A Lazy Mom’s Guide to Halloween

Okay, I have to confess to an unpopular opinion. It’s a little scary to put this out there in such a public forum, but I think the time has finally come for me to be honest. I’ve opened up on this site before, a time or two, but this is the confession I’m most worried about. Here it goes:

I don’t like Halloween. 

There, I said it. It’s done. Now put down your pitchforks and hear me out.

It’s not that I don’t think it’s fun to decorate the house, and carve pumpkins, and get all dressed up, and go to parties, and take my kids trick-or-treating. It’s just that all of that sounds like a lot of work. I have an almost-3-year-old and a 6-month-old, plus a part-time job, so I live in a perpetual state of exhaustion. If I manage to find some downtime, you can bet I’ll be spending it zoning out on the couch, not crafting (or more importantly, cleaning up after crafting).

Of course, I can’t let my own laziness deprive my kids of the joys of Halloween, so I’ve picked up a few tips along the way to do Halloween right, with as little effort as possible. So, my fellow lazy moms, consider these tips as my gift to you this spooky season:

1. Embrace your new best friend: Amazon Prime.

Two days until Halloween, and you never got around to crafting that adorably clever costume you’ve been dreaming up for months? No worries. Just look up your kid’s favorite character on Amazon, and I guarantee you’ll find an overpriced, poorly-made costume that will that will arrive on your doorstep in two days or less. (And let’s be honest, your kid really just wanted to be Marshall from Paw Patrol, anyway.)

2. DIY on the cheap.

If – God forbid – Amazon is sold out, or you can’t bear to shell out $50 for polyester that will fall apart before you can say “trick-or-treat” you will, unfortunately, have to DIY this thing. The key here is simplicity. For example:

  • party hat + animal ears = a party animal (bonus points for an “Uber” wagon)
  • green shirt + name tag that says “Peter” + a small frying pan = Peter Pan
  • round glasses + a stick + a hand-drawn forehead lightning bolt = Harry Potter
  • black dress + big sunglasses + pearls = Audrey Hepburn
  • Yellow shirt + black tape = Charlie Brown

3. Costume-swap for multiple parties.

Despite only having toddlers, our social calendar is jam-packed at Halloween – and I imagine it only gets worse as the kids get older and make friends of their own. Of course, in the age of Instagram, it’s wholly unacceptable to wear the same costume to multiple events {*eye-roll*}. Instead of planning multiple costumes, just arrange for a costume-swap amongst your different friend groups. Wear a daycare friend’s costume to your neighborhood party, and a neighbor’s costume to your mom group party, and a mom group friend’s costume to your daycare party. Ain’t nobody got time for more than one costume.

4. Find a Trunk-or-Treat.

Unfortunately, trick-or-treating is one part of Halloween that you really can’t get around, for most kids. But walking all over the neighborhood for hours on end on a weeknight definitely does not fit into my lazy mom lifestyle. So the compromise is a trunk-or-treat. If you haven’t heard of it before, a trunk-or-treat is when a bunch of cars line up in a parking lot, and the kids trick-or-treat from trunk to trunk. Now, the best trunk-or-treats have fully decked-out, themed trunks. To avoid being a total party-pooper, just pick up some battery-powered twinkle lights and download some spooky music to play on your phone while they flicker. If you want to go above and beyond, write the alphabet on a big piece of craft paper, and be the Stranger Things trunk.

5. Reward yourself.

When the trick-or-treating is over and November 1 officially ushers in the next round of holidays, give yourself a nice pat on the back for surviving the barrage of events and activities, and go ahead and snag some of that candy from your kids. As soon as they fall asleep, just pour half of it into an empty box of Fiber 1 (or other “boring, adult cereal”) and never mention it again. You’ve earned it!