Children's holiday mash-ups for busy parents

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This time of year I always think about the apple picking/pumpkin patch paradox--that is, it seems like this is the time of year to take your children to do something lovely and autumnal and grab a required social media snap at the same time, but this is tempered with the reality that GOING TO THE ORCHARD/PUMPKIN PATCH IS A GIGANTIC PAIN IN THE ASS.

Seriously, it's always far, hard to park, the weather is hot/cold/rainy and if it's not (or even if it is), the place is packed with jerk people who drive huge cars and don't realize that you just want to get in and out with your picture/pumpkin and call it a day (also you realize that, surprise: you are a jerk person too.) Now I understand why, as a child, we got our pumpkins from those ersatz "patches" that popped up in the same empty lots where they sold Christmas trees. 

The other day I got a bunch of tiny farm apples from the farmers market and wondered why people do fall backyard easter egg hunts but with apples. That would be a lovely solution, and so much less gross/messy than bobbing for apples--if I just bought a bale of hay, hid a bunch of little crappy apples in the back yard, invited some neighbor kids over, let them root around while I took some pictures and the grownups drank spiked apple cider and ate donuts. 

Why is this not a thing? It also made me realize there are other great opportunities for cross-pollination between kids' holidays, for instance:

  • Costumes: what if kids wore Halloween costumes to bed on Christmas and Santa brought an extra candy cane to those kids because they got more wear out of their costumes than other kids did? Even better, what if ALL children got for Christmas were Halloween costumes? 

  • Baptism candle: Why is this not put on a child'd birthday cake every year? Otherwise we all know it just stays in the basement until somebody finds it and it "accidentally" breaks.

  • "The Easter bunny:" Why is this not used as a means of disciplining children the way the Elf on the Shelf is? If you have some sort of little creepy bunny or chick you can pose on the shelf in the weeks leading up to Easter, you can possibly get the kids to behave better. We are leaving money on the table here. 

almost included a hilarious thing about other things to do with baby teeth but I understand now what's up with the Tooth Fairy--she comes the night after a tooth comes out beacuse otherwise that little bloody raggedy tooth just hanging out around the house is gross and she needs to take it away, stat. That's just practical.