Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Play List

Like many genre writers, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love the spookiness, the creepiness, the embracing of all things other. I love the colors, the candy, the make-believe.

With small children in the house, it's easy to get into the Halloween spirit early on. Come October 1, our decorations go up and I create a Halloween station on Pandora. This year I also created a Halloween play list on YouTube for the kids. It's totally spooky but not scary -- an important distinction, especially in my house. My 6-year old and 2 1/2-year old love spooky, but have a low tolerance for scary. What's the difference? Spooky is cute, fun, funny, silly.

Child-appropriate spookiness

Scary is, well...

"Are there any little children I can eat?"

Since my husband and I don't enjoy staying up all night with terrified children, we emphasize spooky in our Halloween fun and try to minimize the scary as much as we reasonably can. Don't worry, we're not total sticks-in-the-mud about it: we still have plenty of glow-in-the-dark skulls and skeletons around the house.

All children have varying tolerance levels for scariness, and are scared of different things. I know my oldest can handle most of "The Nightmare Before Christmas," but would be totally freaked out by the kidnapping of Santa Claus. Ghosts and most monsters he can handle; bad things happening to people, though, disturbs him beyond reason. And he loves. Santa. LOVES Santa. 

Whatever your kids like, and whatever disturbs them, I hope you and your family all have a fun, spooky, and safe Halloween!

The López Family Halloween Play List 2014

My kids love this intro. So far it's all they've seen of the movie. Some day, when the older one won't be so frightened of Santa Claus getting kidnapped by the Oogey Boogey Man, I'll let him watch the whole thing.

This is another movie we haven't watched yet. Not because of the ghosts; my 6-year old prides himself on not only not being scared of ghosts, but actively liking them. No, it's because of the scene near the end when Dana and Louis turn into those creatures. See above, re: bad things happening to people. I know that would give him nightmares for weeks. They still like the video, though.

True fact: I have the Addams Family theme song as the ring tone on my phone for whenever my parents call me. I can relate to the Addams Family: they think they're normal. So does my family. 

Who doesn't love this scene from "Beetlejuice?" 

True fact: I went through a major "Rocky Horror" phase in high school. My friend gave me the cassette (aging myself!) with the entire movie on it, including all the audience Partici-Pation, and I knew it all by heart. Still know most of it. And now my 6-year old knows how to Time Warp and can sing the song. Hashtag: Geek Parenting Done Right. Damnit, Janet!

Don't pretend you didn't watch this movie, and don't pretend you don't remember this scene. I mean, for pete's sake, Tim Curry sings about his tambourine. COME ON!

Remember SJP before "Sex And The City?" 

Another thing I won't show my kids yet: the actual "Thriller" video. But the song is still a Halloween staple.

And finally, because the 6-year old has gotten a little bit into Harry Potter (we're still working our way through "The Sorcerer's Stone." I've promised him he can watch the movie when we're done.) the HP movie theme song with some random visuals.

What's your favorite thing about Halloween? What's your favorite way of celebrating?


  1. All great stuff! We're crazy about Halloween (it's our wedding anniversary, too). We tend to leave many of the Halloween decorations up all year :-)

  2. Mazel tov on your anniversary!

    I know what you mean; I have a glow-in-the-dark skull (from an exercise I did in a college Modern American Drama class in which I had to recite a monologue from a character who was putting on a school production of "Hamlet") I used to keep out all year long. But the older one got scared of it when he was about 3, so now it's just a Halloween decoration.