Why Halloween is better than Christmas in our house

10 compelling reasons why my kids – and me – celebrate Halloween so much

Halloween is better than Christmas in our household; I’m going to have to agree with my kids on this one.

I can say for sure, that my kids enjoy Halloween way more than the festive season and the chance to get spooky is their most favourite time of the year.

This did come as a surprise to me as a bumbling, juggling-it-all mum at first. I mean, we’re not exactly living in America, are we? We don’t generally go as wild as they do when it comes to dishing out witches’ outfits and ‘BOO’ decorations.

When I was kid, a white sheet shoved over the top of my head with two holes cut out for eyes was more than enough to ‘dress up’ for the night. It was a last-minute thing and we had fun regardless.

These days though, perhaps it is time to go full-on American when it comes to Halloween. It’s a proper full-on party in our house. And something we all genuinely look forward to


Why Halloween is better than Christmas
Is Halloween amazing?
Is Halloween cooler than Christmas?
Small Halloween decorations can be really effective

1. Easy decorations

Come on, mums – you’ve gotta agree, taping some ‘don’t enter’ tape across a door, or literally cutting out a pumpkin from a piece of paper has to be one of the easiest, no-pressure decorations that you can do.

The tackier the better, I say. Pound shop here we come! It’s the one time of year where you can embrace pure kiddy indulgence; invite your kids to help put the decorations up and dictate what goes where in the house, it can be fun.

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: It’s completely my fault, but I’m so bent on getting the ‘perfect’ Christmas, that festive decorations in our house have become a kind of extension of our interior design.

Everything has to look chic, match and like it’s from a Hollywood movie. Just one of the many pressures I put on myself at Christmas time. Halloween on the other hand; pretty much do what you like!

If I’m feeling really adventurous, I’ll carve some pumpkins. I’m getting better every year, haha, but again, no need to be precise or ‘chic’ here.

2. Pumpkin pie.

On the subject of pumpkins, have you ever made pumpkin pie? Don’t get me wrong, I’m no baker and I’m certainly not advocating baking and cooking a load of your own goodies for a Halloween party. (Who has time for that?)

But one thing I can do, and do well, actually, is pumpkin pie. I embrace my inner Nigella and come up with an edible, unique, healthy (sort of, pumpkin is a vegetable after all), pie.

My kids even like it. And my kids barely eat anything that isn’t beige. This recipe from the BBC Food website is easy to follow and works every time.

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: Pumpkin pie is nicer than Christmas pudding. Period.

3. Shop-bought food.

Which leads me onto shop-bought food. Yes, I don’t go all out on food or ‘serving’ any kind of food at all. Let’s face it, the kids are going to stuff themselves with sweets all night long. It’s the one night of the year where, in our house at least, there’s no rules, and they can eat as many sweets as they like.

Even if it makes them sick.

Well, then they’ll learn a lesson won’t they?

Why bother going to the trouble of an all-out buffet spread when nobody, literally nobody, is interested. Just stick some fishfingers in the oven, perhaps M&S do some witch-shaped ones or something, and that’s it.

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: You don’t have to prepare much, if anything, for kids’ tea. No pressure.

At Christmas time we are cooking days before to make that special Christmas meal magical… only for my kids to beg to leave the table to play video games.

4. The kids can eat as many sweets as they like.

I’ve mentioned this already, but from my kids’ point of view, just think about this for a minute. Just for one night of the year, you get to avoid any tantrums of saying ‘no’ to just another sweet or chocolate.

It’s the one night I can say, ‘yeah, sure, if you think you can stomach it’. And then it’s up to them. No micro-managing what they eat, no worrying that they haven’t had enough broccoli. Allowing yourself to completely let go of all the normal parenting meal-time drama.

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: All kids love sweets. Not all kids like turkey and roast potatoes. It’s a hands-down win for children.

5. The outfits

Again, Halloween allows you to dress up as much as you like, in whatever you like. Or, in fact, as little as you like. Kind of like my family photographyThere are very little rules.

Because it’s not as big a deal here in England as over in the US, there’s no pressure to look a certain way or do a certain thing.

I’ve literally got away with white sheets and holes for eyes as an amazing costume in my kids’ eyes. With the ‘totally endearing’ factor for strangers who might meet them on the streets that night. A homemade costume, no matter how naff, always gets a thumbs up.

