It’s officially the spooky season! Halloween — what a fantastic holiday! Halloween is one of the most fun and funniest holidays of the year. There are haunted houses to explore, candy to consume, and endless zombie movies to watch into the wee hours of the night (actually zombies don’t float my boat, but “body snatchers” — all good).

We see almost December holiday quality displays in our neighborhood — and oh, the purple, orange, and black outdoor lights. Ya, you gotta love it! Incredible, the amount of energy you can get from joining in almost any celebration — and I’m determined to do better, ghoulishly, next year.

Build Your Best Life

If you don’t add these types of celebrations, outings, and fun to your Calendar — you miss opportunities to make some great memories that last forever. I believe great memories, fun, family, and friends are what a Calendar — and the holidays are for.

You can build yourself an exciting, enjoyable, and interesting life. Build your best life by adding things that interest you into your schedule — have unusual events in your Calendar.

Whether you’re trying to get into the holiday spirit or are looking to up your newest Halloween game, we’ve got the tricks and treats for you. I’m incredibly grateful Covid-19 seems to be waning a little and no longer in full force. Although, please, cautions are still recommended, and this is an excellent year may be the one to make up for lost time and create some new memories.

Play Fear Factor at Home

Do you remember the old TV show Fear Factor? This program pitted contestants against spine-tingling challenges that only the promise of lucrative rewards could push them through. Watching a stranger sitting in a box full of tarantulas was must-see television.

While no right-minded person will subject themselves to such punishments, some small-scale fear factor activities will make a memorable addition to your Halloween party. One popular activity is having party attendees guess the mystery items in hidden compartments. For example, peeled grapes resemble eyeballs, warmed grapefruit feels like brains, cooked spaghetti feels like guts — and so forth. Teenagers will give you your best ideas.

For the squeamish, try some less creepy Halloween games. For example, put the kids together to have a mummy-wrapping race with spare toilet paper or use a couple of tiny pumpkins as makeshift bowling balls in the driveway.

Practice Smart Shopping

Candy is the ultimate currency when it comes to Halloween. If you’re “thee” house with “the good candy bars,” you’ll get a lot more visitors. You’ll also have a much more enjoyable time eating whatever is left over when your Calendar flips to November.

One thing to remember — holiday items often have their prices slashed after the noise quiets down. So if you only want to buy Halloween candy for yourself (one of my favorite Halloween holiday traditions — cornucopias are coming, yo!) — wait a couple of days after October 31st to do your shopping.

Mark your Calendar for that first week of November to claim a whole trick-or-treat basket full of goodies at half the cost.

Suppose you need other Halloween supplies to gear up for next year? Stores will be trying to get rid of anything that didn’t sell, so you can find great deals on Halloween decorations and costumes by planning to shop in November. Then, keep everything stored away until you need it again next year.

Look at Discount Costumes

Halloween costumes can be notoriously expensive, especially when purchasing outfits based on popular movie characters and cartoon figures. Sometimes you can use the hack mentioned above to snag discount costumes after the holidays, but that’s never a guarantee. A much more memorable way to get discount costumes is to make them yourself — by watching for and gathering staple pieces.

Think: witch hat (everyone should own one), a variety of fabulous wigs (no quality home would be without them), wonderful eye masks (okay, so I hacked the eyes out of a covid face mask this year — I like to make statements), great boots, and then watch for funny items to stick in your pirate’s booty (what I call my treasure chest).

You’ll remember your homemade costumes a lot more than anything you purchased. So, one time I was an astronaut with a sparklie jeanie costume as a base, a football helmet, and a shoebox backpack attached to a vacuum hose — all painted silver. Message me if you want more idiotic (but awesome) ideas!

You’ll have tons of fun getting creative with costumes that you craft yourself — and your friends get inspired and enjoy this part with you. In addition, you can develop outfits based on more obscure characters or ideas that aren’t available on store shelves.

For a fun family game, schedule a day in your Calendar to visit a local thrift store. Give everyone the challenge to develop a costume based on different clothes and items they find in the store. Then, hold a fashion show at home and award a Halloween candy tower to whoever is voted the winner. The thrift store challenge is a great mother-daughter event and a fun teen event to sponsor for your favorite charity. Have fun.

Master Trick-or-Treating

The perfect trick-or-treat trip requires planning and execution and is the ideal task for your handy Calendar. The goal is to emphasize the treat part of the trip by using a few tricks.

Start by checking out local events in your area. Company-led trunk-or-treats for company kids, or help your company provide fun for the kids of a local shelter. It’s an excellent opportunity to provide candy-grabbing fun in a shorter timeframe. You may also find some indoor events if your hometown is too cold to walk the streets for very long.

Nursing homes are full of elderly folk who would love nothing more than to hand out candy to adorable kids walking their halls — check with the covid restrictions this year.

Your trick-or-treat timing is also important. Plan for times when you know people will be home. You can also make an effort to visit friends and family by planning a specific route to take. Showing off your costumes to people you know might be more enjoyable than visiting triple the amount of strangers.

Fire Up the Cauldron

Not every treat that you enjoy this Halloween has to come in a wrapper. There are so many creative recipes you can try out to enjoy as a family or to layout at a Halloween party.

For example, you can get some Halloween-themed cookie cutters to make some sugar cookie pumpkins, bats, and ghosts. Even your youngest children can help to frost and decorate these treats. You can find plenty of other ideas online, such as a dozen pumpkin dishes you never thought of before or a creative way to turn candy into edible art.

Halloween month would not be complete without dinner in a pumpkin at our house. My mom had this tradition when I was a kid. Her recipe is wonderful — but my family hates it — so I hollow out a pumpkin and dump canned stew or chili in a pumpkin and cook it in the pumpkin. The magic is the pumpkin. When I lose my mind during Halloween — I might add a few ghords as the soup bowls. Take into account the time it takes to gut these honeys (prepare these the day before).

Call Up The Addams Family

One common theme throughout this article is that Halloween, like other holidays, is best enjoyed by surrounding yourself with other people. Family and friends will make celebrating the holiday much more enjoyable, from trick-or-treating trips to movie marathons and everything in between.

Have you hit the local corn maze yet? And the pumpkin patches — incredible! We’ve gone a couple of times to the corn maze with different groups and wouldn’t miss the October first pumpkin patch trip and accompanying decoration weekend.

The corn maze and pumpkin patch are a blast for kid groups and adult groups alike. Then, head back to your house for chili and cornbread or hot chocolate and donuts. Send a Calendar invite to another family to see if they would like to tag along. Inviting people to come with you is a great way to reconnect with new neighbors, old friends — or get to know the parents of your children’s favorite schoolmates.

Don’t be scared; Halloween is so very much fun! Our family and neighborhood are celebrating the whole week before Halloween — but start making some plans for your own incredible day in your Calendar.

The only thing that will spook you is how much you’ll enjoy the week connected with Halloween on October 31st.

Image Credit: Yaroslav Shuraev; Pexels; Thank you!