Trick or treat?

22Oct2013

The CRUNCH:
Trick or treat?

CRUNCH deets:
You’re still stuffed from the turkey glutton-fest, but you can smell the sugar crash lurking around that cobwebby corner. Your house looks more sad than scary, you bought costumes months ago but your pumpkins have changed their minds, and you’ve already eaten so much of the candy it’s time for another store-run. Boo.

The Fix:
Don’t get tricked.

Fix deets:
We finally got our H-day decorations up – finally! I felt an incredible sense of relief, because I was starting to feel like we were about to miss the party, but then I noticed the calendar. Halloween is still NINE days away. So, what was the big kerfuffle all about? Oh, right, marketing. The campaigns that insist we NEED school supplies in July and start selling Halloween back in August. August, peeps. Those same campaigns that stock stockings and deploy dreidels pre-Thanksgiving. Yup, I saw it. It was a sad day.

I’m not a fan of sad/sneaky/manipulative marketing strategies… duh. Here’s what we’re doing this year to minimize our fear of the credit card bill but still fun it up:

  • Not buying costumes. Sure, Grievous was awesome, and SuperWhy has been a superstar at more than a handful of parties. But they weren’t cheap and with our overflowing dress-up bin, we decided to fuggedabout newbies this year. Lola will be a butterfly, thanks to my sis and her daughters. Jack wants to be a firefighter – easy peasy. Know any families sans fire chief gear? Us neither. We already own an official suit from a few years back (thanks Nona!) but could easily have pieced it together by spreading the word through the great mama network. Alex wants to be Iron Man (shocking!) Iron Manand we were tempted to buy one of those hilarious muscled suits, but HE refused because he wants to make his own. Awesome, except his creation would fall apart the second he walks out the door. And I have a fear of him being laughed at… projecting much? So we borrowed an IM missile shooter and mask from friends (thanks Irene and Will!), bought a red hoodie and comfy pants he can wear until he wears them out, and plan to drape/pin gold fabric from waaaaaaaay back in my bridesmaiding days. He’ll also bulk up courtesy of his hockey gear and we’ll double-sided tape on a round flashlight arc-reactor we already own. Booyah store-bought Tony Stark!
  • Crafting most of the décor. We’ve got plenty of egg-carton/yoghurt container/pie plate ghosts and pumpkins courtesy of our recycling bin. And it’s not a huge time sink because it’s totally unstructured: they use whatever supplies they want and get to work while I’m making dinner. It’s a little random and uncoordinated, but if it amps up their creativity and self-esteem while dialing down their hunger/boredom bickering, who cares?
  • Living in reality. In the past I ALWAYS overestimate the candy out of fear we’ll run out (because what if fifty kids suddenly move into the hood?!), and we ALWAYS pre-binge and then give out Daddy-sized handfuls so we won’t have to eat the rest. This year I’m buying ONE box, plenty for the forty or less trick-or-treaters we get and we’ll still have leftovers. And that will be terrible.
  • Low-key pumpkin fun. Sure, we love the orange guys. But we resist the (incredible!) temptation Pumpkinfor our own porch pumpkin patch by buying only one to design/carve/love. Okay, maybe two – we are suckers for symmetry! Our goblins also love the “toddler” painted pumpkins, but they prefer buying el-cheapo pie “babies” and markering/stickering on their own happy/angry/scary faces.

We might splurge on something deeply-discounted in November, but only if it’s small. One upside to living in a “cozy” home with no storage space: nowhere to keep an inflatable gargoyle the rest of the year, no matter how “so cool” they are. But a ghost-light-garland that fits in a shoebox? Perfect!

Remember this:
Big biz makes their moolah by TARGETing our emotions and our wallets. Buying in and buying early often means buying unnecessarily. Making do with whatcha got often means saving money while still making awesome memories. So you’ll have nothing to be afraid of. Except maybe…

Kid General Grievous

Email us or leave a comment below if you have anything to add or ask!

PS: I haven’t forgotten. The lucky winner of the Amazon Indoor Plaground pass is… Angela! Congrats Angela and thanks to everyone who entered! Keep watching for another giveaway coming soon.

PPS: I’m organizing a coffee chat on Saturday, November 9th for those of us who have suffered from pregnancy loss to lean on each other. Contact me for deets. Don’t be shy.

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