As I write this, it is 8:15p and I am waiting for the stream of trick-or treaters to disappear. Not that I am too fussed about handing out candy -- after all these years I have my routine down pat. I sit in front of the living room window with the lights on and a bowl in front of me so the kids know this house has candy on offer. I have books and my laptop beside me. My Zune is hooked up to my stereo so I can listen to The Bachelor Pad Radio Halloween episode. I almost look forward to it.
The kids have their Halloween routines down, too. At 12, 13, and 17, they come up with their own costumes using items found around the house. The most we've had to spend over the past couple years was $10 for face paint. My kids have been pretty good at preserving elements from previous costumes to be recycled later.
--DJ dressed as an undead football player using face paint and pieces of his cousin's football uniform.
--C2 volunteered at a blood drive a few weeks' ago, so she used her scrubs and latex gloves to be an ER nurse.
--C1 used a black sequined bolero, black skinny jeans, face paint and mouse ears to turn herself into City Mouse from the fable.
--M attended a Halloween party as a punk fairy: green dress with corset back and handkerchief hem, black wings, black fishnets, and my black combat boots.
I love the fact that they need little help from me to enjoy the holiday. It is much less stressful than when they were little and we had to help them with their costumes and then find them a party or harvest fair to go to because we didn't live in a neighborhood that was safe for trick-or-treating. Now I don't even have to leave the house.
Having said all that, I'm thinking about having a small Halloween party for the kids next year. I personally will give candy to anyone who shows up at my door in a costume until the candy is gone, but many parents think that kids should stop going door to door at 12. My kids get such a kick out of dressing up, though, that I would hate to deprive them of that.