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Embracing the Hocus Pocus from a Mom Living in Salem, MA

As a mama of two little ladies whose closets are full of princess jewelry, sparkly dresses and shiny shoes, Halloween is the ultimate dress-up celebration. And, truth be told, having spent the last 34 years of my life living in the Halloween capital of the world of Salem, Massachusetts, the celebration is one of my favorites too.

As a parent, I’ve learned to appreciate the holiday from an entirely new perspective, and here is what I’ve gathered over the years as a result of living amidst the true ghosts, ghouls, wizards and warlocks of this spooky town.

A costume should always be worn more than once

A costume does not need to be anything elaborate. Nor should it ever be purchased or made for a one-time affair. Homemade is creative. Simple can be fun. And nothing beats a hand-me-down costume.

In fact, the moms in the Halloween capital of the world have a social media thread specifically for swapping costumes each year. Dress-up closets are our go-to and with each Halloween themed event throughout the month of October, we wear something different to allow for maximum creativity and imagination.

Decorations, both large and small, make for spooky smiles

Halloween here is a full month-long celebration. You know those classic car rides in December to see all the holiday lights? Here we do those rides throughout the month of October. From homemade window décor to life-size skeleton lawn decorations, I suggest embracing the classic white-sheet ghosts and carved pumpkins to turn your homes into their own spooky creations.

There is no age limit for Halloween

The crowds of trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood top 500 every year. From the youngest little bear cub to the oldest masked ghost, all treaters deserve a treat.

Because here’s the thing: I would rather my children safely roam the neighborhood filling their bellies than decide to partake in any potentially dangerously haunting activity. Trick-or-treating is a communal event and a great opportunity to build community and belonging in your neighborhoods.

To a child, anything is a treat

Chocolate, goldfish, spider rings, stickers, and temporary tattoos are considered treats. I’ve learned over the years that from October 1st-March 1st, chocolate seems to pile up and be a constant presence in our home given the string of holidays. As a result, we’ve shifted our focus of the coveted treat and tried other options besides chocolate.

Sometimes, its best to just embrace the hocus pocus

Spider webs, sugary tantrums, crowds, late nights – it’s all just a bunch of hocus pocus! In one of the longer months of the year, it all can become overwhelming or rather redundant.

But the ability to share laughter and a few spooks, while also embracing various different identities/roles through costume dress-up makes for a celebration of fun.

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