Consider keeping the Halloween costume packed away till October 31

I just read the Being Savvy post It’s Halloween tomorrow! Or, Tired of Halloween Yet? and it got me to thinking: isn’t it sad that many of us are Halloweened-out, and it’s not even Halloween yet? (Don’t even get me started on Christmas — I’m already seeing fake trees dotting local stores. Prepare for the holiday deluge on November 1.)

We just got a note from my son’s school informing us that Halloween costumes aren’t allowed at school tomorrow. They listed a number of reasons, many of which seemed ridiculously politically correct in nature, and my first response was “Oh, c’mon. It’s Halloween. What’s the big deal?” But then I started appreciating the unintended consequence of the school dress policy: my son’s costume will be all the more special when he dons it for trick-or-treating tomorrow night. The anticipation around here is delicious. No before-Halloween parties to attend, no school costume parades, no family photo opps. Just getting dressed up tomorrow, relishing the reflection in the mirror, posing for some snapshots, then heading out into the night. Beautiful. Simple.

When Halloween turns into a week-long extravaganza, October 31 loses some of its luster. Consider pulling it back into a single, magical evening and see how it feels.

More: Halloween hacks


  1. says

    I agree – while the festivities don’t last as long this way, they do have more impact. We don’t decorate our house until the afternoon of Halloween, and I think this makes it a bit more special.

  2. says

    I couldn’t disagree more. I paid almost $30 for the highly coveted Care Bear outfit- I really need my daughter to get our money’s worth out of that costume! If that means she wears it every day in the month of October, that’s fine with me. My son has worn his Spiderman costume at least once a week since last October, and he still wants to wear it on the big day this year! Makes me feel good about the $30 I dropped on that one too. (Yes, I know there are cheaper things they could wear. But I’m not crafty at all, so I have to leave the costumes to the professionals!)

  3. nicole h says

    I knew we had multiple Halloween functions this year, so i bought 2 costumes and 1 nice outfit that became a costume when i added a tulle tutu over it (halloween colors). I spent good money on the primary costume for halloween night and she cant wear it UNTIL she goes out on Halloween night, so the anticipation is still there. The second costume I bought off the clearance rack on the website, so it wasn’t a big deal if it got torn/damaged by fruit punch, etc.
    This really worked out well, as my daughter still got to dress ‘up’ for the functions, but still has her special outfit for actual halloween night!
    Halloween has always been a big deal in out family, so scaling back isnt an option, but this was my way of keeping the specialness of actual Halloween night.

  4. Zed says

    Heck, if you want to talk about ANTI-CLIMACTIC, nothing beats Northeast Ohio, where no one trick or treats on Halloween!! Instead, every city passes a resolution that puts trick or treating on a different random day. Most of them have chosen the Sunday before Halloween, which makes it (1) ridiculously early on years like this one, (2) in conflict with many religious people’s beliefs, (3) on a school night, and (4) STUPID STUPID STUPID.

    Halloween is my favorite Holiday. Who ever heard of not trick or treating on Halloween?!? Around here, the 31st comes and goes with zero excitement.

  5. says

    Except that our trick-or-treat night was tonight, the 30th, because the 31st falls on a Friday. Why? When it’s on a Friday or Saturday, the teens get all prank crazy because their parents don’t pay attention to where they are or what they are doing.

    To boot, my son only attends preschool on Tues and Thurs and would have missed his party today if we went with your rule.

    If we kept our costumes put away until the 31st, we would have missed everything.

  6. Parent Hacks Editor says

    Zed: That is just weird.

    FireMom: I don’t mean this as a “rule” exactly, and I know it wouldn’t work for everyone, or even apply to everyone. I just remember when Halloween was one night of trick-or-treating, and decorations were pumpkins, a few window hangings and spider webs. It feels like Halloween has become super-sized with MORE parties, MORE decorations, and MORE MORE MORE.

    I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade. But I do think that many parents feel the pressure to make Halloween “perfect,” when it should simply be fun.

  7. Serena says

    we have kind of the opposite philosophy – using the costumes for dress up play all year round – in fact, after Halloween last year I picked up a few extra costumes on clearance at Target. But the emphasis is entirely on dress-up fun, less so on a specific day!

  8. Lisa says

    I am with those who disagree with the post. I was just thinking today how nice it’s been that my DD has been able to wear her costume so many times (Brownies trick or treat at a nursing home, school party, family night at the YMCA, and official trick or treat today) because it’s not just used once and then over with. I didn’t spend a lot on her costume and her little sister (who didn’t participate in all those things) is wearing a hand-me-down x 2, but it’s fun for them to dress up and I like that they get to do it more than once. We’ve been adding bits and pieces to my older dd’s costume each time, too (she’s a witch), black leggings, a wand, and for tonight a glow necklace.

  9. mary s says

    Totally Disagree!!! What is wrong with wearing costumes and using your imagination? If my child wants to dress up like a monkey to go to the grocery store, who cares. Wearing costumes early does not take the fun out of Halloween… stodgy adults that make up policies such as the one at your school do.
    I think of all holidays as a season. Since my almost three year old doesn’t really understand the months of the year yet, she does understand that in October the leaves fall from the trees, we decorate the yard with Halloween decorations and start designing costumes. I think it gives her a tangible relationship to the environment around her. We also role play by dressing up and playing trick-or-treat in the house. I think it also gives her a chance to see that it is pretend, so when we go out on Halloween night (or whatever night is deemed trick or treat night) she is not scared by some of the costumes out there.