New Jersey is an AWESOME place to be on Halloween! Virtually the whole area turns into one giant stage for Halloween performance art. The streets are filled with huge groups of trick or treaters, and equally excited groups of parents who have just as much fun walking around together. And if you are the one who stays home to be in charge of “treat disbursement,” you get to see the parade of adorable little costumes come right to your door. If you want to optimize this Halloween experience, there are a few things you can do to prepare your home for those little candy-beggars.
Decorate your home’s entrance. Kids are not going to be excited by your mailbox and a welcome mat. Even if you just throw some cheesy spider webs and pumpkins around, it makes the whole doorbell-ringing process seem so much more festive! If you decide to go with a lit pumpkin, make sure it’s placed well away from areas that trick-or-treaters will be walking through. Nothing is more of a buzz-kill than setting your visitors on fire. Of course, if you’re one of those who likes to get more elaborate on Halloween, then go all out with the decorations! The spookier the better. Just keep in mind that there are trick or treaters of all ages, and very young ones will be thwarted by things that are TOO spooky. And if you’ve ever watched “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” You know NOT to try to be clever, dress up as a scarecrow, and jump out and surprise trick-or-treaters, unless you like getting punched in the face . . . . or . . . other places.
It’s pretty doubtful that anyone wants to spend their post-Halloween days in litigation with those who have tripped and fallen on your property, so be sure your walkway is clear and well-lit. If you don’t have any exterior lights over your front door, consider adding a few lanterns along your walkway so you don’t have children falling down in your yard. . If you have anything breakable, such as delicate statues, flowerpots, etc., around your front door, relocate them until the holiday is over. Fake blood on Halloween is great. Real blood – not so much.
Buy plenty of candy. As much as you THINK you’re going to need – double it. There is nothing more tragic than running out of trick or treat candy. The later-in-the-evening trick or treaters do NOT want your scavenged Milk Bones or tuna fish cans. Consider going to a wholesale store like Costco or BJ’s to get the REALLY big bags of candy, where it is probably cheaper than the grocery store. Dollar Stores are good places to stock up, too. If you want to insure that YOU won’t eat it all before the trick or treaters get there, buy a kind that you can’t like. And considering how very many kids there are with peanut allergies, try to find something allergen-free. Those kids have a hard enough time being different throughout the year. It really stinks to have to give away your trick or treat candy to avoid anaphylactic shock.
Please don’t answer your door in a housedress and curlers. That’s WAY scarier than mummies or monsters. You don’t have to go all out, but get a funny hat, goofy glasses, or festive headband. Make the experience fun! The thrill is in the unexpected!
Keep the treats IN, and the tricks OUT, of this year’s trick or treating!