That is what we are into these days for Halloween. How I long for the costumes we created ourselves (and I don’t even sew) when thought was put into what character we would emulate for one eerie night of the year. Instead my little ones can’t wait to run to Party City (I loathe that place full of plastic chotskies that will end up in the landfill and consume us all one of these days.) We couldn’t find a unique Halloween boutique around us this year, I suppose retail is picking up and they’re not too many vacancies this time around. I failed at convincing them to explore second hand stores or flea markets for an item that could spark our imagination and create something spectacular. I did however, manage to find something for myself that way and didn’t even have to break the bank–$10 for a dress and the rest of my costume I plucked from my closet. Since it took us all of five minutes to select my little ghouls’ costumes on September 30th including the time we waited in line (no one is thinking costumes that early), we invested our time in decorating a grim Halloween scene. Our nest is infested with snarling-teethed bats, creepy gargoyles that utter grimly rhymes about death, slithering glow-in-the-dark snakes, color changing skulls–even our affectionate Mr. Bones, our joke-proselytizing skeleton is dressed to fit this ghastly atmosphere. I do miss the days when trick-or-treaters visited our nest. My older son who was three at the time would screech and run wildly to every noise making Halloween artifact to show our costumed visitors how creepy cool they all were. We can hardly contain our excitement for the much-anticipated moment when homes open their doors for a few hours to share with us their festive decorations and their confectionery. In LB things get pretty unruly on the designated Halloween streets. Trick-or-treaters from precipitous parts of the canyons come and meet on the lower, not-so-steep streets where you may witness a radio station booth blaring tunes to parents holding plastic cups with adult only concoctions in one hand while tugging their child in the other. Not our ideal way of doing it, so this year we will bypass this destination and choose a less trodden path where we do not have to wait in line to get our treats. A friend’s university neighborhood has less foot traffic so we can hit more houses in the same amount of time. Simple economics that my boys have mastered: one can accumulate more items in a bag with less hokey distractions and bountiful libations. My dilemma as a concerned mama–what to do with all that sugar! I’ve prepared my speech of okay sweetie, for every piece of candy you hand over we can bake our own batch of healthy goodies. Or maybe this one may work? I will take you to a special place in lieu of your lute. How are you handling all those Halloween treats you run all over town for? Will you tolerate them in your nest?