Happy Halloween: Kicking Off the Holiday Season

The children are on track with a set schedule and getting settled into school. Cyia is thriving in kindergarten and Carter has lasted a month at pre-K. YAHOO! This is definitely a celebration for CC and me, which is why we had a celebratory coffee at a local Starbucks after dropping all four kids off on the first day!

We were celebrating the fact that we were finally able to have some quiet time. Having all four at one school is a first for us. At one point we were a family with three different schools! I remember a snow day a few years back. Bus service was cancelled and CC spent two hours dropping the kids off. Let's just say he's not a fan of snow days.

But now that fall is here, the holidays are coming. The first of many is Halloween! We Bergen families know the children have not had a true Halloween for two years, with snow one year and then Superstorm Sandy cancelling each trick-or-treating night so the kids could not go out and wear their costumes. This year let's hope for a great night and lots of creative costumes and lots of smiles!

As a family, Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. We take Halloween to another level with decorating the house, having the BIG candy bars for the trick-or-treaters and the whole family dressing up. We take several trips to the pumpkin patch and load up on decorations and projects for the week.

One way I begin introducing the holiday is with candy jars in the kitchen filled with a healthier alternative. This year we mixed candy corn and almonds together to give the kids a sweet but healthier Halloween treat.

The children are part of the planning. On the weekend, we take a few hours out of the day to put up another of our fun decorations, so the kids feel a part of the decorating. When planning costumes, we sit down and begin shooting out ideas for what each child might wear. I stress that the children be creative and not just wear what their classmates might feel is cool or trendy.

If you're a very creative family, making a costume is great! But if you're like me and barely have time to shower some days, a store-bought costume works just as well! One idea for an easy costume is putting together different pieces of clothing and accessories and dressing as a celebrity. (It's a cool costume for preteens.) Every year, we definitely get a few Yankee players at our door.

As a parent, the holidays are not only for the children but for the family! So if that means throwing on a Halloween t-shirt that says "This is my costume" or putting on a custom Beauty and the Beast (our costumes last year), it's nice to be involved in the holiday with your children.

I hope my tips help with having a "spooktacular" Halloween! Please remember I'm not an expert who is? I'm just a mom of four who wants you to know you're not alone, we've all gone through it and we can go through it together.

Amber Sabathia is a mother of four, (AmberSabathia.com), co-founder and executive director of PitCCh In Foundation (PitCCh.org), and creator/designer of CCandy for Kids. (CCandy.com)

First seen in 201 Magazine.