Let’s start this off with a tale…..one where a girl never celebrated any holidays growing up, because her parents followed a church that didn’t believe in them. Growing up in a world where people took a zealot fervor of never letting children have imaginations, nor pretending anything. As I grew into adulthood I toyed with holidays for the first time, but they never meant anything. After I had kids, I tried even harder. But when you have no idea how to celebrate holidays, nor do they mean anything to you, you fall kind of flat. Well, except for Halloween. I could get into that. Always the adult in full costume, happily handing out treats. Fall is my season! It’s gourds, pumpkins, cool weather, and long nights.
Until our youngest and his severe food allergies came along. Although I have never had to fake Halloween, I’m really good at harvest and fall decor 😉
Two years ago I learned of the Teal Pumpkin Project and a new fall decor idea? Yes, I took to it. Like a natural.
Did I mention I like fall decor a little too much?
Oh how I love the beauty of heirloom pumpkins….
But lest we forget what it is really about (and no, it isn’t decor), it is to help bring awareness to food allergies & sensitivities. And to also let all children enjoy the day. The first year Alistaire was diagnosed with his allergies he was 1 1/2 years old, and sat in a stroller while Walker went out. It felt very sad. Last year, a number of our neighbors participated in the teal pumpkin project, which was just so awesome feeling. And honestly, at our house? The non-food treats were just as popular as candy! Last year he strutted around happily. This year I know he will as well. And it feels so awesome because I know others do care, but also the kids get less candy – and considering our kids can haul home 5 POUNDS EACH of it in an hour of walking slowly here…well, I can go with less candy.
Let me say this: Bubbles. Bubbles galore. Nearly every kid goes for it. You can get mini ones at Dollar Tree stores in Halloween themes. While PlayDough contains wheat, the mini cans that come in party packs are also extremely popular. Crayon packs, markers, Matchbox cars (our local store has them on sale for 79 cents each!), glow stick bracelets (Dollar Tree again), even a bag of colorful plastic dinosaurs (shake them out into the treat bowl). Now then, we do offer candy as well, but I make sure it is peanut, egg and tree nut safe. No kid has complained yet!
Paint a pumpkin, hang a sign out and let all the kids have fun! And check out the video below to get more ideas –