October 29, 2015 02:45 PM

If you’ve been counting down the days to Halloween, Gwen Stefani is standing in the pumpkin patch with you.

“I live for the holidays,” Stefani, 46, tells PEOPLE. “I had my Halloween costume and the decorations up before October. [The season] is so short — it’s only four weeks, so you want to see all of those things.”

For Stefani, dress up can’t come early enough: she has already slipped into her first costume at her niece’s birthday party.

“I was a ballerina,” she says. “It was literally 104 degrees out, and I was like, ‘I am putting the tights on and I am going to be a ballerina and there’s nothing anyone can do about it right now.'”

While stylish Stefani goes glam by default, her sons with ex Gavin RossdaleKingston, 9, Zuma, 7, and Apollo, 20 months — are big on the gory looks this year.

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“They’re at the scary phase,” she says. “They want to scare people. They’re like bloody zombie guys.”

She adds with a laugh, “They just do their own thing. I have no control if I try. I yell and scream and threaten — all those kinds of things. Not when it comes to costumes, but everything else.”

No matter what, though, the proud mom will take on trick or treating with her boys.

“We always go out,” she says.

Try as she might, Stefani can’t seem to shake the feeling that she’s overpaying for her family’s Halloween habit.

“Every year, I’m like, ‘You know what? We should do the sale after Halloween. Why do we go right before and buy stuff? That’s stupid,'” she tells PEOPLE while laughing. “And then this year we did it again. We went right before and bought all this new Halloween stuff. There never seems to be enough, though. We keep collecting it.”

It’s already been a big month for Stefani, who spoke with PEOPLE one day before her MasterCard Priceless Surprises concert at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Oct. 17. The event lived up its title when Stefani debuted an emotional ballad, “Used to Love You,” which was inspired by her split from Rossdale in August after nearly 13 years of marriage. The song quickly became a top-trending topic on Facebook and skyrocketed up iTunes’ most-downloaded songs chart.

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And then there was her 46th birthday on Oct. 3, for which her fellow Voice judges Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell recorded a sweet video message.

“This birthday was weird. I got so emotional,” she reveals, going on to describe a big birthday card multiple people signed for her. “I literally felt so overwhelmed and loved that I was weeping in my kitchen, going, ‘Oh my God, I just feel so much love around me.'”

She wipes her face and says, “It’s making me get emotional, but I just feel that right now. And I feel very grateful for it.”

— Nick Maslow

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