Halloween during a pandemic. Well, at least everyone’s already wearing masks, right? My kids are in high school, so it’s less of an issue for us. They’re planning on going to friends’ houses and celebrating with a party instead of traditional trick or treating. They’ve already been hanging out with these friends since summer, so it’s equally safe as doing homework together.
On my neighborhood Facebook group, there have been some questions about neighborhood plans as well as some suggestions. One neighbor wants to do treat bags on a table at the end of the driveway, and limit trick or treating to certain hours – from five until eight. I thought that seemed reasonable.
Another thought was of a scavenger hunt with houses providing clues to their kids to find candy. The parents would do all the work and the neighbors who participated would volunteer so the kids weren’t randomly going to people’s houses who had no idea what was going on. I thought this was a great idea.
We usually have a bucket of toys and comic books in addition to candy, so the kids can choose which treat they prefer. They toys are the kind you get from McDonald’s Happy Meals or similar small items. Some are packaged, but some are gently used. We’ve decided to suspend this practice until next year (hopefully). I know our items are safe, but why put the parents in the position of having to say no to a toy if they have (legitimate) concerns.
I also thought that instead of having the kids reach into our candy bowl and choose their preference, we would have more of the same candies and hand it out ourselves. Two candies per child. We can wear gloves and put it right into their basket or bag.
I know some doctors and experts have talked about avoiding family during the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are closer than we think they are. We haven’t decided our holiday plans, but I also think that Halloween is a different circumstance. I don’t mean it’s more important than our traditional family holidays, but in some ways it kind of is. It’s fun. It’s dressing up. It’s candy. And it can be done in a responsible and socially distant way. Kids can come to the door one or two at a time. The candy givers can wear masks and gloves. There’s no hugging, shaking hands, sitting around a table talking and eating.
To be honest, it really sounds a lot easier.
Maybe we can have a Halloween inspired Thanksgiving. Drive thru. Go to Grandma’s house and she’ll give everyone a Tupperware filled with a portioned out turkey dinner. Same with Christmas; just add presents to the drive thru lane.
I don’t know. I’m still working on that one. In the meantime, let’s enjoy Halloween as best as we can. Teach our kids that we need to make some changes this year to keep everyone safe, and we can do that and still have fun. I’m planning on dressing up as a postal carrier if I can find my parents’ old work shirts.
We’ll find out in one week.
What are your plans for Halloween? Do you have any suggestions for making it fun and safe for kids in this unusual year?
I found a few more photos that I shared through Instagram and Facebook while I was in Ireland and Wales. They’re really quite eclectic, and show the variety of things that I enjoyed doing as well as some of the local tastes.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I tried so hard to find a picure of when I was a kid in the plastic Princess costume – it may have been Sleeping Beauty – but I could not find it. It’ll probably turn up around Christmas.
That is the first costume that I remember wearing as a kid. I have no real memories of other costumes until high school when I went as Oscar Madison one year and wore my Dad’s Army uniform another. Someone shaving creamed my back while I was wearing that and I was so pissed off because I wasn’t supposed to get it dirty.
Over the years, I’ve gone to several Halloween parties, some with themes like science-fiction [I was a Bajoran civilian from DS9] or superheroes and villains [as Poison Ivy].
For a decade I was in a medieval re-enactment group so every weekend was Halloween, only historically accurate.
I remember going through the drive-through at Burger King or Dunkin’ Donuts in full medieval regalia where I would get some odd looks. I went into a 7-11 once to buy soda.
Our friends have a summer family reunion that is a costumed event. Last year, we were pirates and cowboys the year before.
Gishwhes has also afforded me opportunities to dress up, most memorably as Batgirl, an homage to Yvonne Craig who had recently died.
Any excuse to dress up and have fun.
This year’s costume, as journalist/press person, is my first, perrhaps only politically charged costume.
This year, my middle son is a pink dinosaur person with a spear, and he is the happiest little kid in the world. He can’t wait until after Halloween because the pink dinosaur costume is also pajamas, and he will probably wear them every night this winter.
My daughter is Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, and she is using all of her own clothes. Resourceful, and…a little scary. She decorated an old wiffle-ball bat and I put the makeup on her, and it is perfect.
This is what Halloween is. Kids and fun and candy, of course. This year, we’re also giving out toys and Halloween pencils that we had around the house, leftovers from a school party or McDonald’s happy meal. We did this last year, and the kids were so thrilled to get something like that.
The school parade is in an hour – my daughter’s last one in elementary school; then no more school Halloween parties. It is the end of an era.
This is the only time of year that I eat Butterfingers. There is something about the crunchy, crispy, almost melt in your mouth peanut buttery, warm with chocolate that is just so amazing.
Unfortunately, this is the only time of year that I love then. I even steal them out of my kids’ candy bags the day after Halloween. Sometimes the night of.