Let the parties begin! After the kids are settled back into school and financial recovery has begun from the back to school list, here come the parties. With that brings the mommy peer pressure. It’s unspoken and subtle, but, oh boy, is it there.

The season starts with Halloween parties or Fall Festivals or whatever you want to call them. I’ve determined some competitive mom back in the 16th century thought her All Saints Day dinner after church should be the classiest and the one-upping began. As hard as I tired I couldn’t convince my kids they would collect just as much candy in a store bought costume as one I stayed up until 2AM finishing. I’ll admit, I secretly thought the store bought costumes back then were cheezy and the competitive mom in me emerged.

Now there are entire websites just for costumes and decorating. No longer is a carved pumpkin with a candle on the front porch adequate. Entire sections of inflatables and Halloween accessories show up in the big box stores right after the red, white and blue. And the candy. It’s all about the candy. I wonder if M&M/Mars sees a jump in the stock market every fall.

Trick-or-Treating is not just for the little kids anymore. Whole families dress in theme. One year Jackson was a toothbrush and Mollie Jane was a tube of toothpaste. Last year Jameson and Owen had dog costumes and Trooper the dog shorts and a tee shirt. Two teenage boys showed up at Jill and David’s last Halloween dressed in regular clothes. David asked them what they were dressed as and when they said, “Hip-hoppers,” he had them dance for the candy.

So here we go! Party on, but take off the game face and enjoy this year. As soon as last of the candy, that was probably packaged this time last year, is gone, we’ll be digging out the Thanksgiving recipes. No wonder the average American gains 10 pounds during the last 8 weeks of every year.

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