What a strange Halloween this will be. In our small town the annual parade down main-street, where merchants dress in costume and greet all of the kids as they “trick or treat”, has been cancelled. That, along with a huge, fun celebration that takes over the fire station, won’t happen. I imagine many other smaller traditional gatherings for kids and adults will also not be on the calendar.
This is sad as it’s a holiday that allows young and old to dress-up, pretend they are something or someone else, and possibly forget the trials of the day. At a time when our entire world needs to be cheered-up, Halloween could be a wonderful antidote for the Corona Virus. We all need a way to forget the scourge that has plagued every corner of the earth for months.
Without the traditional ways to celebrate creativity needs to come into play. What other ways can we celebrate this fun, ghoulish time?
Of course pumpkins can still be carved (or drawn on by younger hands). Maybe this year a contest for the scariest, funniest, or most beautiful pumpkin can be initiated. Be sure there are as many (or more) categories as you have kids so everyone can receive a special treat for winning (maybe even enough categories that mom and dad can be rewarded too). Don’t forget the insides make delicious pies which the kids can help bake. And, the seeds can be dried and seasoned for a delicious, health treat.
How about a dinner made up of all kinds of “horrible” things like the guts of an outer space creature (spaghetti noodles), their blood (the spaghetti sauce), and eyes of an all seeing bat (peas). Hot apple Cider could be the liquor of goodness we all need to get through this scary night and ice cream with chocolate sauce turns into all the things we don’t like getting buried in mud. Have everyone yell out what it is they’d like to have disappear as they pour on the sauce. Probably there needs to be a rule that no member of the family can be a chosen item.
If your kids are old enough to handle it, Halloween is a great time for telling Ghost Stories. Don’t worry if you’re not a storyteller, your kids can help you out.
Sit in a circle on the floor just as you might sit around a campfire. Rig up a light and place it in the center to simulate the fire (better yet light-up an actual fireplace and turn off all of the lights). Somebody needs to start the story, continuing until they say AND. When that happens the story passes to the next person in the circle. They add on until they also say AND. The story continues to pass in the same manner until a conclusion is obvious or everyone cracks-up laughing over the hilarious tale that has developed.
Don’t stop here. I’m sure more ideas will come to mind. Have your kids get involved creating fun activities that will carry you through the entire winter. Instead of just relying on the TV or other devices to entertain, pretend you are at summer camp and come-up with exciting, rambunctious events that involve the entire family.
Halloween doesn’t have to just be one night. It can go on sporadically throughout the year. Young kids don’t need an excuse to get dressed-up. They want to do it naturally. Sometimes older siblings and adults need an excuse. Turn one day a month into another “Halloween” (or other time needing costumes) and relax in the fun of pretending and forgetting.