Make Halloween more about GIVING and less about getting. Here’s five Halloween acts of kindness to help families turn Halloween around. My boys really loved #5.
Last week I was really struck by a post on Mommynificent that described Halloween and Christmas as the two huge “GIMME holidays in American culture.”
Every year when Halloween rolls around I find myself torn in two. On the one hand there are many aspects of Halloween that are really, really fun.
I LOVE this fun!
I enjoy the children’s excitement and delight. Who wouldn’t enjoy a celebration where you get to dress up and get candy? On the other hand I feel increasingly uncomfortable about how greed driven the event seems to be.
So is there a way to keep the fun and turn Halloween around? ABSOLUTELY!
5 Awesome Halloween acts of kindness to enjoy with your family
1. Reverse trick or treating
This is fun! Spend some time making Halloween treats with your kids. On Halloween night put on your costumes and go out together to GIVE your treats away. You might take them to
- Seniors home
- Food bank
- People that work for the community, such as nurses, police, and fire-fighters.
- Children’s hospital (check first).
2. Carry a UNICEF box
If you live in the States. It’s not too late to order collection boxes from UNICEF. Assemble your box and take it with you when you go out trick-or-treating with your children. Invite people to fill the box with their spare change. When the evening is over send the money to UNICEF.
3. Give out fairly traded chocolate
In recent years attention there has been a drive to raise awareness that children are being used as slaves or cheap labor in West African cocoa farms.
The International Labor Rights Forum has embarked on several campaigns to urge all chocolate manufactures to convert to 100% Fair Trade policies, but progress is slow. You can get more information about this issue here and here.
As consumers we can choose where we spend our money. Buying fairly traded chocolate is a powerful way to tell the chocolate producers that child labor is not acceptable and we will not support it.
4. Give away some of the candy
My boys did this for the last few years they went out trick or treating. When they returned we would go through their overflowing candy bags together. They would make up bags of candy to give to the food bank box.
Do not to compel your children to give away their candy. Most children are naturally generous when they understand that there is a need.
Still it is important for them to feel that they have a choice. Pressuring a child to give can sometimes lead to resentment.
5. Host a party
Gather your family and plan a party for neighbors with an emphasis on fun and friendship.
- Carve Jack O Lanterns
- Dance to cheesy songs like the Monster Mash and Ghost Busters,
- Play party games like bobbing for apples, or dim the lights and tell ghost stories.
Keep it simple and have fun. If you want to make it really easy team up with other families in the neighborhood and have a progressive Halloween party where families move from one house to the next enjoying an activity at each stop.
Halloween can be a wonderful celebration for families. It is a time to make memories and have fun together. Adding in some acts of kindness will turn this holiday into a time of giving.
And that is the best way to WARD off those dreaded gimme monsters.
What do you think?
Will you join our conspiracy of kindness?
Can we turn Halloween into a celebration of giving? Have you found other ways to make Halloween a time to practice kindness? Please share your ideas in the comments below.