Children Friends Halloween Holidays

A Halloween Treat from Guest Blogger Nikki Trueman


Halloween – we see it arrive in the stores around July (really?!), and most of us roll our eyes, cringe our faces and preemptively tell our children to keep walking past that aisle that is frankly a visual Halloween overload! Pumpkins & skeletons in every size? Check. Wreaths galore? Check. Anything remotely fallish covered in glitter? Check again! Okay, so some of us feel that way. I must admit I have somewhat found myself officially in this category.

Although it must be said it’s not entirely by choice.  It is partially due to the fact that I have spent the last 10 yrs. collecting (my husband prefers “hoarding”) all kinds of Halloween décor.

If there were a Halloween addicts meeting I’d be president. Or at the very least I  would be the first to raise my hand offering to bake and decorate the refreshment table for the Oct. meeting.

I LOVE HALLOWEEN! I love the month of October and I love the fall. I think my love of Halloween and fall in general can be attributed to the fact that I am an October baby born to two other October babies. So of course October was a very busy month in our home. My first child is also an October baby (shocker right?) adding to the celebratory, revelry and general insane nature of the month!  Initially it was a few cute must haves for the door… “trick or treaters wanted”, a witch broom propped by the front planter, a candle on the kitchen counter. Simple stuff. Fast forward to present time and you will find that one of the soul purposes of my garage is to house my “collection” of Halloween décor and Halloween related party supplies. There are 6 med. and 5 oversized storage containers, 2 costume containers, 2 lg plastic ice buckets, 2 cauldron’s, misc. pumpkins that won’t fit anywhere,and about 20 plus tombstones stacked on top.

Decorating the house in and out is a full weekend event in our home, and one must understand that October in CA means there is a very potential chance of a heat wave. Boo! Pun intended. It is gleefully (is that word too month-of-December?) anticipated. The kids & I pull out our Halloween themed t-shirts from Target.  T-shirts, shorts, and flip flops. Remember? October in CA! It requires all 3 of my children loading up the Barbie jeep with the red wagon rigged up behind it, while my 11yr. old son drives, 8yr. old daughter rides shotgun with a witch hat and my 4yr. old daughter bringing up the rear collecting anything that falls out!

Hubby is on the balcony hanging the house size spider web and spiders while I direct him from the front yard. Because god forbid one spider is slightly out of place by 2 inches. I will get on the ladder to hang lanterns and skeletons and for misc. décor including about 25 black wreaths for the fence (Thank you Disney’s Haunted Mansion).

The interior will hold collectible handmade items from various local stores, my collection of Halloween globes,crows in my orchid centerpieces, both fireplace mantels and more.

About six years ago we moved to Ladera Ranch (near our fabulous blog host) and I was finally able to throw the party I always envisioned – A large family fall Halloween party. This party has become a great tradition for our family and of course even more reason for me to justify to my husband all the money, time, and energy in displaying my Halloween “collection”. The party centers around pumpkin carving. B.Y.O.P!

There’s a popcorn machine, my Dad as resident face painter, hanging banners for a spider toss and one for photo ops.

Chili w/ cornbread is the yearly staple along with a candy store of witch nails (candy corn), spider eggs (jelly beans), Medusa hair (red vines), and more. There is also an adults only bar that for some odd reason seems to get bigger each year… But my favorite part is covering the whole garage with a black tarp in preparation to decorate for the big event.  Each year the décor changes a bit.  However, it always includes a wall of very old, antiqued dusty framed crookedly hung portraits and random photos of my husband’s family. Yes, I just admitted that.  Secrets out.

I even bought a used old typewriter for a ghost writer to do his work, which out of evident frustration ends up in balled up messes on the walls and ceiling. There are spiders, rats, webs, goblets, skulls and more. Each year our core wonderful friends are in attendance, but we get to add new friends as well.

The kids run around the front yard in costumes consuming too much candy and popcorn.

I usually have a camera in front of my face the whole party not wanting to miss a moment or expression. This year things will be a little different. Because I had knee surgery a few weeks ago I had to make the decision (and by that I mean I was bullied by my mother and dear friend Tracy!) to cancel the party this year. I had to be reasonable and accept my current limitations where, mass errands, planning , decorating , and a ladder would be involved. I dreaded telling the kids. My oldest said “eh. Whatever” (too cool to get upset and admit he’ll miss it). My youngest said lovingly “that’s okay mommy”(so sweet but lets face it she’s not sure what I’m talking about), and my middle who said “what??!” Que the crying! She proceeded to bury her face and not leave the car for 20min. once home. While it broke my heart to have her so upset it also warmed my heart to know that this is something she really loves and will remember fondly for years to come.  So that being said while the party will not happen this year the show must go on! NO ONE was getting out of decorating! So Sun., Sept. 30th arrived and I woke to a beach chair on the front lawn, an umbrella staked in the grass, and a plastic megaphone for me to wear around my neck while in their words I could “sit w/ your bad knee and just boss us around from the front yard on where to put things!”.

We may not be having a party this year, and I don’t know about them but I will always remember this Halloween!  One more thing…There is still candy and chocolate permanently smashed into the driveway. But I can’t help but smile when I see it. Okay, that and the fact that no power hose or scrub brush will remove the darn things! But still…


Nikki Trueman is an amazing wife, mother of three, master of the kitchen, the arts and creative entertainment. Nikki graciously accepted my invitation to be the first guest blogger for the Best Family Traditions site.  This new monthly feature will highlight some of the best ideas, tips and tricks to enjoy each month.   Nikki honored us with her love for October and its Halloween spirits. It truly was “a treat” to work with Nikki – I cherish our friendship.  Her annual Halloween celebration will live on through all of us as we implement her ideas at home and create new traditions.