October is the month of frights and crazy sights.
Jack-o-lantern carving, pumpkin seed baking, costume buying, hayrides.
Crisp air and shorter days.
Warm jackets, boots, mittens, hot cider, rustic colors.
Candied apples, candy bars, and candy corn.
Ghosts and goblins, zombies and evil clowns, witches and trolls.
Skeletons, vampires, scarecrows, and beasts of the night.
The bloodier, the better.
Gore? Give us more!
Children and young adults (and even a few older adults) talk about dressing up on the 31st of October weeks ahead of the holiday itself.
In anticipation, they soak up the scary decorations adorning yards all over town.
Watch frightening Halloween-themed movies.
And dream of the big night.
What draws them to this holiday in particular?
Could it be that people of all ages, even young children, crave the scare?
Like a thrill-ride, hearts start pumping, breathing escalates, and tingles race down the neck. A feeling unlike any other.
Or is it the reward of a candy treat (or more accurately a bag full of treats that lasts well into November)?
Maybe it's the fun of dressing up in a costume on a night that it's not only accepted, but expected.
Whatever the reason, here are a few SIMPLE TIPS TO MAKE YOUR HALLOWEEN EVEN BETTER:
1. Visit Pinterest
If you don't already have an account, go there now. Here's the link: www.pinterest.com. You'll find more ideas for costumes, decorations, and recipes than you'll know what to do with! Trust me, you're going to love this site. (And it's great for every holiday!)
2. Buy Ahead
Don't wait until the last minute to buy your Halloween supplies like candy, costumes, and pumpkins. The stores sell out quickly...and all that will be left on the shelves are Christmas treats. Unless you want to hand out candy canes in October, this is important advice!
3. Pets Away
On Halloween night, put your pets - especially dogs - in a safe place. They won't enjoy this holiday as much as you do, and you'll both be happier that they are safely separated from this event. Dogs will bark at every trick-or-treater that comes inside your house. I mean, costumes are meant to be scary, right? Dogs don't understand that it's only 'dress-up'. They could attack what they perceive as an intruder, or run away in fright. It's best to keep everyone safe by planning ahead.
4. Shop at the Dollar Store
In September (See # 2 above), visit your local Dollar Store and stock up. There's no need to buy things that have large pricetags. The Dollar Store has a surprising variety of Halloween goodies from costumes to candy. Check it out...and if it's too late this year, then remember this tip for next year.
5. Keep a Stash of Candy
Don't forget to put some of your favorite candies aside. Trust me, you're going to need the chocolate boost to survive the night. And when your trick-or-treater supply runs out, remember to turn off your porch light, hang up your witch's hat, put your slippers on, and enjoy your treat. Take a deep breath. You don't have to do this again until next year.
I wish you all a safe, spooky, and spectacular Halloween!
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Kristen L. Jackson, Author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH
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