The Spooky Season
September 29, 2022
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain
It is officially fall. It is time for pumpkin-carving, picking out costumes and trick-or-treating… the spooky season, as they say. It’s Halloween-time!
However, you would have been forgiven for thinking it has been the spooky season for a while now; in fact, it seems to creep up earlier and earlier. In mid-August the grocery stores were already filled with candy corn and plastic pumpkins; discount chain costume stores start popping up before Labor Day; and, really, you should already be talking to your co-parent about what this year’s Halloween plans are.
Now, normally we would advocate trying to keep some distance between seasons and holidays: first, summer and then Labor Day; then, fall and apple-picking; followed by October and Halloween; and then— and this is important— Thanksgiving before Christmas.
Yet any adult can tell you that that is no longer how it works— and any parents can tell you that goes double with children. Children now often go back to school prior to Labor Day. Halloween seemingly lasts two months, from September 1st through October 31st. At midnight on Halloween night, it’s officially November 1st, and, nowadays, guess what? That’s Christmastime. (It feels like the only holiday still firmly fixed in place is still New Year’s Eve/Day.)
As an adult it’s enough to drive you batty (see what we did there?).
The answer, of course, will be familiar to anyone who regularly reads this blog: Plan early. Plan early— communicate early and often— for every holiday/season, and the spooky season is no exception.
- Figure out your child(ren)’s trick-or-treat plans. Halloween 2022 is a Monday, which means, most likely, your neighborhood will see youngsters going door-to-door for candy the day prior, Sunday (and maybe even Saturday). Which can help if you’re a co-parent; it means more potential trick-or-treating time. Which co-parent is talking who when? Will your child(ren) be wearing the same costume, or are they switching it up? (This also applies to the question of costumes in school.) And if there are any pre-Halloween parties planned for that weekend leading up to Monday, now is the time to discuss them as well. (Plus, if you have older children who are planning on going out alone for their first Halloween, this is also an issue to discuss with your co-parent.)
- Discuss the candy situation. It sounds silly, but it can be a contested issue: how much is your child(ren) allowed to eat on the day? Which candy is being kept, which is being thrown away? Try to be on the same page as your co-parent with this sugar madness by civilly discussing it now.
- Find a way to have fun if you are at home with a little one, or on your own. Answering the door for neighborhood trick-or-treaters? Dress up! Staying home with a youngster who is not going trick-or-treating? Have them “trick-or-treat” at a couple of stops in your home, then watch a Halloween movie together. Having a significant other over? Cook a nice meal and stream a scary movie. Just because you are no longer a child yourself— or are not with your own child(ren), perhaps… Well, you can still have a spooktacular Halloween!
And now that you have ready this blog post about co-parenting and the spooky season, here is something truly frightening: with less than 100 days until Christmas, it is time to start thinking about the holidays. Boo!
Everyone here at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC, the family lawyer Englewood Cliffs, NJ residents rely on, wish you and your family a very safe and very scary Halloween!