Posted on 7:25pm Sunday 28th Oct 2012
Listed under: Views & Ramblings
When I was a child, we never went trick or treating at Halloween. We may have had a few friends round on Halloween but it was never a big celebration on our calendar and we were certainly never allowed to go trick or treating and my parents didnt respond kindly to kids turning up on the doorstep "begging".
So when did the levels of acceptance change?
As soon as my daughter was old enough to a) not be scared and b) get excited about dressing up, we started to celebrate Halloween. The first year we had a small party with her nursery friends, the next year a few more people were invited and each year it has grown. The adults take the dressing up "almost" as seriously as the children (more so in the case of my gorgeous and artistic other half), the party games have got more crazy, the pumpkin designs more elaborate but the part that the children love the most is going round our neighbours and trick or treating.
Now given that we have had up to 15 children, I have always thought it a little unfair on my unsuspecting neighbours to turn up with 15 children expecting treats for all of them, so have meticulously gone round to all of the neighbours the day before the party and given out sweets for them to give back to us the following day. (it all sounds a little bonkers but it works I promise).
So we have gone trick or treating every year for the past 4 years and the little one will join us this year, (although I am still panicking that I havent got her an outfit) so we will be traipsing round knocking on the neighbours doors, shouting "trick or treat". We never have any tricks and over the years the neighbours like to play some on the children, which has caused much hilarity, so am not entirely sure what we would do if they asked for a trick!
But as the children get older, the thought of teenagers threatening to trick or demanding a treat is a little less cute and a little more intimidating, so what age do they evolve from being adorable to menacing? I have seen teenagers simply don a "Scream" mask and try their luck through the streets at night time which is not really in the spirit of Halloween but on the flip side there are far worse things for teenagers to be involved in than a bit of trick-or-treating. Is it so wrong if they want to hold on to this childhood tradition?
Lets be honest, you are a grown up for a very long time and childhood is precious. So should we put an age restriction on how old is too old for trick or treating? Or should we simply let children be children for as long as they possibly can be?
Posted on 8:00am Thursday 25th Oct 2012
Listed under: News
Last week we went out to dinner at a well known restaurant chain for lunch. When I say we, I dont mean a relaxing romantic dinner, I mean a family lunchtime "adventure" because going to lunch with children is never a relaxing affair. The food was great and we really enjoyed it but as far as the children were concerned, the eldest was more concerned with colouring in the picture she had been given, whilst the youngest decided to decorate the table with the majority of her meal.
We always sit to eat our meals at the table at home and I think its important for the children to get used to eating out at restaurants. I always remember friends of ours looking in horror at the throught of taking their children to a restaurant because they were unsure how well they would behave. I dont worry about my children's beaviour in a restaurant but I do sometimes worry about the money we are spending on meals that arent always eaten. I know what my children like and dislike, so I tailor meals at home to their preferences but you cant always do that in a restaurant so more often than not, part of the meal left over, meaning a waste of food and money.
Like any parent, wasting money isnt something I take kindly to, so when I was on the MyFamilyClub website last week, I was delighted to come across their new Dining Club. In their words "The Dining Club will save you money on eating out at 200 participating restaurants across the UK. We’ve bagged all sorts of brilliant deals, including great 2-for-1s, dinner-and-drink options, 25% off your bill – and best of all, at some restaurants kids eat free" I am always cautious of "voucher books" that you have to pay for up front as I think sometimes that they can get put to the back of a cupboard and you never get the use of them (trust me I am speaking from past experience) but I genuinely think I would use this as it is part of the MyFamilyClub Savings pack which includes reloadable gift cards, that save you money every time you reload them (thats a whole other blog post of discovery!)
We eat out with our children far more than I ever did with my own parents. Growing up, I remember having it drilled into us that we didnt waste money but now as an adult I have a slightly more relaxed attitude, such as "if I save money on this, I can spend it on a new pair of shoes", but you get the general idea. I am conscious now that as my children grow up and become more aware of the value of things, teaching them money saving ideas is a great foundation for later life.
The words "save money", "brilliant deals" and "kids eat free" are music to my mommy money saving ears and my shoe loving heart!
This blog has been featured on the Thrifty Families Blog!
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