My family's Halloween tradition is sweeter than any candy ever could be

For the past several years, I’ve waited in anticipation for the end of the night on Halloween. This isn’t because I wish for the holiday to end – quite the contrary. I find Halloween to be a holiday full of creativity, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, ghost stories and plenty of joy and fun for my family.

We live in one of the best neighborhoods in my town for trick-or-treating so there are usually a lot of kids of all ages that will visit. A costume contest and hot dog dinner kick off the night in our shared clubhouse and one guy even has a tractor hooked up to a trailer with hay bales that he pulls around for kids so they can hit as many houses as possible. Some homes go all out in decorations, from silly blow-up props to smoke machines to haunting clowns and zombie yards. Needless to say, Halloween night lasts for a while and I look forward to it every year.

But towards the end of the onslaught of trick-or-treaters to our home and when my own kids have filled their baskets to the brim with candy and toys from generous neighbors, my oldest daughter and my husband sit together on our front steps to greet the last of the kids searching for treats.

The author's husband photographed sitting next to their daughter.

The author's husband photographed sitting next to their daughter. (Courtesy of the author)

The image is precious and while I do commemorate with a photo of the two, it’s a picture I will always keep in my heart. I love watching a tradition being created and a relationship blossom. Inevitably, my daughter’s long princess dress flows out behind her on the steps, only dwarfed by her dad’s figure next to her, likely in some Star Wars costume.

The noise of our daily lives – and Halloween night – can be loud. There are lots of distractions. But in the midst of all that craziness, my daughter and husband enjoy each other and are able to connect. I don’t know what they talk about or what jokes they laugh over. I just know that as much as my daughter loves running from house to house on Halloween, it’s this moment with her dad that she tells me she most enjoys.

As a mother and wife especially, this makes me happy. It makes Halloween even more special and fun.

Growing up, my family had several unique traditions, some intentional and others not. I hope this particular tradition carries on every Halloween – it ends the night on an even sweeter note than all those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups I may have swiped from my kids’ candy stash.