Nothing says fall is in the air like hitting the local Halloween store on opening day to make sure you get the costume your kid(s) want and praying to every deity possible that they don't change their mind before the end of October. I was definitely there on day one to make sure I got a Black Panther outfit for my guy since that is the current fandom in our house. The other night I let him try it on to make sure it was the right size, and the smile on his face was enough to melt me beyond reason. Now I just have to argue with him for the rest of the month about when the holiday actually is since he wakes up each morning telling me that "today is Halloween."
The beginning of October is also the launch of the new Teal Pumpkin Project map. Teal Pumpkin is a movement to make trick-or-treating safe for kids with food sensitivities and allergies. Teal Pumpkin is managed by a group called Food Allergy Research & Education or FARE for short. This year will by my home's 4th time to participate in the effort, and we are usually the only house in our city listed on the map. If you are interested in the Teal Pumpkin Project, check out their site here.
Each year we have come up with a theme for our home and decorate our pop-up tent accordingly. We invite friends to come participate with us, and then the fun begins. We don't hand out candy, but we are by no means those weirdos who give out toothbrushes or raisins. I order in silly toys, bracelets, noise makers, and anything else that looks like fun to me to give to the costumed kiddos who come by our house.
You might think we would hear complaints, but it has yet to happen. Instead we hear kids walking away excited about the
toy or listen to toots and whistles from noise makers as they make their way around the neighborhood. Most memorable was a family that came by on our first Teal Pumpkin night. I think they had a couple trick-or-treaters and then they had a very elaborately dressed peacock in a stroller. The older kids came up and got their goodies, but the parent and stroller stayed back. I asked if they wanted to come over and the parent smiled and said the peacock was too young for candy. I told them that was fine because we didn’t have any, I walked over and put a bracelet on the little wrist and was rewarded with a huge smile.
I have a number of friends with kids who have food allergies or sensitivities, and I have friends who just don’t want their kids to have candy. My home is a place they can visit and get a goodie without risk to their health, but still get to be a part of the fun of the night. My son loves to go to houses and bring home way more candy than he needs, which I will happily help consume, but he will also spend a lot of his time helping to pass out treats to those visiting us. Have a safe and happy Halloween season everyone.