weren’t into the idea of letting the kids buy decorations, let them buy all the cheap fall goodies and toss them in a treat bag. Then, dress them in all black so they feel extra stealth, and then let them ring the doorbell of a neighbor or friend, leave a Halloween bag and run away like they’ve pulled off the greatest heist in history. Our kids beg to do this every year, and my husband and I usually spend most of the time laughing until we cry watching them trip and fall all the way back to the car.
GO TO A LOCAL FALL FESTIVAL OR PUMPKIN PATCH
We have lots of fun fall activities around the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, I can be hesitant to go because we’re already so busy, but go anyway. You won’t regret going to a local Pumpkin Patch or Fall Festival!
CREATE FALL BUCKET LIST
Carve a pumpkin, make a pie, drink an apple cider, bob for apples, go on a hayride, read fall books, make s’mores. If you’re a fellow fall enthusiast, you’re with me here. Do. It. All. And if you’re not, pick one or two off the list and enjoy.
I don’t usually accomplish my entire fall bucket list, and that’s ok. The point is not to overwhelm your family. There is just something so innocent about the joy of our children around holidays. They will grow up, and life will get more and more complicated.
But for a few glorious years, a pair of skeleton pjs and a bowl of popcorn is enough to make them over the moon with excitement. Cherish and celebrate it.