Growing up in the early 80’s, especially in a small town, Trick-or-Treating was pretty different than today’s Halloween… (especially from the way Mickey Mouse celebrates!)
Most of my favorite autumn memories are wrapped up in simple pleasures like homemade popcorn balls, peanut butter logs, and the hit of the night – a trip through the general store owned by the nicest old man in town where each child got to pick out a whole candy bar for a treat!
My parents knew just about everyone in our community, so the only safety issue we had to deal with was not getting molasses all over your treat bag. Because it was also your pillowcase, and your mom expected it to come home in one piece.
Hitting the Halloween circuit as a parent can be a bit of a culture shock if you’ve been out of the loop for a decade or two. Sometimes “over the top” is the only way I can describe it. And I don’t mean that celebrating big isn’t fun occasionally, it really can be. But in the long run, we’ve found that simple celebrations tend to be the most meaningful.
Holiday Fun Without All the Waste
When I first heard mother & daughter green team Lynn and Corey talk about Green Halloween, it was such a relief to know other moms who feel the same and were doing something about it. They also share my views on green gift giving and how to meaningfully celebrate holidays.
So I had to laugh as I read the “scary truth about store-bought Halloween costumes” section of their book. What a way to bring back the most vivid smell of those vinyl costumes and plastic masks! Most years, we wore homemade costumes, but I think my brother was Batman and I was Casper the Friendly Ghost one year. I’m still wondering why I didn’t just wear a white sheet with holes for eyes….
National Costume Swap Day
One of the biggest Green Halloween initiatives Lynn and Corey dreamed into life is National Costume Swap Day. It takes place on Saturday, October 8th. It’s a free event, and it’s growing every year. Kiwi Magazine and Swap.com are also part of the fun.
Costume swapping is a brilliant idea. If you’re like me, you’ve probably never thrown last year’s costume in the garbage. Instead you pass it along to a younger relative, friend, or donate it to Goodwill. And while that’s the responsible thing to do… your child still needs another costume when October 31st rolls around. Costume swapping is the win-win solution for kids, parents, and the planet.
How can you get involved?
They’ve made it easy to find a Costume Swap near you. If there isn’t one in your area, there’s still plenty of time to get together with other green moms and organize a swap in your community. Everything you need to know about arranging and registering your event is here: http://www.greenhalloween.org/CostumeSwap/howto.html. There’s no stone left unturned when it comes to the questions they’ve answered there.
Registering your Costume Swap is the best way to let other local families know about it. We want to hear about it too! Facebook is already buzzing about it: www.Facebook.com/costumeswapday
Our favorite Eco Twins are showing us how it’s done. This swap looks almost as fun as the big trick-or-treat day!
Happy Swapping! And as Lynn and Corey say, “Here’s to an Eek-O-Friendly Halloween!”