I’ve also gone all out and made fancier costumes, such as the one year I made a hand-made broomstick to go with my son’s witch outfit. Yes, a handmade broomstick. I spent an afternoon gathering twigs in the local park. Clearly, I had nothing better to do that year. But it gave me satisfaction.

Don’t get me wrong, I also love going to the cheap and cheerful shops and stocking up on silly, fun things to help the night be, well, fun and silly.

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: You can dress up or not. You can be smart, or not. You can join in, or not. I’m way over the Christmas jumper thing. And the ‘what’s your New Years’ Eve look going to be’ vibes… who cares anymore?

6. The tunes

Despite what you might think, I do actually love Christmas time. I’m one of those freak people where a Christmas song comes on in a shop, in like, October, and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I pretend not to like it, but I secretly do.

However, my kids absolutely love the Halloween playlists. Ghostbusters, Witch Doctor, Monster Mash, Thriller. Absolute classics that get even my kids, who ‘don’t do dance’, dancing.

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: I have a distinct memory of driving my kids to a super-cool trick or treat street with Ghostbusters and Witch Doctors playing repeatedly. Each time, producing loud giggles and laughter from the back of the car. Christmas songs just don’t cut it in the same way.

A Halloween ghost lurks by the window
Halloween outfits can be super easy

Children watch the Halloween projections after a full on night of trick or treating
Is Halloween the best time of year?

7. Projections on the kitchen wall.

It’s not quite Kew Gardens, I’ll admit.

But I do try to ‘tech up’ the Halloween decorations with a projection of spooky figures and cartoons on the kitchen wall.

It adds a sense of magic and helps feed imagination… To me, a good kids’ Halloween party is all about the experience of immersing yourself into a world of witches and ghouls – and what better way to do that than to project moving characters onto the wall?

It adds to a real sense of a special party atmosphere.

That and pushing all the tables and chairs back out the way. (Side note: what is it about pushing all the tables and chairs out the way in your own home to create space, that makes it feel so ‘party ready’? It always creates a buzz!)

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: I just simply don’t have the time to do this at Christmas. Too much other stuff going on.

8. Games

OK you name it, we do it. Apple bobbing. Cutting up a giant Cadbury’s choc bar with a plastic knife and fork. Pin the hat on the witch. Trick or treating, of course. Anything and everything goes. There’s something for everyone, we invite lots of kids around to enjoy it all together and it’s good fun.

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: My kids get to hang out with their friends on the special day. At Christmas time, they have to wait ages to see them!

9. Halloween movies on Netflix

Speaking of projections, when the night is dying down a bit and kids are on a bit of a sugar-low, it might be time to put on an age-appropriate Halloween movie. Ghostbusters is ok, for example, my two love the giant Michelin man!!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan or horror movies or scary movies. Kids’ level stuff is all I can tolerate.

There are also loads of Halloween-themed movies and cartoons aimed at younger kids on things like Netflix and Disney plus. With the left-over sweeties at your disposal, what better night than to lay slovenly on the sofa and stuff your face?!

Which Halloween movie is the best, do you think? Let me know in the comments. Keep it kid-friendly please!

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: I feel like I’ve seen all the Christmas classics again and again, am a bit sick of them. There are still so many unexplored Halloween options!! (If I can pluck up the courage).

10. How Halloween was created is just the coolest thing.

Did you know, Halloween was part of an ancient Celtic religion in the UK? The Celts believed there was another world, separate from Earth, where ghosts and spirits lurked. They thought that at the end of summer (October), the barrier between our world and this other world grew thin and those scary creatures could transfer to Earth. Spooky!!

Why Halloween is better than Christmas: OK, OK, it’s hard to beat the Christmas story. You know, the one written about for centuries and in the most famous book in the world? However, when you think of that red suit, and the Coca-Cola brand, which some argue is where Santa’s outfit came from, I think that how Halloween started is way cooler.

Tell me whether you agree in the comments below. What do you like about Halloween? Or, do you disagree and think Christmas is better?

Halloween left overs
Halloween movies are way better than Christmas films
Muswell Hill baby photographer Louisa Peacock

Louisa is the owner of Louisa Peacock Photography and runs an award-winning studio in her own home in Muswell Hill. She specialises in family, baby and newborn photography in the studio or out and about in London’s beautiful parks. Above all her photoshoots are relaxed, fun and meaningful.