So it would seem Halloween is kind of cancelled this year.
Rude. Yet par for the course in 2020 I guess.
But Sofie has been talking non-stop about her plans to dress up as a bat goblin for Halloween (don’t ask me what that is) to me and everyone who will listen and I don’t have the heart to tell her that trick-or-treating is yet another thing we’re adding to the off-limits list this year. In other words, I needed to get a little creative with it. So here’s my quick guide to Halloween at home.
Not celebrating Halloween is really not that new for me. Growing up in Norway, dressing up on October 31st and running around the neighborhood, knocking on people’s doors and shouting “Trick or Treat!” was decidedly not a thing. (Though I am assured by my 10-year-old nephew that I am way behind the times and it certainly is now!).
Grappling with my middle-age aside, just because it wasn’t a cultural norm in Norway didn’t mean that I personally wasn’t a die-hard fan of this spooky celebration, and my mom – an American living in Norway – was not about to let me miss out.
Every year, she would take me to a Halloween party organized by the American Women’s Club of Oslo. And she even went as far as to don a witch costume, jump up on stage and perform classics like “Five little pumpkins” and “Monster Mash.” (Let’s not talk about the several years she cajoled me into being her Scarecrow sidekick for said performances. Cringe.)
But from what I can remember, it was simply fantastic. Parents would round up all us kids to play themed games, march around in costume competitions, with spooky prizes up for grabs, and all throughout the venue (which was a church btw) they would set up little trick or treat stands (with American candy!!!) - each station with a different theme. To ensure an equitable distribution of candy (this was Norway after all) party guests would receive a little card that would be stamped after each visit.
So why am I telling you this? Well this year, since there won’t be any running around the neighborhood, I am putting together a little trick or treat adventure for Sofie and Isabel right in the comfort of our own home. I wouldn’t say I had a rock solid plan when I hit up Target and Michaels for supplies, but rather a loose theme for each of the four stations.
Card tables, black fabric, foam stickers, and mini pumpkins are going to be your friend here. And have fun with it – as long as the kids get candy I highly doubt they are paying close attention to the decor. Add a little riddle or obstacle as part of each station, just to extend the fun, and if you have close family or friends that are ready and willing to dress up and man the stations for you, all the better!
Another advantage of this whole Halloween at home thing, is that you can sneak in some healthy snacks among the mounds of sugar. Not *too* healthy though, I am not cruel.
(Oh and a little pro-tip for you, one that I learned the hard way. Perhaps plan to set up your stations while the little ones are otherwise occupied or already tucked in for the night. Trying to strategically place candy and decorations while two little beasts are crawling all over you asking probing questions is somewhat challenging to say the least…)
Then once you are ready, dress them up in their costume of choice, send them off to collect their loot, throw a little Monster Mash dance party in the living room, and voila: your kids get to trick or treat despite the whole end of the world thing.
So no thank you 2020, you will not be cancelling Halloween after all. At least not in our house!